Guess the Plot
1. A gripping account of the process by which one substance, such as a solid or liquid, takes up another substance, such as a liquid or gas, through minute pores or spaces between its molecules.
2. A cross section of vaginas from every possible demographic discuss their relationships with tampons.
3. When a supermind composed of nanotechnologically connected people causes them to dress asexually and talk in stilted phrases, it falls upon hunky Brett Johnson to get
4. By the time Newton discovered gravity, his sister, Lottie, was already a millionaire, thanks to a discovery of her own -- absorption! She invented the nappy, the napkin, the fuzzy towel, and the wool sock -- changing our world forever.
5. Penelope's gotta go so badly she can taste it, but she’s in a tent with seven others on an Outward Bound fright-week adventure, and she’s afraid of the dark and the weird hump-backed guy standing behind the outhouse. Which leaves her with only one desperate choice - hoping her Depends truly are dependable. Because at this point, it’s all about . . . absorption.
6. The Conovers couldn't have children, so they adopted. And adopted. And adopted. But how many members can one family take in before the household explodes in a massive salvo of animosity and resentment? Let's find out.
7. Hash-slinger Sarah Rapp had tried them all but nothing satisfied her needs. When a brawny lumberjack shows up at her diner, however, she discovers that absorption can mean more than soaking up spills. And like his paper towels, the hunky woodsman can be wrung out and used over and over again.
Dear Evil Editor:
If you’ve ever wondered why a supermind composed of nanotechnologically connected and enhanced people would cause them to dress asexually and talk in stilted phrases, Absorption is the book for you. [Man, there's a book for everybody nowadays.] [Clearly you've never read number 9 from Evil Editor's Ten Laws of Getting Published:
1. Any book is sure to be improved by the addition of sharks.
2. A query letter should not be--or seem to be--longer than the book it promotes.
3. If nothing has exploded by page 2, you started in the wrong place.
4. I'm almost as uninterested in your characters' dreams as I am in your dreams.
5. Never let an agent or editor see the quality of your writing before the contract is signed; it's a sure deal-breaker.
6. If there's a wolfman in a book, it should be stated clearly, up front. It's sure to be a selling point. Zombies, vampires and super-powered cannibals should also be mentioned early, but not before wolfmen.
7. Throw away all your writing books except Why You Don't Get Published.
8. If you plan to submit queries by email, don't use a screen name like scifiwriterdude or thenextnoraroberts.
9. If you want to convince a publisher that they'll sell thousands of copies of your book, it's always a mistake to declare that your niche audience is people who wonder why a supermind composed of nanotechnologically connected and enhanced people would cause them to dress asexually and talk in stilted phrases.
10. Never drop in on your editor to chew the fat.]
Major Brett Johnson of the Federalist Worlds has been sent to the planet Oceania in a last ditch attempt to convince them they must give up the technology that supports the Oceanian supermind or face war. He rashly seduces a lovely woman who seems to be in immanent peril from the supermind, [In my experience, when someone's in imminent peril, they would rather be rescued than seduced.] [I assume you meant "imminent," though "immanent" comes close to making sense.] only to find she is already part of it and apparently pleased to be so. He finds himself walking a difficult line between duty and honor when he begins to doubt his conviction that the beauty of Oceania is merely a mask for a deadly snare to humanity, and to wonder how much would need to be destroyed for his mission to succeed – and at what cost. Dare he become temporarily part of the overmind [Is the overmind the supermind? Is there also an undermind?] to attempt to avert a war that might destroy a world – or will he be deceived into having his soul destroyed [Let's not go overboard.] and becoming bait for a trap?
If you need an exclusive look at the full or partial manuscript please contact me soon, since the logistics of publishing require me to send out more than one query letter. [Whoa. You seem to think an agent is like a plumber or a landscaper--someone who wants your business. Wrong. An agent is like the cable guy--someone who works when she wants, and for whom she wants. Meaning someone besides you.] I would also like to discuss the rough drafts of further manuscripts with you, and my plans for publicizing this one. I am fortunate enough to live near New York City, with all it’s bookstores including the Strand, which specializes in science fiction. I also live near the Book Revue, a large independent bookstore famous for the signings they host. [You're very lucky, especially if there's also a good bakery in your neighborhood. Now, will Barnes and Noble carry the book?] I would also like to discuss with you my rough drafts [You already said that.] for several novels, and my future plans after that. [Okay, meet me Thursday at the Starbucks to the right of the Strand. No, make it the one to the left of the Strand.]
(I'm assuming any agent who represents science fiction will at least have heard of the Borg, tell me if you disagree please. I call it Absorption instead of assimilation because I want to allude subtly - use whichever title you think is best.)
Everyone's heard of the Borg. For that matter, everyone's heard of Bjorn Borg. However, the query doesn't mention the Borg or Bjorn Borg. This sounds a lot like when Captain Picard became part of the Borg collective. It could be argued that subtly alluding to the Borg will make the book seem derivative, that you should either remove the Borgness from the query or trumpet that you've taken Borgness to a new level. Also, is there any way Bjorn Borg can make an appearance?
The plot is four sentences. Four fairly informative sentences, but once you get rid of the last paragraph you'll have more room. Room to tell us why the Federal Worlds care what Oceania is doing. Is Oceania using their supermind to threaten the Federal Worlds? Are they a member of the Federal Worlds? How long would it take an Oceanian starship to get to the closest Federal World?
It sounds like a list of things that happen; a better connection between the seduction and the doubts would fix that: When Johnson tries to rescue a lovely woman from the supermind, only to find she is already part of it and pleased to be so, he begins to doubt his conviction that the beauty of Oceania is a mask for a deadly snare.
Is that what he doubts? It seems he would begin to doubt that the supermind is a threat; we haven't heard anything about the beauty of Oceania being a snare. Perhaps it can be mentioned why Oceania's beauty is so worrisome.