HH Com 113

Life's not fair. When space gypsy turned military officer Ausra Miller's younger brother deserts from the Imperial Military, it costs Ausra the promotion she deserves. Posted to the backwater planet of Caladia, her career seems to be over. But Ausra is no whiner. She sets out to climb her way back up to the top--even if that means climbing over a prejudicial
commander, a ditzy friend who may not be what she seems, and Corren, the man who can go from friend to enemy in a heartbeat.

Meanwhile, Ausra's brother Tam is now a traitor to the Crown. His desertion threatens the gypsies' right to live as an independant nation. Imperial soldiers are hunting him and space gypsies are calling for his surrender. Returning to the Empire means facing a firing squad. But when people close to him start dying, that may be the only answer.

When Tam's community ship 'Gypsy Star' flees to Caladia in one last effort to keep Tam alive, brother and sister collide. Turning Tam over to the Empire will guarantee Ausra the promotion she deserves. But Tam is still family, and to a space gypsy, that ought
to be all that matters. Ausra must decide if she can forgive him as the choice between her career or her brother's life slides into a choice between her brother's life--or hers.

What goes for sisters in that previous post--double for brothers. Throw them to the wolves and call it a day.

This is a synopsis. Focus on Austra Think "Austra is not a whiner. Relegated to a backwater posting when her brother deserts and costs her a promotion...blah blah blah".

You don't need to explain everything.

And this plot is just hackneyed past redemption. You're going to need something much more unexpected than this to catch and hold my attention.


Kat said...

Actually, I thought this one was pretty interesting, though a lot's going to depend on how well you've done your world-building. World-spanning empires are pretty damned hackneyed by this point, and if you're going to use the actual word "gypsy", I hope to God you've done some research on gypsies. Most of 'em wouldn't actually be interested in a nation....

Nevertheless, this caught my eye, and if I saw it in a bookstore and the writing seemed sound, I might well pick it up for a bit of light reading.

shannon said...

I agree, it did catch my interest, and I'm not generally a sci-fi fan.

The "gypsy nation" thing struck me too, I thought they were more of a race or culture than a nation - the idea being that they wander, whereas here it seems to imply they have a whole planet to themselves at the same time. oh dear, I just confused myself there.

On another note, one of tone, it was very light, almost chick-lit light. This led me to believe it was a bit tongue-in-cheek or sassy or light-hearted. Which is, possibly, original, but is that what you intend?

That said, I love female protaganists in space, can you focus on her more?

HawkOwl said...

Hey! I say "hackneyed". It's my thing that I say. :)

But yeah. Space opera. Siblings. Betrayal. Blah blah. I watched a really good movie this weekend about brothers making different choices in a war. It's called Portrait in Evil: Hitler's SS. Similar concept as yours, just much more compelling.

Which isn't to say there isn't a market for this sort of stuff.

Anonymous said...

1) Do you gypsies really call themselves gypsies? I doubt it.

2) "Spacy gypsies"? Are there land, sea, and air gypsies too?

This hints at really shoddy worldbuilding.

Anonymous said...

1) Do you gypsies really call themselves gypsies? I doubt it.

Agreed. 'Gypsy' is actually a pejorative term for the Roma people .

Anonymous said...

I'm a SF reader, and I was more interested in Tam than her. The gypsie would tend to lean toward rebellion. If I was writing that hook, I'd spend more time on him and his motives, then come out and say, does she need to kill him in order for her to survive.

Anonymous said...

Okay, the term "space gypsies" was a definite turn-off for me. If you mean to indicate that Ausra and Tam are from a clannish group of nomads, then say just that. The major question in my mind from reading your synopsis is why the Imperial Military is making such a big fuss over one deserter. Armies always have deserters. Why is Tam's desertion such a big deal? Did he take the secret plans for the Death Star with him? Is he rallying others against Imperial Rule?
The interesting portion of your synopsis for me was the implied family/duty conflict between Ausra and Tam. Refocus your plot to concentrate more on those two and I think that your story will improve.

Kat said...

Some gypsies dislike the term gypsy, some love it, some don't care. In general, while gypsies are united in certain specific traditions and a general contempt for non-gypsies, and beyond that... uh, good luck getting them to so much as agree on the tune for "Yankee Doodle."

There's an excellent book called Bury Me Standing about the Roma. Highly recommended no matter how loosely your space gypsies are based on the real thing; it's a really good read.

thraesja said...

A nation does not have to imply a land area. A nation is a group of people sharing an ethnicity, history, or culture. Most nations have a homeland that they call their own, and thus the term nation becomes synonymous with country, but it does not have to be that way.

That being said, I have no idea whether the current Roma of Earth, or any wandering space nomads embrace the concept or not.