Monday, March 26, 2012

Surprise Agent Invasion #10

Title: Un-United States
Genre: Political Thriller
Word Count: 67633 words


It is 2015, and a devastating civil war has torn apart the former United States. Razor wire and tanks mark the borders of new territories. Repression, martial law and tin pot dictators flourish.

New America is the most politically stable of the new territories, but it has a very big problem: an increasingly paranoid veteran population overtaken by a destructive form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In a state where paranoid people regularly disappear, the veteran problem will see four paths cross in a race between those who would expose the problem, and those who would bury it – Presidential aspirant Blaise Kingsley, who must contain the problem if he is to realize his political ambitions; war veteran Lara Coulter, who is determined to hide her PTSD symptoms at all costs; the brilliant, ruthless Doctor Patrick Stone, who leaves a trail of bodies in his quest for a cure; and relentless rogue journalist Georgia Black, who is determined to expose the story.

Un-United States, complete at 67,633 words, sees the gritty political landscapes of Vince Flynn meet the tumbledown dystopia of Dark Angel in a novel for political junkies and revolutionaries around the world. Un-United States is the first novel in a proposed series.

Heather Jacobs holds a Bachelors of Science in Liberal Arts from the University of Wisconsin in River Falls. Nina Smith is a senior journalist with the Donnybrook-Bridgetown Mail in Western Australia. She graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Creative Writing at Curtin University, Western Australia and holds a Diploma of Education in English teaching. 

First 250:

September 26, 2009

A sheen of sweat made Specialist Tom Robert Maxwell’s pale face glisten under the cold fluorescent lights. He didn’t look healthy. He didn’t look healthy at all.  

Doctor Patrick Stone wondered if they’d sent him an inferior subject, but he dismissed the notion. Major Blaise Kingsley’s stance behind the wheeled bed was enough to make anyone sweat.

Stone filled a syringe with a pale blue liquid from the first of a row of small glass bottles on the trolley.

Maxwell’s words shattered the silence in the laboratory. “What is that?”

“That, son, is the future.”

Maxwell’s head whipped around to see who had spoken. Stone allowed himself a little smile. He wondered if Vaxoceuticals CEO Doctor Peregrine Smith had enough star quality to bedazzle the soldier into submission, or if his presence at the proceedings would just scare the boy further.

Doctor Smith inclined his head.  

“Do I know you from somewhere?” Maxwell asked.

Smith shrugged. “Most people know me from news stories,” he said. “Don’t believe a thing the media says about me though. Proceed, Doctor Stone.”

Stone swabbed an area of the soldier’s arm with pure alcohol. “You’re going to feel a little sting,” he said. “And then a great deal of pain, but it won’t last. If you survive this, you will be the future of the United States Army.”

Maxwell jerked away from him. “You people are insane! I withdraw my consent. I’m outta here.”

Kingsley grabbed the man’s arm and stretched it out.

1 comment:

  1. I'm definitely interested in political thrillers and military thrillers, but I just couldn't quite wrap my arms around the plot of this one. You've got dictators, razor wire, martial law, and elections and cover-ups, all going on simultaneously.I also wasn't personally keen on the PTSD plot (I have one active military son and one just out, so it's just my own bias).

    The opening page sets up the conspiracy, but it's too melodramatic and stilted. It also doesn't make sense that they're concerned about dazzling a spc into submission when he'd given consent already. The Army drills obedience into soldiers, so with a major in the room especially, this spc isn't needing more convincing, and it's just melodrama to tell him he's the future IF HE SURVIVES, he'll be in a lot of pain. I thought they were trying to be quiet about this? Isn't informing the subject sort of letting the cat out of the bag? Don't give full names and ranks unless needed. While you want to get information across about who people are, it creates a stilted narrative to write 'he wondered is the Vaxoceutials CEO Dr. Peregrine Stone had the star quality to dazzle...', or open the book with someone's name, including rank and middle name.

    I hope my comments make sense. Good luck with everything!