I've done a variety of query letters for Tomahawk Incident which haven't gotten me anywhere yet, so I decided to change things up and give the AQC format a try. I'll be happy to trade critiques.
Tomahawk Incident doesn't fit neatly into a genre box. I call it an Alt History Military Adventure. It's not straight space-faring military sci fi, but it has some of the elements we're used to there. Battles between ships happen (spaceships or submarines are the easiest equivalent to the Æsterships that prowl the skies of my world), there are floating Æster platforms that are like space stations. There are undiscovered "lost worlds" in the Æster. It's not Steam or Dieselpunk, although it has some of that feel; the character's serve aboard a ship of the British Admiralty, the British Empire contends with the Ottomans, etc. There are no psychics or psionics, but there is mysticism tied to the Æster and there are supersoldiers whose existence is tied to breathing a special Æster breathing mixture.
So, it's sometimes hard to find the right "line" to take when I'm submitting. Currently I'm pitching it as "Honor Harrington meets Lost."
Thanks in advance for any insights!
Hello Mr/Mrs X,
Thrust into the center of a dark mystic’s secret war to rule the skies, Rescue Marine Major Katja Kryzanowski and her shipmates fight to survive and warn the fleet after an attack maroons them on a floating island in the sky.
The Tomahawk Incident – Honor Harrington meets Lost
A failed assassination attempt on Katja is her first warning that she’s embroiled in a war she knows nothing about. The dark mystic Asher Koora is bent on ruling the skies and his Seers have identified Katja as a threat to his ascension. An attack on their ship leaves Katja and the Tomahawk’s survivors marooned and fighting to survive on an island floating in the Æster's caustic, supercharged clouds, one of the rumored “Hanging Gardens.” With the clock running down she must find a way to do the impossible, contact the rescue fleet from beyond the “Black Line” where ships of the Admiralty aren’t supposed to survive. But they are not alone on the Hanging Garden. The gentle, mystical Æsterborn caretaker, Jinn offers to help them. From her they learn there is much more going on in the far reaches of the Æster than anyone suspects - a war that threatens everything on the ground. Suddenly there is more at stake than just rescuing her crew and getting home.
I have been writing sci fi and fantasy stories since I was in Junior High School, but only really dove into it seriously in 2009 when the ideas for the Æsterverse took hold. Since then, I've created a fully fleshed out world and have written dozens of stories set within it. "The Tomahawk Incident" is the first attempt to publish anything from the Æsterverse. As a US Navy veteran and trained commercial diver, the world of shipboard life and working in a hostile environment comes very naturally.
Thank you so much for your time and attention. The full manuscript is available at your request.
I hope to hear from you soon!