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LAMP, sci-fi adaptation of a classic tale

Fiction Science Fiction Adventure

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#1 jds1979

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 11:33 AM

Hi everyone,

 

Feel free to rip this query to shreds. I need help, because I've had over 100 rejections of this story since 2014 with almost zero constructive feedback from a single agent (one agent told me she was hoping it was "more YA.").

 

Thank you in advance! 

 

John

 

 

 

Dear ____________

 

A scruffy but brilliant teenage boy hacks an alien security network and steals the LAMP software, sending his life into a tailspin that, after years of hiding, leads him to go against the better judgement of his closest friends and return home to save a girl. 

 

As a streetjacker, teenager Laddin has gotten used to cash payouts from the scummy market business owners that deal him easy network hacks. He works low and lies low, so, when the Earth's Sutlan learns of his talents and demands more than stolen information, Laddin finds himself on a fated quest as he travels off planet to steal the wish-fulfilling Link Access Manipulation Program. When the job drops him in the middle of a catch-22, Laddin's life is quickly reduced to run-or-die as he utilizes the help of his android, Zadè, a spaceship flight attendant named Kimber, and the General Interface Emulator (Gen.I.E.), to help him escape the Sultan and go into hiding … for years.

 

Engulfed and depressed by his new persona and lifestyle, Laddin suddenly discovers Kimber on the opulent planet where he has chosen to hide out from his past. When Kimber reveals herself as heiress to Earth's fortunes but desperate to leave her father's grasp, Laddin finds himself with a reason to return home, no matter how stupid and dangerous it would be. With the Sultan still looking for him and the LAMP, it isn't long before he, his android, and his personal valet are caught up in a storm of war and rebellion they could never have predicted.

 

LAMP is a 100,000-word speculative sci-fi novel that does for Aladdin what Cinder by Marissa Meyer does for “Cinderella”, and what Ready Player One by Ernest Cline does for MMO and VR games: it takes the story to a more accessible level for all audiences by placing it into a futuristic, technological dystopia where survival and adventure are the name of the game.

 

My name is John Sperry. in 2014 my sci-fi short story “Time is Money” was published on DailyScienceFiction.com. I have self-published a trilogy of YA urban fantasy books called Immortal Light, and I was a writer and photographer for a sports website for six years. Thank you for your time. 

 

LAMP is the first in a potential series, and I have included the first few pages in this email for your perusal.

 

Warmest regards,

 

John Sperry



#2 nattydee

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 12:42 PM

Many of the sentences are too long, with too much info packed in, making the content hard to follow. I like the Aladdin references.

 

Laddin, a scruffy but brilliant teenage boy, hacks an alien security network and steals the LAMP software. Why?  After years of hiding, Laddin's decision leads him to go against the better judgement of his closest friends and return home to save a girl. Is this girl his friend, sister, beloved? 

 

Still not sure you need the above sentence(s).  It merely summarizes what comes next. But if you revise the next paragraph well enough, that could be the lead-in.

 

As a streetjacker, teenager Laddin has gotten used to cash payouts from the scummy market business owners that deal him easy network hacks. He works low and lies low, so, when the Earth's Sutlan learns of his talents and demands more than stolen information, Laddin finds himself on a fated quest as he travels off planet to steal the wish-fulfilling Link Access Manipulation Program (LAMP). The "so" doesn't make sense...if he lies low, why would he risk himself for this big quest? When the job drops him in the middle of a catch-22 can we be a bit more specific as to the type of catch-22? Will help us understand the stakes, Laddin's life is quickly reduced to run-or-die. as he utilizes With the help of his android, Zadè, a spaceship flight attendant named Kimber, and the General Interface Emulator (Gen.I.E.), to help him Laddin escapes the Sultan and goes into hiding … for years.  Maybe this is where you briefly mention the planet he went into hiding.

 

Engulfed and depressed by his new persona and lifestyle,too many words....maybe just "Depressed by his new {adjective} lifestyle," Laddin suddenly discovers Kimber on the opulent planet where he has chosen to hide out from his past. Too much detail...and previous sentence notes the help of Kimber, so it's weird that he's now suddenly discovering her. When Kimber reveals herself as heiress to Earth's fortunes but desperate to leave her father's grasp, Laddin finds himself with a reason to return home, no matter how stupid and dangerous it would be. Again, sentence is too long with too much info packed in. Is Earth home for Laddin? How does Kimber's heiress status give Laddin a reason to return?  With the Sultan still looking for him and the LAMP, it isn't long before he Laddin and his friends, his android, and his personal valet are caught up in a storm of war and rebellion they could never have predicted.

 

Does Laddin use the LAMP while in hiding? 

 

LAMP is a 100,000-word speculative sci-fi novel that does for Aladdin what Cinder by Marissa Meyer does for “Cinderella”, and what Ready Player One by Ernest Cline does for MMO and VR games: it takes the story to a more accessible level for all audiences, by placing it into a futuristic, technological dystopia where survival and adventure are the name of the game.

 

My name is John Sperry. in 2014 my sci-fi short story “Time is Money” was published on DailyScienceFiction.com. I have self-published a trilogy of YA urban fantasy books called Immortal Light, and I was a writer and photographer for a sports website for six years. Thank you for your time. 

 

LAMP is the first in a potential series, and I have included the first few pages in this email for your perusal.



#3 smithgirl

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 01:49 PM

I feel your pain. Agents almost always reject queries with no personalized feedback. On the one hand I understand they get hundreds of queries a week. On the other hand, it's frustrating when you're trying to tease out the reason(s) for the rejection and you have nothing to go on.

 

 

 

A scruffy but brilliant teenage boy hacks an alien security network and steals the LAMP software, sending his life into a tailspin that, after years of hiding, leads him to go against the better judgement of his closest friends and return home to save a girl

 

Your hook is long, wordy, and vague. Really, I felt a bit lost toward the end. I would try to tighten it and make it snappier. My (not fantastic) example below.

 

When a teenage boy hacks an alien security network, his life spins out of control, leading him down a dangerous path of love and betrayal.

 

As a streetjacker, teenager Laddin has gotten avoid passive is used to cash payouts from the scummy market business owners who that deal him easy network hacks. But He works low and lies low, so, when the Earth's Sultan learns of his talents and demands more than stolen information, Laddin is launched finds himself on a fated How is it fated? quest as he travels off-planet to steal the wish-fulfilling LAMP software. Link Access Manipulation Program. Soon When the job drops him in the middle of a catch-22, Laddin's life is quickly reduced to run-or-die as he utilizes the help of his android, Zadè, help of a spaceship flight attendant named Kimber and the General Interface Emulator (Gen.I.E.), to help him escape the Sultan and go into hiding … for years. What is the catch-22? Why does he have to run? 

 

Engulfed and depressed by his new persona and lifestyle, What new persona and lifestyle? Laddin suddenly discovers Kimber on the opulent planet where he has chosen to hide out from his past. but I thought Kimber went into hiding with him? When Kimber reveals herself as heiress to Earth's fortunes but desperate to leave her father's grasp, Laddin finds himself with a reason to return home, no matter how stupid and dangerous it would be. This is becoming very confusing. With the Sultan still looking for him and the LAMP, it isn't long before he, he's his android, and his personal valet are caught up in a storm of war and rebellion they could never have predicted. How are they caught up? What are the stakes? This is too vague.

 

LAMP is a 100,000-word speculative sci-fi novel that does for Aladdin what Cinder by Marissa Meyer does for “Cinderella”, and what Ready Player One by Ernest Cline does for MMO and VR games. What are MMO and VR games? Virtual reality? It doesn't seem reasonable to compare you book to a game.

 

it takes the story to a more accessible level for all audiences by placing it into a futuristic, technological dystopia where survival and adventure are the name of the game.

 

In 2014 my sci-fi short story “Time is Money” was published on DailyScienceFiction.com. I have self-published a trilogy of YA urban fantasy books called Immortal Light, and I was a writer and photographer for a sports website for six years. Thank you for your time. 

 

LAMP is the first in a potential series, and I have included the first few pages in this email for your perusal.

 

So I think your query is wordy and the story becomes tangled and unclear. You have too many names and characters and abbreviations and long sentences. I started feeling bogged down right at the start. You need to go back and tighten your query, and also address issues that are unclear. You also need to clarify you stakes. And where is the friend he betrayed? I don't see that person at all. If he's not essential, then cut the friend reference from your query.

 

I think you can make this much tighter and more coherent. Good luck!



#4 jds1979

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 05:35 PM

Thank you nattydee and smithgirl for your help and comments and suggestions! 



#5 Preston Copeland.Biz

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 08:12 PM

Hi everyone,

 

Feel free to rip this query to shreds. I need help, because I've had over 100 rejections of this story since 2014 with almost zero constructive feedback from a single agent (one agent told me she was hoping it was "more YA.").

 

Thank you in advance! 

 

John

 

 

 

Dear ____________

 

A scruffy but brilliant teenage boy hacks an alien security network and steals the LAMP software, sending his life into a tailspin that, after years of hiding, leads him to go against the better judgement of his closest friends and return home to save a girl. 

 

As a streetjacker, teenager Laddin has gotten used to cash payouts from the scummy market business owners that deal him easy network hacks. He works low and lies low, so, when the Earth's Sutlan ​what's the earth's sultan? learns of his talents and demands more than stolen information, Laddin finds himself on a fated quest as he travels off planet to steal the wish-fulfilling Link Access Manipulation ​what is the significance of this program? Program. When the job drops him in the middle of a ​what's the catch-22? catch-22, Laddin's life is quickly reduced to run-or-die as he utilizes the help of his android, Zadè, a spaceship flight attendant named Kimber, and the General Interface Emulator (Gen.I.E.), to help him escape the Sultan and go into hiding … for years. ​I think so far your query's pretty good, but I feel we're missing out on who this brilliant boy really is, and who is this girl? If everything is to save a girl. Tell us who she is and what she means to him. Hopefully that helps.

 

Engulfed and depressed by his new persona and lifestyle, Laddin suddenly discovers ​who's Kimber? tell us here or it doesn't make sense to reader Kimber on the opulent planet where he has chosen to hide out from his past. When Kimber reveals herself as heiress to Earth's fortunes but desperate to leave her father's grasp, Laddin finds himself with a reason to return home, no matter how stupid and dangerous it would be. With the Sultan still looking for him and the LAMP, it isn't long before he, his android, and his personal valet are caught up in a storm of war and rebellion they could never have predicted. ​Think simplicity for a query. One clear idea. To help, leave out the android and valet. Focus on plot and his motivations. I.E. his girl, saving things.

 

Please reciprocate at http://agentquerycon...-book/?p=349136

 

 

​Hope this helped

 

LAMP is a 100,000-word speculative sci-fi novel that does for Aladdin what Cinder by Marissa Meyer does for “Cinderella”, and what Ready Player One by Ernest Cline does for MMO and VR games: it takes the story to a more accessible level for all audiences by placing it into a futuristic, technological dystopia where survival and adventure are the name of the game.

 

My name is John Sperry. in 2014 my sci-fi short story “Time is Money” was published on DailyScienceFiction.com. I have self-published a trilogy of YA urban fantasy books called Immortal Light, and I was a writer and photographer for a sports website for six years. Thank you for your time. 

 

LAMP is the first in a potential series, and I have included the first few pages in this email for your perusal.

 

Warmest regards,

 

John Sperry


Preston Copeland

Website: prestoncopeland.biz

Twitter: @pcopeland2345

Email: pcopeland2345@gmail.com






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