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THE CODEX OF DESIRE Synopsis (Science Fiction) New Shorter Version!


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#1 Laurie E. Smith

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:15 AM

New version, edited according to feedback, at Post #7. :)

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New, much leaner version at Post #5.

 

495 WORDS

 

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OLD VERSION

 

754 words. I also have a 700 word version, if anybody would like to see it. :)

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Professor Raoul Deguchi has a problem which could destroy his career as a palaeontologist: he has uncovered a piece of metal-working technology on a feathered theropod dinosaur fossil over 67 million years old, an armband inscribed with tiny characters similar to Sumerian cuneiform. A colleague called in for a second opinion accuses him of fraud, but his anger is forgotten when he accidentally touches the armband and is suddenly pulled into telepathic communion with the device, overwhelmed with memories from the body and mind of a creature long extinct…

Love and violence, war and lust, secrets and betrayals — even intelligent dinosaurs fell victim to such savage impulses, more than 67 million years ago.

For over two centuries the primordial Tribes of the Inspiration and the alien-enhanced Culture of the Word have been locked in relentless conflict. Now the Tribes are threatened with destruction when Girn'ash, a shrewd and secretive slave girl of the Tribes, falls in love with the dashing Culture fighter Tir'at~Esk (the wearer of the armband), a military prisoner of her people — and she will do anything in her meagre power to set him free.

But there is little hope that he can escape his captor, the Most Potent Chieftesss Ev'ora, who intends to coerce the handsome young warrior into her harem. Unless his fresh seed stimulates her failing fertility, Ev'ora will be cast down from her position as leader of all the Tribes and summarily executed. The stakes couldn't be higher, and she will crush anyone who stands in her way.

Tir'at~Esk, who loathes the Chieftess and longs for freedom, nevertheless ignores Girn'ash's pleas to escape without his new lover, the beautiful Tribal poetess La'leet. When Ev'ora learns that he has impregnated her rival, Tir'at is in danger of being murdered — or far worse, telepathically broken and turned into a mere mindless toy for Ev'ora's pleasure.

In despair, Girn'ash flees to Tirat's homeland and begs his Shogun to send an army to save Tir'at from Ev'ora's cruel designs. The little slave girl can't begin to imagine the consequences of her actions, or that the Shogun's intentions in finding his lost soldier are anything but benevolent.

When Girn'ash guides the Shogun through the battle-wracked settlement to Tir'at's prison, the Shogun announces that he will execute Tir'at himself for genetic crimes against the Culture of the Word. Nobody expects Girn'ash to leap upon the Shogun, wounding him badly but being mortally wounded herself in the process. In a telepathic Touch through his armband, Tir'at realizes how deeply Girn'ash loved him… but his overriding concern is to find La'leet and escape before the Shogun's death triggers a nuclear grenade hidden somewhere in the Tribal settlement.

He locates La'leet but is captured by Ev'ora's guards, and can only watch helplessly as Ev'ora advances upon the poetess to murder her for her sexual dalliance with the male Ev'ora had marked for her own — until a Culture missile, exploding the roof overhead, sends the Tribal fighters scattering in panic. Tir'at and Ev'ora face each other one final time; Ev'ora invites Tir'at to join her in escaping the settlement, but Tir'at scornfully throws the offer back in her face. Another piece of the ceiling crashes down between them — and after roaring a final curse Ev'ora makes her escape, leaving Tir'at to get La'leet out of the settlement as best he can.

Girn'ash's uncle appears to guide them across the settlement to the branches of a tall tree, leading to a cliff beyond the settlement's walls where they can leap/fall/fly to freedom. No sooner have they done so than the nuclear grenade detonates, bathing the entire area in deadly radiation — and dooming them both to a lingering death.

Together Tir'at and La'leet manage to make their way to the desert beyond the mountains, where they lie down to die in the shadow of a dune. A sandstorm is coming as Tir'at closes his eyes for the final time…

… and Deguchi returns with a shock to his human body, released from the telepathic grip of the alien armband. Looking down into the face of his colleague, he realizes that the Codex has infected him just as it infected the dinosaurs of the Culture of the Word — and that he now knows where to find the Source-Forge which was the basis of their tremendous power on Earth.

Tenderly he kisses his colleague's forehead, infecting her in turn — and scribing the first word on the first page of a new chapter in human history.



#2 Arait

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:42 AM

In the first paragraph it sounds like the colleague is the one who touches the armband. I mistakenly believed that all the way to the end.

You have far too many names. There should only be three characters named in a synopsis. You might have to just call La'leet "the poetess." You should also CAPITALIZE a name the first time it is mentioned. That's what the agents want.

I think it might also be very helpful to explain what the Culture of the Word and Tribes of Inspiration are. Are all of the characters dinosaurs?

I'm also confused by the term Shogun. That is a very specific historical title that only existed for a brief time in only Japan. I don't understand what it has to do with Summerian dinosaurs.

#3 MICRONESIA

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 10:44 AM

The first half of this is almost word-for-word with your last query I looked at.

 

You don't want to do this!

 

Most agents: a) don't want to read the same thing twice and b) will probably assume (unfairly) that you're lazy.


A Darkness in Spring (query | synopsis)


#4 Laurie E. Smith

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 01:51 PM

Thanks for the crits, folks. :) Does this expanded version read better? I worked it over to lessen the references to the query letter text.

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893 WORDS

Professor Raoul Deguchi has a problem which could destroy his career as a palaeontologist: he has uncovered a piece of metalworking technology on a feathered theropod dinosaur fossil over 67 million years old, an armband inscribed with tiny characters similar to Sumerian cuneiform. A colleague called in for a second opinion accuses him of fraud, but Deguchi's outrage is forgotten when he accidentally touches the armband and is suddenly pulled into telepathic communion with the alien device, overwhelmed with memories from the body and mind of a creature long extinct…

For over two centuries the primordial Tribes of the Inspiration and the genetically enhanced Culture of the Word have been locked in relentless saurian conflict, both ideological and military. Now the more ancient civilization is threatened with destruction when Girn'ash, a shrewd and secretive female slave of the Tribes, falls in love with the dashing Culture warrior Tir'at (the wearer of the armband), a prisoner of her people — and she will do whatever is necessary to set him free.

But there is little hope that he can escape his captor, the Most Potent Chieftesss Ev'ora, who intends to lure the handsome young soldier into her harem. She needs his fresh seed to stimulate her failing fertility: if she does not produce eggs, and soon, she will be overthrown as leader of the Tribes and brutally executed. She stands to lose her empire and her legacy both, and will do anything to maintain her grasp on power.

Tir'at, who loathes the Chieftess, finds himself cast from the heights of icy distain to the depths of passionate ruin when he sets eyes on La'leet, a mysterious Tribal poetess who enthrals him utterly. He is desperate to mate with her, to claim her entirely for his own… and Girn'ash, out of love for him, contrives a plan to give him what he so dearly desires. With the help of her uncle, the Chief Cook of the settlement, she slips Tir'at's guards a powerful potion of mandragora-infused wine; then, when they are soundly asleep, she guides Tir'at to a lonely garden where he is able to meet, and mate, with La'leet. Girn'ash's greatest fear is that La'leet has been kindled with eggs — but Tir'at, though he longs for freedom, ignores Girn'ash's pleas to escape without his new lover.

The day that Girn'ash most fears comes to pass. When Ev'ora learns that Tir'at has impregnated La'leet and pledged himself to her alone, Tir'at is in danger of being murdered — or far worse, telepathically broken and turned into a mere mindless toy for Ev'ora's pleasure.

Girn'ash risks everything to flee to Tirat's homeland, and does not hesitate to betray her people: she begs the General of the Culture of the Word to send an army to save Tir'at from Ev'ora's cruel designs, and offers to lead him directly to the village of the Tribes. The General accepts her offer and informs her that he will destroy the Tribal settlement, but does not tell her his true intentions regarding Tir'at, whom Girn'ash believes he intends to rescue.

When Girn'ash guides the General through the battle-wracked settlement to Tir'at's prison, the General announces that he will execute Tir'at himself for genetic crimes against the Culture of the Word. Nobody expects Girn'ash to attack the General, wounding him badly but being mortally wounded herself in the process. In a telepathic Touch through his armband, Tir'at realizes how deeply Girn'ash loved him… but his overriding concern is to find La'leet and escape before the General's death triggers a nuclear grenade hidden somewhere in the Tribal settlement.

He locates La'leet but is captured by Ev'ora's guards, and can only watch helplessly as Ev'ora advances upon the poetess to murder her for her sexual dalliance with the male Ev'ora had marked for her own — until a Culture missile, exploding the roof overhead, sends the Tribal fighters scattering in panic. Tir'at and Ev'ora face each other one final time; Ev'ora invites Tir'at to join her in escaping the settlement, but Tir'at scornfully refuses. Another piece of the ceiling crashes down between them — and after roaring a final curse Ev'ora makes her escape, leaving Tir'at to get La'leet out of the settlement as best he can.

Girn'ash's uncle appears to guide them into the branches of a tall tree, which leads to a cliff beyond the settlement's walls where they can leap to freedom. No sooner have they done so than the nuclear grenade detonates, bathing the entire area in deadly radiation and dooming them both to a lingering death.

Together Tir'at and La'leet manage to make their way to the desert beyond the mountains, where they lie down to die in the shadow of a dune. A sandstorm is coming as Tir'at closes his eyes for the final time…

… and Deguchi returns with a shock to his human body, released from the telepathic grip of the alien armband. Looking down into the face of his colleague, he realizes that the extraterrestrial Codex has infected him just as it infected the dinosaurs of the Culture of the Word — and that he now knows where to find the Source-Forge which was the basis of their tremendous power on Earth.

Tenderly he kisses his colleague's forehead, infecting her in turn — and scribing the first word on the first page of a new chapter in human history.



#5 Laurie E. Smith

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 08:58 AM

New, much leaner version.

 

495 WORDS

PROFESSOR RAOUL DEGUCHI has a problem which could destroy his career as a palaeontologist: he has uncovered a piece of advanced metalwork on the arm of a feathered theropod dinosaur fossil over 67 million years old. When he accidentally touches the armband he is pulled into telepathic communion with the alien device — and into a long-extinct dinosaur's memories.

For two centuries the primitive Tribes and the genetically enhanced Culture have been at war. Now GIRN'ASH, lowest female slave of the Tribes, in torn between two loyalties when she falls in love with the Culture warrior TIR'AT, a prisoner of her people. She will do anything to set him free. Meanwhile THE MOST POTENT CHIEFTESS EV'ORA intends to lure the handsome young soldier into her harem: she needs his fresh seed to stimulate her failing fertility, or she will be be overthrown as leader of the Tribes and brutally executed.

Tir'at, who loathes the Chieftess, is enthralled by LA'LEET, a mysterious Tribal poetess. Out of love, Girn'ash arranges for the two to meet and to mate. With the help of her uncle she drugs Tir'at's guards, then guides Tir'at to a garden where La'leet awaits. Girn'ash's greatest fear is that La'leet will be kindled with eggs — but Tir'at will not escape without his new lover. When Ev'ora learns that Tir'at has impregnated La'leet, her rage is murderous. Girn'ash risks everything to flee to Tirat's homeland, begging THE SHOGUN OF THE CULTURE to send an army to rescue Tir'at. The Shogun accepts her offer but does not tell her that he intends to execute Tir'at, not save him.

When they find Tir'at and Girn'ash realizes the Shogun's intentions, she attacks the Shogun and nearly kills him. Mortally wounded herself, she tells Tir'at how deeply she loved him… but he must locate La'leet and escape before the General's death triggers a nuclear grenade hidden in the settlement. He reaches La'leet — and also finds Ev'ora. With the settlement burning around them, Ev'ora invites Tir'at to escape with her, but he scornfully refuses. Ev'ora flees, leaving Tir'at to get his lover away as best he can. Girn'ash's uncle appears to guide them out of the village. No sooner have they escaped than the grenade detonates, bathing the area in radiation and dooming them to a lingering death. Tir'at and La'leet manage to reach the desert beyond the mountains, where they lie down to die together. A sandstorm is coming as Tir'at closes his eyes for the final time…

… and Deguchi returns with a shock to his human body. Looking down into the face of a colleague, he realizes that the extraterrestrial Codex has infected him just as it infected the dinosaurs of the Culture — and that he knows where to find the Source-Forge which was the basis for their tremendous power on Earth. He kisses his colleague's forehead, infecting her in turn — and scribing the first word on the first page of a new chapter in human history.



#6 PureZhar3

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 01:21 PM

New, much leaner version.

 

495 WORDS

PROFESSOR RAOUL DEGUCHI has a problem which could destroy his career as a palaeontologist: he has uncovered a piece of advanced metalwork on the arm of a feathered theropod dinosaur fossil over 67 million years old. When he accidentally touches the armband he is pulled into telepathic communion with the alien device — and into a long-extinct dinosaur's memories.

For two centuries the primitive Tribes and the genetically enhanced Culture have been at war. Now GIRN'ASH, ​the lowest female slave of the Tribes, in​ is? torn between two loyalties when she falls in love with the Culture warrior TIR'AT, a prisoner of her people. She will do anything to set him free. Meanwhile THE MOST POTENT CHIEFTESS EV'ORA intends to lure the handsome young soldier into her harem: she needs his fresh seed to stimulate her failing fertility, or she will be be overthrown as leader of the Tribes and brutally executed.

Tir'at, who loathes the Chieftess, is enthralled by LA'LEET, a mysterious Tribal poetess. Out of love, Girn'ash arranges for the two to meet and to mate. With the help of her uncle​comma she drugs Tir'at's guards, then guides Tir'at to a garden where La'leet awaits. Girn'ash's greatest fear is that La'leet will be kindled with eggs — but Tir'at will not escape without his new lover. When Ev'ora learns that Tir'at has impregnated La'leet, her rage is murderous. Girn'ash risks everything to flee to Tirat's homeland, begging THE SHOGUN OF THE CULTURE to send an army to rescue Tir'at. The Shogun accepts her offer but does not tell her that he intends to execute Tir'at, not save him.

When they find Tir'at and Girn'ash realizes the Shogun's intentions, she attacks the Shogun and nearly kills him. Mortally wounded herself, she tells Tir'at how deeply she loved him… but he must locate La'leet ​I'm not seeing this transition. Why MUST he? does he realize that he loves Girn'ash? does he decide to abandon her? tell me how he reacts to her confession, not just what he does next and escape before the General's death triggers a nuclear grenade hidden in the settlement ​I'm not even going to ask how that got planted or how the general programmed it to be set off by his death or how they know it exists. He reaches La'leet — and also finds Ev'ora. With the settlement burning around them, Ev'ora invites Tir'at to escape with her, but he scornfully refuses. Ev'ora flees, leaving Tir'at to get his lover away as best he can. Girn'ash's uncle appears to guide them out of the village. No sooner have they escaped than the grenade detonates, bathing the area in radiation and dooming them to a lingering death. Tir'at and La'leet manage to reach the desert beyond the mountains, where they lie down to die together. A sandstorm is coming as Tir'at closes his eyes for the final time…

… and Deguchi returns with a shock to his human body. Looking down into the face of a colleague, he realizes that the extraterrestrial Codex has infected him just as it infected the dinosaurs of the Culture — and that he knows where to find the Source-Forge which was the basis for their tremendous power on Earth. He kisses his colleague's forehead, infecting her in turn — and scribing the first word on the first page of a new chapter in human history. ​I've got a major problem with this last paragraph. First, you never told us what the Codex was (the armband??) where did the colleague come from? Why exactly is he looking down into the face of the colleague? What is this source-forge? And do you just mean "history"? Because the Codex thing seems to be concerned with history regardless of species.

I started to have more and more questions near the end, but otherwise this is great and succinct. A few minor word errors as well (you wrote "in" for example, when you meant "is")


If you have time, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at my query: http://agentquerycon...-realismsci-fi/


#7 Laurie E. Smith

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 07:39 AM

Thanks so much, PureZhar3! Those are very helpful comments! :) I've re-crafted the synopsis to address them, and corrected the "in/is" spelling error. Does this one read better?

************************

562 WORDS

PALAEONTOLOGIST RAOUL DEGUCHI has a problem: he has uncovered a piece of impossibly advanced metalwork on the arm of a feathered theropod dinosaur fossil over 67 million years old. Accusations of fraud could ruin his career, but when he accidentally touches the armband he is pulled into telepathic communion with the alien device — and into a long-extinct dinosaur's memories.

Ever since the Codex arrived from the stars two centuries ago and infected a small sub-set of the local dinosaur population, the ancient primitive Tribes and the technologically-enhanced Culture have been at war, matriarchy against patriarchy. Now GIRN'ASH, the lowest female slave of the Tribes, is torn between two loyalties when she falls in love with the Culture warrior TIR'AT, a prisoner of her people. She will do anything to set him free. Meanwhile THE MOST POTENT CHIEFTESS EV'ORA intends to lure the handsome young soldier into her harem: she needs his fresh seed to stimulate her failing fertility, or she will be be overthrown as leader of the Tribes and brutally executed.

Tir'at, who loathes the Chieftess, is enthralled by LA'LEET, a mysterious Tribal poetess. Out of love, Girn'ash arranges for the two to meet and to mate. With the help of her uncle, she drugs Tir'at's guards, then guides Tir'at to a garden where La'leet awaits. Girn'ash's greatest fear is that La'leet will be kindled with eggs — but Tir'at refuses to escape without his new lover. When Ev'ora learns that Tir'at has impregnated La'leet, her rage is murderous. Girn'ash risks everything to run to Tirat's homeland, begging THE SHOGUN OF THE CULTURE to send an army to rescue Tir'at. The Shogun accepts her offer but does not tell her that he intends to execute Tir'at for genetic crimes, not save him. Further, he will destroy the entire Tribal settlement with a nuclear grenade provided by the matter-warping Source-Forge of the Codex.

When they find Tir'at in the village and Girn'ash realizes the Shogun's intentions, she attacks the Shogun and nearly kills him. Mortally wounded herself, she tells Tir'at how deeply she loved him… but his gratitude is brief. It is La'leet he loves: he must locate her and escape before the Shogun's death triggers a nuclear grenade hidden in the settlement. He reaches La'leet — and also finds Ev'ora. With the settlement burning around them, Ev'ora invites Tir'at to escape with her, but he scornfully refuses. Ev'ora flees, leaving Tir'at to get his lover away as best he can. Girn'ash's uncle appears to guide them out of the village. No sooner have they escaped than the grenade detonates, bathing the area in radiation and dooming them to a lingering death. Tir'at and La'leet manage to reach the desert beyond the mountains, where they lie down to die together. A sandstorm is coming as Tir'at closes his eyes for the final time…

… and Deguchi returns with a shock to his human body. Looking down into the face of the colleague who accused him of fraud, he realizes that the extraterrestrial Codex has infected him just as it infected the dinosaurs of the Culture — and that he knows where to find the Source-Forge which was the basis for their tremendous power on Earth. He kisses his colleague's forehead, infecting her in turn — and scribing the first word on the first page of a new chapter in human history.



#8 DisgruntledWriter

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 06:38 PM

Thanks so much, PureZhar3! Those are very helpful comments! :) I've re-crafted the synopsis to address them, and corrected the "in/is" spelling error. Does this one read better?

************************

562 WORDS

PALAEONTOLOGIST (Does palaeontologist need to be capitalized?) RAOUL DEGUCHI has a problem: he has uncovered a piece of impossibly advanced metalwork on the arm of a feathered theropod dinosaur fossil over 67 million years old.  Accusations of fraud could ruin his career why would there be accusations of fraud? I think this needs to be made clearer, but when he accidentally touches the armband he is pulled into telepathic communion with the alien device — and into a long-extinct dinosaur's memories. After reading the whole synopsis, I'd like to know which dino's memories he's looking through.  I'm guessing Tir'at.  Is the story told through his eyes?)

Ever since the Codex (I'm guessing that's the name of the arm-band, maybe just clarify it here) arrived from the stars two centuries ago and infected a small sub-set of the local dinosaur population, the ancient primitive Tribes and the technologically-enhanced Culture (so, did the Codex infect both the primitive Tribes and the Culture? or just the Culture?) have been at war, matriarchy against patriarchy. Now GIRN'ASH, the lowest female slave of the Tribes, is torn between two loyalties when she falls in love with the Culture warrior TIR'AT, a prisoner of her people. She will do anything to set him free. Meanwhile THE MOST POTENT CHIEFTESS EV'ORA intends to lure the handsome young soldier into her harem: she needs his fresh seed to stimulate her failing fertility, or she will be be overthrown as leader of the Tribes and brutally executed.

Tir'at, who loathes the Chieftess, is enthralled by LA'LEET, a mysterious Tribal poetess. Out of love, Girn'ash arranges for the two to meet and to mate. Just out of love? If I was a dino in love with another dino, I certainly wouldn't be helping him mate with someone else.  Have Girn'ash and Tir'at ever talked and formed a connection? Or does she love him from afar? With the help of her uncle, she drugs Tir'at's guards, then guides Tir'at to a garden where La'leet awaits. Girn'ash's greatest fear is that La'leet will be kindled with eggs — but Tir'at refuses to escape without his new lover. I don't know what these two sentences have to do with one another. When Ev'ora learns that Tir'at has impregnated La'leet, her rage is murderous. Girn'ash risks everything to run to Tirat's homeland, begging THE SHOGUN OF THE CULTURE to send an army to rescue Tir'at. The Shogun accepts her offer but does not tell her that he intends to execute Tir'at for genetic crimes (so, the Tribes and Culture can't mate with one another I'm guessing? I'd like to hear more about why these two are at war and why they hate each other so much) not save him. Further, he will destroy the entire Tribal settlement with a nuclear grenade provided by the matter-warping Source-Forge of the Codex. The what now?!

When they find Tir'at in the village and Girn'ash realizes the Shogun's intentions, she attacks the Shogun and nearly kills him. Mortally wounded herself, she tells Tir'at how deeply she loved him… but his gratitude is brief. It is La'leet he loves: he must locate her and escape before the Shogun's death triggers a nuclear grenade hidden in the settlement. He reaches La'leet — and also finds Ev'ora. With the settlement burning around them, Ev'ora invites Tir'at to escape with her, but he scornfully refuses. Ev'ora flees, leaving Tir'at to get his lover away as best he can. Girn'ash's uncle appears to guide them out of the village. No sooner have they escaped than the grenade detonates, bathing the area in radiation and dooming them to a lingering death. Tir'at and La'leet manage to reach the desert beyond the mountains, where they lie down to die together. A sandstorm is coming as Tir'at closes his eyes for the final time…

… and Deguchi returns with a shock to his human body. Looking down into the face of the colleague who accused him of fraud, he realizes that the extraterrestrial Codex has infected him just as it infected the dinosaurs of the Culture — and that he knows where to find the Source-Forge which was the basis for their tremendous power on Earth. I still have no idea what the Source-Forge is or what it does. He kisses his colleague's forehead, infecting her in turn — and scribing the first word on the first page of a new chapter in human history.

 

Basically, I'm very confused about the Source-Forge, and what it means when a human is infected by the Codex.  Apart from that, I understood the rest of the plot.  Like I said earlier, I would like to know a few more details about why these two are at war.  I also don't get a very "lovey" vibe from Girn'ash and Tir'at, like why she loves him so much, why she's helping him mate with someone else, why she dies for him.  So I guess I'm saying, you did great getting the plot laid down, now it needs some emotional resonance, because I didn't get much of that.

Also, is the main character Girn'ash or Tir'at? At the beginning, I thought it was Girn'ash, but then it seemed more like Tir'at was. (Also, I'm sorry if I spelt anyone's name wrong while editing this  :tongue: )



#9 TeaTime

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:39 PM

PALAEONTOLOGIST RAOUL DEGUCHI has a problem: he has uncovered a piece of impossibly advanced metalwork on the arm of a feathered theropod dinosaur fossil over 67 million years old. Accusations of fraud could ruin his career (I get why this looks suspicious/fraud-ish), but when he accidentally touches the armband he is pulled into telepathic communion with the alien device — and into a long-extinct dinosaur's memories.

Ever since the Codex (Yeah, probably make it clear that this is the armband) arrived from the stars two centuries ago and infected (Infected as in made smarter?) a small sub-set of the local dinosaur population, the ancient primitive Tribes and the technologically-enhanced Culture have been at war, matriarchy against patriarchy (But these are two types/tribes of dinosaurs? What type?). Now GIRN'ASH, the lowest female slave of the Tribes, is torn between two loyalties when she falls in love with the Culture warrior TIR'AT, a prisoner of her people. She will do anything to set him free. Meanwhile THE MOST POTENT CHIEFTESS EV'ORA (Of these three characters, whose memories is the Dr./narration being seen through?) intends to lure the handsome young soldier into her harem: she needs his fresh seed to stimulate her failing fertility, or she will be be overthrown as leader of the Tribes and brutally executed.

Tir'at, who loathes the Chieftess, is enthralled by LA'LEET, a mysterious Tribal poetess (Oh man, dinosaur love quadrangle. It's ... really hard to keep all of these characters sorted out, especially with the exotic names. I don't know if there would be any way to just keep it to three of these characters? Though it doesn't sound like the story synopsis will work that way). Out of love, Girn'ash arranges for the two to meet and to mate (How come?). With the help of her uncle, she drugs Tir'at's guards, then guides Tir'at to a garden where La'leet awaits. Girn'ash's greatest fear is that La'leet will be kindled with eggs — but Tir'at refuses to escape without his new lover. When Ev'ora learns that Tir'at has impregnated La'leet, her rage is murderous. Girn'ash risks everything to run to Tirat's homeland, begging THE SHOGUN OF THE CULTURE to send an army to rescue Tir'at. The Shogun accepts her offer but does not tell her that he intends to execute Tir'at for genetic crimes (genetic crimes?), not save him. Further, he will destroy the entire Tribal settlement with a nuclear grenade (I suppose it's a "grenade" because it's hand-size? But if it's a big bomb, grenade doesn't seem to be the appropriate word for it, probably just bomb) provided by the matter-warping Source-Forge of the Codex. (I think DisgruntledWriter addressed this pretty well)

When they find Tir'at in the village and Girn'ash realizes the Shogun's intentions, she attacks the Shogun and nearly kills him. Mortally wounded herself, she tells Tir'at how deeply she loved him… but his gratitude is brief (D'oh, poor Girn'ash. So she's just kind of the Leah of this story?). It is La'leet he loves: he must locate her and escape before the Shogun's death triggers a nuclear grenade hidden in the settlement. He reaches La'leet — and also finds Ev'ora. With the settlement burning around them, Ev'ora invites Tir'at to escape with her, but he scornfully refuses. Ev'ora flees (Does she have a safer way of fleeing than what Tir'at ends up doing?), leaving Tir'at to get his lover away as best he can. Girn'ash's uncle appears to guide them out of the village. No sooner have they escaped than the grenade detonates, bathing the area in radiation and dooming them to a lingering death. Tir'at and La'leet manage to reach the desert beyond the mountains, where they lie down to die together. A sandstorm is coming as Tir'at closes his eyes for the final time…

… and Deguchi returns with a shock to his human body. Looking down into the face of the colleague who accused him of fraud(I think you cut this guy out in this draft) he realizes that the extraterrestrial Codex has infected him just as it infected the dinosaurs of the Culture — and that he knows where to find the Source-Forge which was the basis for their tremendous power on Earth. He kisses his colleague's forehead, infecting her in turn (Oh, it's a girl. Are they close, or is this just to infect her?) — and scribing the first word on the first page of a new chapter in human history.

 

The biggest problem with this as a reader is just all of the foreign names that are so intertwined. It took me a couple of slower reads to really get a grasp on what all was going on. Not sure how to fix that if the story has all of these four characters with pretty important parts though.

 

The second nagging thing for me is that--the memory characters are all dinosaurs, right? Like--without opposable thumbs? Or are they mutated to be more human-like? Because it's pretty hard to imagine them doing all of this stuff (poisoning, grenading) as the kind of dinosaurs I know of. Maybe just give a smidge more about what these dinosaurs are like (& especially how they're different from normal dinosaurs) right away.

 

Otherwise, pretty interesting plot. Poor Girn'ash, no breaks for her  :sad: 


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