The Writer's Voice Submission

For The Writer's Voice contest

The Road of the Dead
Adult Science Fiction

Plot Summary from Query:

In a resource-starved future, most people view The Program as a godsend. A technology invented by reclusive scientist Gary Frantengelo, The Program converts energy from the souls of the dead into cheap and limitless power. But there are some who believe that it is an abomination.

Singer-songwriter Sheppard Lorren hasn’t given much thought to the Program until he collides with it head-on. Far from home on tour, he receives devastating news. Not only is his cancer-stricken daughter Lily close to death, but his estranged wife has promised Lily’s soul to The Program. Joined by Fratangelo’s sister, and Mako, a brilliant technophile whose biggest secret is his involvement in the Program, Sheppard embarks on a journey to the Sacred Lands, ground zero for the abomination that is the Program. To get there, the trio must survive a nightmare landscape where the earth is cracked and lifeless and ectoplasm falls from the sky in a deadly blue rain, and even if they make it, it may be too late to save Lily, and there may be no stopping The Program as it reaches critical mass.


First 250 words:

Energy may neither be created nor destroyed. Therefore the sum of all the energies in the system is a constant.

-- The Law of Conservation of Energy



Even with his head ducked low to avoid recognition, Sheppard Lorren saw the prophet hovering above the street corner adjacent to the hotel. With his arms spread wide to draw in the gathering crowd, the prophet floated nearly three feet up, his feet planted as if the air he stood on was as solid as the sidewalk below.

“Through our greed we have defied the natural order.” Evangelical in its cadence, the man’s amplified voice boomed out across the folks who’d stopped to listen. “No, not defied. We have defiled the natural order.”

Sheppard tugged the brim of his baseball cap down lower over his eyes, and then approached the edge of the gathering, glancing around to make sure he hadn’t been noticed. But with everyone’s eyes focused on the larger-than-life figure levitating there like a god come to earth, nobody so much as blinked in his direction.

The prophet shimmered, a rippling in the three-dimensional image, and Sheppard recognized the figure for what it was. A hologram.

He’d seen prophets before. In some cities they were on practically every street, their clothes tattered, their hair dirty. As plentiful as robins had once been in springtime, they perched atop shipping crates or the bases of statues, preaching God’s wrath and the end of the world. But he’d never seen a manifestation like this.

Comments

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Adam! Good luck to you too!

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  2. Hi Lisa, I'm stopping by from the Writer's Voice Contest to wish you the best of luck! I'm following your blog now too, so: nice to meet you.

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    1. Thanks so much, Matthew. It's nice to meet you too. I'm heading over to your blog in just a moment!

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  3. Ooo, this concept gives me shivers. This sounds like a fantastic world. Good luck in the contest!

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    1. Thank you so much. Best of luck to you too!

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  4. Interesting premise. Start by defying the laws of physics, mix in a dash of death, stir in a soul (or two, to taste)…

    Good luck! Compelling SF is hard to come by.

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    1. Thank you so much, C.G. Best of luck to you, too!

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  5. I don't read a lot of science fiction, but this sounds really cool. Good luck!

    -Sarah #146

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    1. Thank you so much, Sarah! Good luck to you too!

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  6. I really like your idea, and the writing caught me--I wanted more. Good luck!!
    Nazarea~ (TWV #86)

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    1. Thank you so much, Nazarea! Good luck to you too!

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  7. Definitely interesting concept and many moral questions come bubbling up. Good luck from another contestant in this great contest!

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    1. Thank you so much, April! Good luck to you too!

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  8. I want you! I love this premise, and I'm so, so impressed with the expert way in which you presented it. A lot of writers would get bogged down in the description of the world, but not you. I got a great sense of the world, the character, and the storyline, and all in two brief paragraphs. When the first page delivered the same tight writing and interesting set-up, I was sold.

    To be honest, I wouldn't change much about this--I think it's pretty spectacular as it is. And even though I know it's a little risky to take on adult sci-fi, since only about half of the participating agents are looking for it, THE ROAD OF THE DEAD is too awesome to ignore. So pick me, pick me! I'd love to have you and your project on my team.

    P.S. And did I mention how much I love the title? Because I do:)

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    1. Woo-hoo!! Oh Krista, you made my day! Thank you! I'd been second-guessing my decision to enter an adult science fiction novel -- (I also have a YA that I've recently started querying) -- so your vote of confidence was really appreciated!

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  9. Congrats! This is a strong entry! I'm not surprised at all that you've been chosen for Krista's team. I love the voice in the query especially!

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    1. Thank you so much, Kimberly. I was so excited to come home today to find that I'd been picked by Krista.

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  10. Congrats! A very exciting premise. I'd love to see more.

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    1. Thank you so much! Best of luck to you too!

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    1. Thank you so much. Good luck to you too!!

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  12. I'm delighted for you, Lisa. Way to go!

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  13. Love this! Congratulations to you! #163

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    1. Thanks so much, Jessica. And good luck to you in the contest!

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  14. Congrats and best of luck!
    Carolyn, #157

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    1. Thanks, Carolyn! Best of luck to you too!

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  15. very unique idea. good luck with the contest!

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  16. Wow! What a great concept. I'm totally hooked!
    Team Krista Rocks!
    -#122

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