12.21.2006

HH Com 250 (245)

In the alternate-history world of MAYSPRING, African nations are world powers, crossing oceans to colonize new lands. Masud al-Razn has a good life working for his mother's merchant family; he never meant to travel to the Ultima Maghreb – the New World – or to own slaves. But the unexpected bequest of an estate in the Ultima forces him to master its unruly labor gang – if he can survive hurricanes, pirates, and his family’s readiness to see his new venture fail.

For two years he confounds all expectations, then, after a slave revolt, he walks away from his inheritance and off the face of history, presumed dead.

Nearly a century later, historian Raita Salmadis is on the trail of her enigmatic ancestor, hoping to discover where and why he vanished by retracing his travels through the Ultima. But its dangers have scarcely lessened in the intervening years. As Raita moves closer to her goal, the question becomes not whether she will learn Masud's fate – but whether she will share it.


argh.
Who's the main character? who's the antagonist? what the hell is going on here?

Start over.

I like the idea but ye dogs and little fishes, this is a mess.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

The problem with an alternate history is that it already falls into fantasy, then you're switching gears and trying to come back to reality. I don't want to pry in your business, but it would work better for me if this was some far off future, like the world Wells came up with in Time Machine. It keeps the reader on Earth, and technology may very well have gotten lost somewhere along the way. African Nations arose from the ashes first....

Then you could spend more time on the plot instead of alternate history explenation.

Kristi said...

Oooooh...I loves me some alternate history. I hope this works out for you...looks interesting.

Crystal Charee said...

I really like this idea too. I'm not much for alternate histories or ancestors but I'd read this...

katiesandwich said...

Yeah, this idea sounds awesome, but I agree that the hook needs work. I wish you the best with this. I'd love to read it someday!

Anonymous said...

What was the hook/blurb for Kim Stanley Robinson's 'The Years of Rice and Salt'? That's another alternate history covering multiple time periods. Might be worth checking out how that hook worked.

Hope that helps.

Virginia Miss said...

I like alternate history, this sure hooked me. Good luck rewriting your hook.

Fuchsia Groan said...

I think this idea is fascinating and want to know more. Who are the slaves? How is the rest of the world sorted out? If it's crafted with plausible detail, this could be really good.

It's the multiple time frames and two protagonists that throw the hook off for me. If Raita is the actual protagonist, can you start with her and bring the stuff about her ancestor in later? Also, if this danger lurking in the New World is pivotal, can you give us a quick hint as to what it is (antagonist)?

December Quinn said...

I think this sounds pretty cool. I'm not necessarily an alternate-history fan, but I like the search through a dangerous world for an ancestor's fate. Good luck!

Annie said...

Author here -- thanks for the nice comments, y'all. Good info on what to work on. (Clarity is not always my strong point, obviously!)

I'll look up Kim Stanley Robinson, for the book as well as the blurb. :)

Rachel Ann Dryden said...

Another one you might want to look into is Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus, by Orson Scott Card. Also deals with alternate history and multiple time periods.

melospiza said...

Also, look at "Lion's Blood" by Steven Barnes. It takes place in an alternate America where whites are enslaved by Islamic Africans. That book will be hard to beat.