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Monkey Feet Query
Jay Greenstein
Posted: Sunday, September 30, 2012 10:33 PM
I'm getting ready to query Monkey Feet and I need a question answered. Would the query below make you curious enough to want to read a few pages?

Query for Monkey Feet – Hard Science Fiction 81,300 words


When you work the ships of the ice-fleet, nudging ice from the Asteroid Belt toward Mars, danger is a close companion, with death not far behind. The smallest mistake could result in your corpse endlessly drifting in space. But the job needs doing, and frontiers have always attracted adventure-seekers and those who don’t seem to fit in.

Macon Trier faced a bright future in the field of math and physics. But gravity made his feet hurt. That, coupled with the lure of adventure, brought him into space and to ice-fleet command center, at the frontier of explored space. After helping to recover a pair of miners who cheated death, Macon joins the ranks of ice minors and undergoes training. But, instead of becoming a working miner he is selected, by a brother he didn’t know he had, to crew an experimental ship—the first to travel at speeds greater than light. In so doing, he discovers a destiny he could never have imagined, beginning with the woman his brother has chosen for his wife—a woman who will bear quad handed children, bred to live and work in space.


The key to Macon’s destiny is held in the thing that caused him to leave the Earth in the first place: his monkey feet.


Lisa Hoekstra
Posted: Monday, October 1, 2012 11:45 AM
Joined: 5/10/2011
Posts: 89


Hi Jay!

To be honest, I got lost in the first sentence.. so much so I almost missed "The smallest mistake could result in your corpse endlessly drifting in space." which is the line that convinced me to read onward. If I were you, I would shorten the intro and highlight that line. 

There are a couple of other long lines that I got caught on:
"That, coupled with..... explored space." "But instead of becoming....speed greater than light." "In so doing.... work in space" 

If you can shorten or chop up those sentences, I think the query will work well.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

Jay Greenstein
Posted: Monday, October 1, 2012 9:22 PM
Thank you. Having a pair of educated eyes is always a blessing. I've updated it and jazzed it up a but, here:

When you work the ships of the ice-fleet, nudging snowballs toward Mars, the smallest mistake could result in your corpse endlessly drifting in space. But the job needs doing, and frontiers have always attracted adventure-seekers and those who don’t seem to fit in.

Macon Trier faced a bright future in the field of math and physics. But gravity made his feet hurt. That, and the lure of adventure, brought him into space and to ice-fleet command center, at the frontier of explored space.

But, nothing is as it seems. The people he’s always called Mom and Dad aren’t his parents. Now, his true brother offers duty on a new ship, one that may travel at speeds greater than light—if Macon can fix whatever killed the last three crews who tried the new drive.

In saying yes, Macon begins an adventure he could never have imagined, one leading far from Earth’s star—a destiny that begins with Christi, a woman who, will bear quad handed children, bred to live and work in space.

Betrayed by his government and his brother, his daughters stolen through deceit, the key to Macon’s destiny is held in the thing that caused him to leave the Earth in the first place: his monkey feet.



Lisa Hoekstra
Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 11:25 AM
Joined: 5/10/2011
Posts: 89


Hi again!

I like the changes a lot. The middle is more compelling and intriguing - "if Macon can fix whatever killed the last three crews who tried the new drive." is a great line and really popped out at me. 

Watch your comma usage - there are a few commas that distracted me from the flow of the text. May I suggest the following edits (and now I'm getting into semantics, so just ignore me if you don't agree; I'll explain my changes too, just in case I'm off my rocker!):

"But the job needs doing, and ... seem to fit in."
change to: 
"But the job needs doing. Frontiers have always attracted the adventure-seekers; those people who don't seem to fit in."

The commas don't quite divide the thoughts up dramatically enough to follow your first line... Not quite sure if this change works, but I tried to break the line up into it's three main thoughts - job needs doing, frontiers attract adventure-seekers and adventure seekers can also be considered misfits... 

"That, and the lure of adventure, brought him into space and to ice-fleet command center, at the frontier of explored space." 

changed to:
"That and the lure of adventure brought him to ice-fleet command center, the frontier of explored space."  (or "command center; the frontier of explored space.") 

"That and the lure..." are a compound subject... I'm a bit hazy on if you need the comma after "That". I think it's a style choice, so you could put "That, and the lure of adventure brought..." no comma after brought though because it's part of the compound subject. Unless you were separating it from the subject as an interjection in order to highlight it in some way? 

I took out "into space and" because you don't really need to mention that it took him into space, since you refer to the ice-fleet as the frontier of explored space... And I think that phrase works better than "into space." 

"But, nothing is as it seems.... Now, his true brother offers..."
change to:
"But nothing is as it seems.... His true brother offers..."

This removed the comma after "But" because it makes the reader pause for a split second, which I think takes away from the impact of the statement... You could always remove the But altogether and just have the line say "Nothing is as it seems." 

I also took out "now" because I'm assuming that the story doesn't start with him getting the offer from his brother?

"In saying yes, Macon begins an adventure..... and work in space."
This reads as a run on sentence. Perhaps:

"Macon's adventure begins with the simple word - yes. It takes him far from Earth's star to a destiny that begins with Christi, a woman who will bear quad-handed children, bred for space."

I had to read "quad handed" quite a few times before I understood what you meant. I would hyphenate the adjectives for clarity. Also, is Christi going to bear HIS quad-handed children? If so, you should put the possessive in there - "a woman who will bear his quad-handed children..."

Hope this helps! 

 

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