Monday, September 17, 2012

GUTGAA Pitch Contest #9: THE LONG-TIMERS

THE LONG-TIMERS
YA Sci-fi/Thriller
77,000

Query:

Seventeen-year-old Remy’s parents invented a drug that extends human life by two hundred years—as long as you can pay the all-powerful Company for those daily pills. Society has fragmented into the long-timers who live in constant fear of losing everything, and the short-timers who would do anything for a few extra years.

Remy isn't worried. Thanks to his parents, he's got a guaranteed lifetime supply of the drug. But his perfect life dissolves when Soren, an old man who worked with his parents, thrusts a note intended for his father into his hand. The note says he wants to meet because he's going to the press with their secret. Remy tells his father about the meeting—and just a few hours later, Soren is dead.

Now, for the first time, Remy's obsessed with something other than parties and girls. Someone killed Soren to keep him quiet, and Remy's parents might have had something to do with it. He seeks help from Liv, a short-timer who knows her way around a security system, and together they break into his parents' secret lab in the Company stronghold.

When they find the horrific source of the drug, Remy begins to question the morality of his existence... and he must decide if a few hundred years can possibly be worth the price.

First 150 Words:

My uncle was only 152 when he died, but five hundred people showed up for his funeral anyway. No one seemed very interested in his corpse, though—they were much more into comparing designer outfits and telling stories about their neighbors. When anyone did remember Uncle Devin, rotting away in his fine mahogany box at the front, it was only to cast a scornful look in his direction.

I knew exactly what they were thinking.

What a loser.

Hey, it made sense. I was his only nephew, and I thought he was a loser too.

I picked at a loose thread on my suit pants as the funeral reader started in on the list of accomplishments.

Sorry, Uncle Devin. No matter how much Dad paid this guy, I'm not buying it.

"Then, when he was only eighty-three," the reader intoned, "Devin left home to make his way in the world."

19 comments:

  1. Hi!

    I've got to say, I love your concept. Your MC sounds like someone I'd love to hate at the beginning. I personally love those kinds of characters since they have so much room for growth. I was a little confused with your opening line of the first 150 though. Do more people show up to funerals for longer living people? Anyway, I think you've got something great and I'd keep reading.
    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really like this concept, and I think you do a great job of explaining the story in the query. I also love your opening line!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your query is fabulous, I felt like I hit a brick wall when you didn't tell us what the dark dirty secret about the pills! I need to know! And that's totally what you're going for! Awesome!

    Your opening makes me feel like his uncle is an important person, but not liked. And the at only age 83 he set out on his own bit totally cracked me up. Nicely done!

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Still absolutely looove this one! I'm rooting for you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm contest-stalking you too. I love everything I've read for this! I love that your MC is stuck between his own morality and his family. Good luck with this!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm always a bit disturbed when I see this entry in another contest or pitch-polish forum because YOU SHOULD HAVE AN AGENT BY NOW!! Seriously!

    This is one of my absolute favorites. I sincerely hope you score tons of votes because I've already added this to my TBR pile. It's a fantastic concept, your voice is hilarious and Remy seems like a likable, honest character. Great job, as always!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I agree with Jeanmarie! This is such an interesting concept and your writing is smooth, serious, and funny all at the same time. But, you already knew I liked it, right?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love the premise! This sounds awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love this concept, and I think you've done an amazing job of laying our your story via your query. The first 150 sucked me right in. LOVE this!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I too love this premise. And your writing and the MC's VOICE is really strong in the first 150. I also like the moral question - and how it's not black and white, but gray and the MC has to struggle with that. On top of that, I like the sly humor. This is an MC I'd want to spend time with. So YOU'VE GOT MY VOTE!

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is so good. I remember it from Cupid. I loved it then. I especially love the first line. And...I am a total sci-f nerd. Love the genre...love this entry. I'm a fan.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! This is a really great pitch. I love the idea of the split in society brought about by the long life pill and the ramifications of rich vs. poor. It reminded me a lot of the society in Justin Timberlake's IN TIME movie (but I think the movie did a terrible job of really exploring that world's potential). I would read this story in a heartbeat.

    Congratulations and good luck.

    YOU'VE GOT MY VOTE TO MOVE FORWARD!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love your concept and your query lays the story out like a little gift I'd be happy to unwrap and read! And that first sentence in your 150 grabbed me like it should! Great job & good luck!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I still love this book after all this time!!!! Love the premise and especially love the voice. I totally get Remy in just this little snippet! And your query really does a good job of conveying the tension in the story! Pure AWESOMENESS!

    ReplyDelete
  15. PITCH: Awesome, high-concept idea. (Although it reminds me a little bit of the movie In Time, that doesn’t hurt its chances here). Very well-written, although I did get confused about who Soren was and had to go back…you might consider leaving off Soren’s name and referring to him as “the old man,” and leaving off Liv’s name as well, because she isn’t mentioned again in the pitch.
    FIRST 150: This is well-written, and the concept itself is intriguing and presented here. However, concept alone will not always hook a reader, and I, at least, need to see some tension and conflict right up front for the main character. I need a reason to cheer for him and think he’s a hero. I’m sure this is done at a point beyond the first 150, but I’d recommend moving that to the very beginning of chapter 1.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm crossing my fingers for this one! I love the premise and it was one of my picks for Pitch Madness. Good luck! <3

    ReplyDelete
  17. Love the sound of this! Nice concept and great voice!
    Best of luck!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Unique concept with high stakes + great voice in the opening? I'd definitely read it.

    You've got my vote!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you so much for all the nice comments on my entry! I'm thrilled to be going on to the next round and so grateful to everyone who took the time to read.

    ReplyDelete

Help prove the void can talk back...