Here is my draft query letter to an agent. Please feel free to throw stones.
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I am seeking representation for my second novel, Mind Bubbles, a 70,000-word sci-fi dark comedy. It is a tale told by a sentient, opinionated quantum computer, about the perils of modifying human behavior using genetic engineering.
I enclose the first five pages, per your submission guidelines.
What if the culture war between men and women could be won (or lost) through genetic engineering? Canduka Cantor, brilliant charlatan, meets Berky Benson, half-mad geneticist, and they decide to change the world to their liking.
Cantor, a would-be 21st-century prophet, thinks women should be content to live their lives as pets, and men should be free to roam. His partner, Berky Benson, decides to apply a technology called Mind Bubbles to realize that dream. It requires re-engineering the genome using human templates for the desired behaviors—subservience, dependence, and a willingness to suspend judgment.
Cantor and Benson find two DNA patterns for their “perfect woman.” One is Nadia Holkam, an agoraphobic ex-school teacher from a small town in Appalachia. The other is a dead Bangladeshi who embraced the traditional role of Muslim women in society. When the school teacher and her twin sister discover the Cantor-Benson plot, they decide to teach one last lesson, with help from the dead woman’s son.
Protagonist - Nadia Holkam is a retired high school science teacher living in Assurance, NC—an Appalachian ghost town. Nadia is the town’s only resident and is obsessed with preserving the history and artifacts of Assurance. She is agoraphobic. Her house is her prison. As a result, she has become very dependent on a single person. A former student, Berky Benson, who lives outside the town, provides her basic needs. Nadia has a very logical approach to most problems—except for her agoraphobia—but can spin her mind into fantasy and daydreams. She has a quirky sense of humor. She is subservient, dependent, and unable to judge other people’s motives. The twin traumas—death of her father, and death of the town—caused Nadia’s mind to snap. She lacks the self-confidence to live in the objective world and is unable to face the future.
Antagonist - Berky Benson is CEO of Xanadu NeuroLab. Berky is obsessed with making a perfect world and will let nothing get in the way. He is a badly-dressed, nose-picking, balding man who radiates both forcefulness and confusion. He likes to wear disguises and is superstitious about luck. Berky is the grown-up boy Nadia Holkam taught in high school. Oddly, for someone obsessed with making a perfect world, Berky is oblivious to human relationships. He is incredibly smart in matters of science and engineering. He is dominant, self-sufficient, and suspicious of others. He believes he will define the future of humanity.
- Assurance, NC (an Appalachian ghost town)
- New Orleans, LA
- Savannah, GA
- Chicago, IL
- New York City, NY
- Fans of Douglas Adams (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy), and Kurt Vonnegut (Cat’s Cradle)
- Sci-Fi/Fantasy fans interested in genetics and psychology
- A chapter in Tactical C3 for the Ground Forces (AFCEA International Press)
- A feature magazine article, Programming Perestroika (ComputerWorld)
- Analytical reports sponsored by government and commercial companies
- A first novel, The Ganymede Project (sci-fi)
- The Ganymede Project, adapted from the novel (optioned by Woofenill Works, NY)
- SCRAM, a story about a nuclear reactor meltdown outside New York City (optioned by Woofenill Works)
- Writing contributions to ten other screenplays