12.20.2006

HH Com 205 (201)

Six years after a disastrous off-world dig that left her with non-functional ovaries, emotional trauma, and a ruined reputation, Dr. Jule leBois' mentor, Dr. Rik Jarvi, offers her a chance to reclaim her career in xenoforensic archeology. Jule goes to Damaria, where the natives' obsession with fertility surpasses humans. There, she plans to keep her head down and do her work.

The first graves yield the bones and grave goods of women who have given birth, except Jule's DNA tests say they're male. Rik initially rejects Jule's findings, sending her ballistic when he questions her competency. Then the team discovers a pheromone-laden Temple of the Sleeping Lover. Drawn to the phallic sculpture in the center of the temple, Jule tampers with the site by loving the Lover. Soon, all the women in the camp--including Jule--are pregnant.

Incredulous and guilt-ridden, Jule deals with her fears by throwing herself into finding the science behind the miracle of her sterility reversal, but her efforts are stymied by conspiracy theorists, an eco-terrorist, and a rumbling volcano. Jule's largest shock, though, comes from discovering Rik had forged her name to Damarian-required documents. He didn't want her on his career-making dig, but the Damarians had insisted she be the lead archeologist. Only then does Jule realize the depth of the conspiracy of the past and present--the Damarian Matriarch's agenda to revive the ancient rites of the Sleeping Lover--and why Jule was hand-picked to lead the expedition.

This is a synopsis not a hook. I'm sure you don't intend that opening line to be funny, but it's a howler.

Some of the images are straight out of porn pulp but nobody went broke overestimating the market for that.

You need to focus on the heart of the novel: she's been targeted to do something. What are the consquences if she refuses or fails?

14 comments:

Hypergraphia said...

I think you have something with this idea. i know that I'm at least intrigued. However, I would dump the first line and the one about "loving the lover."
JMHO

LJCohen said...

"Six years after a disastrous off-world dig that left her with non-functional ovaries, emotional trauma, and a ruined reputation, Dr. Jule leBois' mentor, Dr. Rik Jarvi, offers her a chance to reclaim her career in xenoforensic archeology."

I'm sure you didn't mean this sentence to scan the way it does. The way it reads now, it's the mentor Dr. Rik Jarvi that is the subject of the sentence. And I don't think *his* ovaries are the problem.

Anonymous said...

I'm not really into the phalic symbology, unless she's been impregnated with the next evil overlord that's going to try to take over the world (kind of a goth Rosemary's Baby thing). If that's the case, then you need to bring that out in the hook. If it's not the case, then the symbolism leaves me with an image of sex kittens rolling in butter around a ten foot tall...uh, member. Not exactly something I'd read. (Although, I think there may be a market for that, right?)

Inkwolf said...

M'kay....your main character destroyed her ovaries and reputation on a previous 'archeological' adventure of heaven-knows-wjat nature....

She gets a chance to redeem herself, but blows it because she can't resist humping a carved stone dickus in the middle of the new excavation...

And she discovers she was chosen 'cause they KNEW she would do it, and it was a set-up...

So, will the babies be born as a chorus line of evil little stone alien invaders? And Jule's in trouble 'cause she's still hauling their leader around in her womb? (Generals take longer, their epaulettes need time to develop.)

I dunno, nympho-archeaological suspense is a new genre for me. If it isn't comedy, it probably ought to be.

Dave said...

This idea could easily fall into horrendously stupid and silly descriptions. It might help not to focus on pregnancy and sterility.

Unknown to Jule LeBois, the Damarian Matriarch has chosen her to revive the Ancient Rites ...

That's too passive but it begs the question:
for what reason do they want to revive the Ancient Rites and why is this harmful or bad for Jule? And Mankind, and Demaria

angie said...

I'm afraid I couldn't stop giggling after "loving the Lover."

This is an odd combo of sci-fi, infertility, and thriller elements. Could be just odd enough to work. Getting clear on the goal of the story would be helpful.

batgirl said...

The first line left me confused about who had the non-functioning ovaries - Jule, or Rik?

jamiehall said...

You've got a lot of details that seem to be going somewhere, but it's hard to figure out exactly what they are saying, let along where they are going.

So far, you've got:
1) Infertile researcher goes off-world to study a culture obsessed with fertility.
2) Graves that are supposed to be of women test as genetically male.
3) MC activates an ancient (presently discontinued?)fertility ritual.
4) MC and a bunch of other women all become pregnant.
5) There are apparently some bureaucratic hijinks going on behind the scenes, but it's not entirely clear what these are, what they add up to or, most importantly, why they matter.

The hook needs to be rewritten so that it is more than just a recitation of events. There should be more of a sense that things hang together, that there is a real problem, and that everything builds toward some point.

cm allison said...

Wouldn't the Damarian's be ticked that she "desecrated" their temple? (Unbeliever doing the deed in THEIR temple?) I can't get the probable Damarian reaction out of my head. Keep envisioning her beheaded.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what was meant by "loving the Lover"--was it a mental act or a physical act? Is the Lover a kind of priest or some idol or an object? I was visualizing some pretty disturbing and giggle worthy things...

Anonymous said...

She's an archeologist and has sex with a (undoubtedly filthy) artifact? ewwwwwwww.

writtenwyrdd said...

Idea sounds good, if you can find a conflict.

Also, I thought I'd point out that Robin McKinley has a land called Damaria in Blue Sword. Might want to change that.

xiqay said...

I think this is porn.

Go read Anais Nin (her $1 a page stuff).

December Quinn said...

(Generals take longer, their epaulettes need time to develop.)


Lol, inkwolf!


Am I the only woman here who doesn't care how many pheremones are in the air, a cement dildo will never be appealing?

I've seen pictures of those ancient fertility phallus statues...that is not smooth, polished stone. Women didn't complete the act on them-they were used for symbolic hymen-breaking only. So if yours is different, you might try to find a way to mention it, because the minute I read that I turned off. Ouch!