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Remember the Rhinos (sci-fi)


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#1 AdrianGC

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 04:56 PM

Hey all. I'm a newbie here at AQC -- just signed up today.

 

I'm looking for feedback on my query letter. This is my first stab at it -- so I am ready to take my lumps! Thanks in advance. (Although should I be "thanking" people about to shred me?...)   

 

Regards,

 

Adrian 

 

 

 

Ask anyone alive and they’ll tell you about a time when the sky was blue, not green. Not only that, but the air actually sustained life, if you can believe it! And not just human life, either. There used to be these weird things called “animals.”

 

James Jenkins remembers.

 

And he ought to, because he put these world-destroying wheels in motion.

 

James had it all: beautiful wife, beach-front house, two charming children, and loads of money. Total cliché. Yes, as the head spokesman for the American Institute for Petroleum Research, Big Oil had certainly been good to him. 

 

Until, that is, a fateful summer day when a benevolent race of aliens, known as the Grays, informed mankind that our addiction to fossil fuels was killing everything at an accelerated pace. The planet Earth, they warned us, would only be habitable for another 15 years if we did not take drastic action to eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels and prevent more carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. The Grays said we could continue killing ourselves if we wished, but they would not allow us to eradicate all life from the planet. So, effective immediately, they are relocating all non-human lifeforms to Mars.

 

But Big Oil doesn’t roll-over for anyone. Especially when geological tests confirm the presence of a motherlode of oil waiting to be tapped. But isn’t that the exact opposite of what the Grays warned us about? Of course! But there’s still money to be had! 

 

So James’ bosses have tasked him with the impossible: despite the grave warnings, keep people addicted to oil.

 

Remember the Rhinos is approximately 97,000 words. It is satirical non-space sci-fi in the style of Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle.”


Adrian

I'm looking for feedback on my query. Thanks in advance. http://agentquerycon...-rhinos-sci-fi/

 


#2 trickster71

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 02:20 PM

​Welcome to ACQ!

 

 

 

Ask anyone alive and they’ll tell you about a time when the sky was blue, not green. Not only that, but the air actually sustained life, if you can believe it! And not just human life, either. There used to be these weird things called “animals.” ​Start with you MC. This is not much telling, and not enough showing. Make us feel something, anything, about James Jenkins in your hook. Stay focused on him and the MAIN conflict throughout the query.

 

James Jenkins remembers.

 

And he ought to, because he put these world-destroying wheels in motion.

 

James had it all: beautiful wife, beach-front house, two charming children, and loads of money. Total cliché. Yes, as the head spokesman for the American Institute for Petroleum Research, Big Oil had certainly been good to him. ​Stay present tense throughout.

 

Until, that is, a fateful summer day when a benevolent race of aliens, known as the Grays, informed mankind that our addiction to fossil fuels was killing everything at an accelerated pace. The planet Earth, they warned us, would only be habitable for another 15 years if we did not take drastic action to eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels and prevent more carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. The Grays said we could continue killing ourselves if we wished, but they would not allow us to eradicate all life from the planet. So, effective immediately, they are relocating all non-human lifeforms to Mars. ​Tell this in a way that shows how it impacted James, not "us".

 

But Big Oil doesn’t roll-over for anyone. Especially when geological tests confirm the presence of a motherlode of oil waiting to be tapped. But isn’t that the exact opposite of what the Grays warned us about? Of course! But there’s still money to be had! ​Don't ask questions in a query. Weave this info in in a way that shows how it impacts James.

 

So James’ bosses have tasked him with the impossible: despite the grave warnings, keep people addicted to oil. ​Where are the stakes? What is the very worst thing that could happen to James is he fails? Why is it impossible to keep people addicted to oil?

 

Remember the Rhinos ​put your title in all caps, not italics. is ​a 97,000-word satirical non-space sci-fi written approximately 97,000 words. It is satirical non-space sci-fi in the style of Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle

 

​You are going to make a huge leap with this just by redirecting focus to James.  Good luck on this and keep at it!


Want a more in-depth critique/edit of your query, synopsis, or MS?

Contact me at:  refugeforwriters.com

 


#3 AdrianGC

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 01:25 PM

Thanks trickster71 for taking a look at my query. So far you're the only person who has commented on it. I've been meaning to respond to you for for some time, but I had to take a hiatus for health reasons. 

 

Is this any better, or are we talkin' page-one rewrites?  Thanks again.

 

 

 

 

James Jenkins remembers a time when the sky was blue, not green. When the air actually sustained life. And not just human life. There used to be odd organisms called “animals” as well.

 

And he should remember. After all, it’s not every day you render the world unlivable.

 

With a headstrong wife, two adorable children, and a fabulous beachfront house, James is the living embodiment of business fortune. As the chief spokesman for the American Institute for Petroleum Research, Big Oil has certainly been good to him.

 

But when a race of aliens known as the Grays informs mankind that the Earth will be habitable for only 15 more years if humans do not eliminate their dependence on fossil fuels and prevent more carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, James is shaken from his privilege-induced complacency. And when the Grays, to accentuate the global urgency, begin relocating non-human lifeforms to a terra-formed Mars, it seems the complete conversion to renewable energy is inevitable.

 

But Big Oil doesn’t roll-over for anyone. Especially when geological tests confirm the presence of a mother-lode waiting to be tapped. So James’ bosses task him with the impossible: maintain the status quo by portraying the fossil fuel industry as environmentally-friendly. Alarmed that the project would be a global death sentence, James balks. But when he learns about the Institute’s top secret research division, he seeks out a solution that will not only cleanse the air and ensure the animals are returned, but will keep the oil derricks pumping.

 

REMEMBER THE RHINOS is a darkly humorous and satirical sci-fi novel written in the style of Vonnegut’s CAT’S CRADLE.  The 97,000-word book explores mankind’s greed and self-destructive nature while holding out for hope based on individual resolve.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Adrian

I'm looking for feedback on my query. Thanks in advance. http://agentquerycon...-rhinos-sci-fi/

 


#4 ddcash80

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 09:22 AM

Thanks trickster71 for taking a look at my query. So far you're the only person who has commented on it. I've been meaning to respond to you for for some time, but I had to take a hiatus for health reasons. 

 

Is this any better, or are we talkin' page-one rewrites?  Thanks again.

 

 

 

 

James Jenkins remembers a time when the sky was blue, not green. When the air actually sustained life. And not just human life. There used to be odd organisms called “animals” as well.

 

And he should remember. After all, it’s not every day you render the world unlivable.

 

With a headstrong wife, two adorable children, and a fabulous beachfront house, James is the living embodiment of business fortune. As the chief spokesman for the American Institute for Petroleum Research, Big Oil has certainly been good to him.

 

But when a race of aliens known as the Grays informs mankind that the Earth will be habitable for only 15 more years if humans do not eliminate their dependence on fossil fuels and prevent more carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, This was a little too technical for me. I would suggest you replace it with something simple that doesn't stall the flow, like: Earth will be habitable for only 15 more years if humans don't stop their polluting ways. James is shaken from his privilege-induced complacency. And when the Grays, to accentuate the global urgency, begin relocating non-human lifeforms to a terra-formed Mars, This was confusing--what non-human lifeforms? I thought animals where a thing of the past (as said in your first paragraph). it seems the complete conversion to renewable energy is inevitable.

 

But Big Oil doesn’t roll-over for anyone. Especially when geological tests confirm the presence of a mother-lode load waiting to be tapped. So James’ bosses task him with the impossible: maintain the status quo by portraying the fossil fuel industry as environmentally-friendly. Alarmed alarmed seems like a weak reaction (THE WORLD IS ENDING!) that the project would be a global death sentence, James balks Is there a stronger word you can use here? Does James rebel?. But when he learns about the Institute’s top secret research division, he seeks out a solution that will not only cleanse the air and ensure the animals are returned, but will keep the oil derricks pumping. Maybe you can combine the last 2 sentences, something like: Shocked to be part of the project that ensures the global death sentence, James rebels and seeks a solution that will not only cleanse the air but return the animals - while at the same time, keeping the oil derricks pumping.

 

One general comment I have is, why is oil so important? You paint a post-apocalyptic world, and then you have a guy drilling oil. So I would like some connection into why the oil is so important. Maybe it's the last valuable resource? People are fighting over it?

 

REMEMBER THE RHINOS is a darkly humorous and satirical sci-fi novel written in the style of Vonnegut’s CAT’S CRADLE.  The 97,000-word book explores mankind’s greed and self-destructive nature while holding out for hope based on individual resolve.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.



#5 AdrianGC

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 01:01 PM

I did a complete re-write. Please let me know if you think it's an improvement. Ugh! I HATE this process...

 

 

 

James Jenkins doesn’t have time for outer space tree-huggers. As the chief spokesman for the American Institute for Petroleum Research, James is the face of Big Oil. And gazing out from his luxurious beachfront house, it’s clear that business is good.

 

But when a race of aliens known as the Grays informs mankind that the Earth will be habitable for only 15 more years if humans do not eliminate their dependence on fossil fuels and prevent more pollution from entering the atmosphere, James is shaken from his privilege-induced complacency. Polluting the world is one thing. A minor professional downside which has allowed him to live like royalty. But causing the untimely death of his headstrong wife and their two young children, and billions of other innocent people, is unthinkable. And when the Grays, to accentuate the global urgency, begin relocating the Earth’s animals to a terra-formed Mars, it seems the complete conversion to renewable energy is inevitable.

 

But Big Oil doesn’t roll-over for anyone. Especially when geological tests confirm the presence of a mother lode waiting to be tapped. So James’ bosses task him with the impossible: maintain the status quo by portraying the fossil fuel industry as environmentally-friendly. Horrified that the project would be a global death sentence, James refuses. But when he learns about the Institute’s top secret research division, he seeks out a solution that will not only cleanse the air, but will keep the oil derricks pumping.

 

REMEMBER THE RHINOS is a darkly humorous and satirical sci-fi novel written in the style of Vonnegut’s CAT’S CRADLE.  The 97,000-word book explores mankind’s greed and self-destructive nature while holding out for hope based on individual resolve.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Adrian

I'm looking for feedback on my query. Thanks in advance. http://agentquerycon...-rhinos-sci-fi/

 


#6 max.knapp

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 01:58 PM

Hello! Chiming in with my two cents.

 

I actually liked the introduction you had before, though I'd consider shortening it to: James Jenkins remembers a time when the sky was blue, not green. When there were odd organisms called “animals" on the planet, not just humans. This may be personal preference, but I find the world you're describing more compelling than a spokesperson for Big Oil.

 

James Jenkins doesn’t have time for outer space tree-huggers. As the chief spokesman for the American Institute for Petroleum Research, James is the face of Big Oil. And gazing out from his luxurious beachfront house, it’s clear that business is good booming. 

 

But when a race of aliens known as the Grays informs mankind that the Earth will be habitable for only 15 more years if humans do not eliminate their dependence on fossil fuels and prevent more pollution from entering the atmosphere (I'd trust your readers to understand that using fossil fuels causes pollution), James is shaken from his privilege-induced complacency. Polluting the world is one thing. A minor professional downside which has allowed him to live like royalty (Overkill, redundant). But causing the untimely death of his headstrong wife and their two young children, and billions of other innocent people, is unthinkable (Drawing this divide between "polluting the world" and "killing billions" is a little disingenuous. If he's in Big Oil, he likely knows the effects of pollution as well as anybody. I'd reframe it as him being forced to confront something he had been deliberately ignoring). And when the Grays, to accentuate the global urgency, begin relocating the Earth’s animals to a terra-formed Mars, it seems the complete conversion to renewable energy is inevitable.

 

But Big Oil doesn’t roll-over for anyone. Especially when geological tests confirm the presence of a mother lode waiting to be tapped. So James’ bosses task him with the impossible: maintain the status quo by portraying the fossil fuel industry as environmentally-friendly (As a reader, I'm curious about what the rest of the world thinks of the Grays. Surely people notice that the animals are gone - do they realize there has been alien intervention? How does that complicate things? If you can poke at this with a sentence or two, it'd add a lot of texture). Horrified that the project would be a global death sentence, James refuses. But when he learns about the Institute’s top secret research division, he seeks out a solution that will not only cleanse the air, but will keep the oil derricks pumping (Hold up, is he a spokesperson or a scientist?).

 

REMEMBER THE RHINOS is a darkly humorous and satirical sci-fi novel written in the style of Vonnegut’s CAT’S CRADLE.  The 97,000-word book explores mankind’s greed and self-destructive nature while holding out for hope based on individual resolve.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.



#7 AdrianGC

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 11:55 AM

Yet another page-one rewrite. Ugh. This process will be the death of me. I'm praying for spontaneous combustion!

 

Thoughts?...

 

 

 

As the chief spin doctor for Big Oil, James Jenkins has made a career out of squashing environmentalists. And gazing out from his luxurious beachfront house, it’s clear that business is booming.

 

But the job description never mentioned tree-huggers from outer space!

 

When a race of aliens known as the Grays informs all of mankind that the Earth will be habitable for only 15 more years if humans do not eliminate their dependence on fossil fuels, James is shaken from his privilege-induced complacency. Pollution is one thing. But causing the untimely death of countless billions – including his headstrong wife and their two young children – is unthinkable. And when the Grays, to accentuate the global urgency, begin relocating the Earth’s animals to a terra-formed Mars, it seems the complete conversion to renewable energy is inevitable.

 

But Big Oil doesn’t roll-over for anyone. Especially when geological tests confirm the presence of a mother lode waiting to be tapped. After all, fifteen years is hardly tomorrow. There’s still plenty of time…and plenty of money to be made. So James’ bosses task him with the impossible: maintain the status quo by portraying the fossil fuel industry as environmentally-friendly. Horrified that the project would be a global death sentence, James refuses. But when he learns about the Institute’s top secret research division, he seeks out a solution that will cleanse the air even if the oil derricks continue to pump.

 

And according to Doctor Leo Danvers, the Institute’s top scientist, such a magic bullet exists. But nothing in life comes for free, and the “solution” has a terrible cost.

 

REMEMBER THE RHINOS is a 97,000-word satirical and darkly humorous science fiction novel written in the style of Vonnegut’s CAT’S CRADLE. 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Adrian

I'm looking for feedback on my query. Thanks in advance. http://agentquerycon...-rhinos-sci-fi/

 





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