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Adult Sci-fi/Cyberpunk


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#1 Jhall

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 08:22 AM

Hey guys,

 

So I've been writing a new sci-fi novel and have been told by an industry professional friend of mine that the title PSYCHOS probably won't sell. Been brainstorming different titles as a result, could use some feedback. First, here's a logline: A cyborg supermodel infiltrates the galactic mafia to exact revenge on the CEO mob boss who murdered his entire family.

 

It's cyberpunk meets the mafia. Fun times. Anyway, here are a few of the titles I had in mind:

 

- Arkfall (named after the setting. Humankind lives on gigantic spare-faring vessels called Solar Arks)

- Psychostar (Psycho is a theme with the title because of the "magic" system. It's drug-induced psychokinetic abilities from a drug called Psych. People capable of these powers are called Psychos)

- Solar Storm

 

Also open to suggestions!



#2 Monsmord

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 11:43 AM

Hey, Jhall!

 

First - sounds like a wild ride.

 

Did the industry pro explain the rationale for rejecting your title?  My not-industry-professional gut tells me that Psychos and Psychostar suffer from the same problems:

 

(A)  Those with mental health issues, and those closest to them, may find it offensive.  Modern use of the term "psycho" is heavily stigmatized, thought demeaning by many, and there's no point in turning away potential readers with the title.  I don't know if I'd go as far as re-writing your book to not use the term, but you may want to approach a couple "sensitivity readers" to determine whether it's a good idea, because again, there's no point in turning off readers by a simple word choice.  Unless you're cool with that possibility, in which case hey, go for it;

 

(B)  Because of that stigma, and because of Hitchcock bringing Robert Bloch's "slasher" novel to the mainstream zeitgeist, many potential readers may find that title misleading.  They'd get it once they read far enough, but they might not do that or may not end up purchasing it because it's not what they expected - maybe they think it's horror-oriented, maybe a cerebral meditation on mental illness in the future, etc.;

 

( C)  It's not particularly descriptive or captivating.  Since your milieu is unique, but the word "psycho" isn't, you may want to look for something more special to your story.

 

 

Because of ( C), I feel "Arkfall" is the best of the three options you offered, as it's the only one unique to your world.  That said, it's not a very "active" title, certainly not compared to your logline.  "Solar Storm" may work, assuming it's directly referential to the story content, but it's very broad and not especially evocative.  I can't suggest anything else, not knowing more details of the characters, plot, or setting.

 

I'm also a little confused by the logline itself.  Revenge is personal.  Why is she exacting revenge, and what is her relationship to the CEO?  If her identity/relationship is a secret/plot point, you might want to consider losing the word "revenge," and rework the logline to explain that she's "on a mission" or such so you don't give anything away.  If she's in fact just a hired gun and it's not personal for her, "revenge" doesn't seem appropriate unless you specify it's someone else's revenge she's exacting.

 

Let us know what you come up with!



#3 Jhall

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 04:09 PM

Thanks for the advice! Will definitely look into finding sensitivity readers for what you described.

 

As far as the logline goes, the words "who murdered his entire family." are at the end. Does that not do well enough to justify calling it his revenge in the logline?



#4 Jhall

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 04:46 PM

Took your advice and went ahead and just did away with Psychos completely. Might just be too problematic in general. No sense wrestling with it. They're called Espers now.

 

So now that most of those titles don't make sense, I thought PSYSTORM might be a fun one, at least as a tentative placeholder. Sort of implies chaos and psy powers.



#5 Monsmord

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 05:37 PM

Hey again!

 

And wow!  Also, Psystorm does suggest to me the psionic/psyhic angle on which the story hangs, and has a certain edge to it.  Maybe there's an even better title waiting in the back of your head, but I wouldn't see a problem running with this one.

 

As for the logline, if he's murdered his entire family, it doesn't sound like there's anyone left to get revenge.  If she's one of the family and survived, the "entire family" is misleading.  Know what I mean?






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