Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bouncer Post #57

Genre: Science fiction adventure
Word Count: 79,000


Maggie McBride lost five years laying low, nursing her anger. She was just a kid when Jupiter’s police force cracked down on the McBrides’ independence movement. Maggie escaped, but the void took most of her family. Her one surviving cousin got arrested and packed off for realignment “treatments” to fix those obviously faulty thinking patterns.

Now Maggie’s hacking together a team — the few who survived the rebellion, a couple sympathizers, a chuck who just needs the money — with the skills to break into the remote asteroid Correctional Facility where her cousin’s being “treated.” To get the cash for all this, Maggie signs a contract with a vicious old pirate, selling her future into slavery if she fails.

It’s millions of kilometers to the little rock, across open space with nowhere to hide. But she’s going to get her cousin back.

I am a graduate of Viable Paradise XV. Thank you for your time.

First 250:

Neal was cooperative, even docile, until he saw the chair and the halo scanner. Then he balked. His two guards had him by the elbows, his hands cuffed in front of him, and they picked him up easily in the low gravity.

“No. No, please!” Neal twisted in their grip, and with a bootstrapper’s instinct for low gee shoved one foot down hard behind him. He spun, face-first, wrenching his elbows out of their hands. Shoving his palms against the floor, he zipped back a meter, put his feet down again and was bolting for the door when they tackled him.

“No!” His voice cracked, ragged, as they dragged him back to the chair. “Don’t do this! Don’t take her away!”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” the doctor said. He took a seat on the stool beside the halo scanner to check the data on his handheld display.

“Don’t wipe me,” Neal pleaded, tears rising. He flinched when the nurse touched an injector gun to the crook of his elbow, just below the uniform’s sleeve, and dosed him. “Don’t take her away. I don’t want to forget.”

“Neal McBride,” the doc said as his patient was strapped down, “I’m Dr. Seitz and I’ll be seeing you through the first stages of therapy.”

The guards stepped back once Neal was secured to the chair and his head clamped under the halo scanner. Seitz nodded to them and they left the doctor and nurse with their patient in the white therapy lab.


  1. The query and the first 250 really grabbed me. I would continue on to see where the story went. I think there might be a typo in the query - you say a chuck who needed money (chick?). I liked the brevity of your description of the plot and the writing was solid and effective. Nicely done.

    1. "Chuck" is correct -- it's the local slang.

      Glad you liked it!

  2. I interpreted 'chuck' as the female derivative of 'chick'.

    Here's hoping your stellar writing gets noticed.
    *crossed fingers*

  3. I love me so hard sci-fi even if I have no idea what Viable Paradise XV is (I'd google it, but it's just ripe for the imagination). You're in!

  4. I liked everything about this entry. The query was to the point and left you wanting to get to the sample ASAP. The writing in the 250 was tight and conveyed Neal's fear. Yep, I would want to continue on to read much more of this. I like the idea of assembling what sounds like a motley group to take on the baddies. I think there's the potential of a really entertaining read here. Nice stuff.

  5. LOVE it! Your voice is great and I have so many questions after the 250 that I would keep reading. He sounds so desparate with the "Don't take her away."

  6. This is a really good one. I love the first 250! Congrats! And good luck with this in the Speed Dating! :)

  7. Good work! You're in (again)! Good luck!