HH Com 386

Please consider my science fiction novella, Patient Gamma, for publication in your magazine, Killer Yap's World of the Future. (Killer Yapp's view of the future is called "Saveur")

Patient Gamma awakens in a morgue, trapped in a body bag, with no memory of how she got there or even who she is. She escapes to find herself hunted by a gang who works for the corporation that used her body for illegal cybernetic research.

(this is backstory)
Patient Gamma was an unremarkable college student whose easy middle class life changed irrevocably when a car smashed into hers, killing her mother and landing her in a hospital. Unfortunately, the hospital is owned by the Smith-Okamoto medical firm, which deals heavily in cybernetic research. While she is in a comatose state, tests are performed that show she is an ideal candidate for implants. She is reported dead, but actually sent to their illegal cybernetic branch where her memories are blocked and she undergoes dangerous cybernetics implantation procedures. A doctor, with moral reservations about his job, drugs her into a state that mimics death and places her in the morgue, telling his superiors that she died. The story begins as she wakes up and escapes the confines of the institution. But the Smith-Okamoto Corporation is not willing to let their asset get away so easily.

so what?

She has to find out what happened and why. She has to find out who's after her. She has to find out who she is. And if she doesn't what then? She's got no memory of a previous life right?
What effect do the implants have? Do they make her better/faster/stronger, or do they make her bark like a poodle at squirrels?

You need more AND less here..a nice trick.


Corvus said...

Also, the whole doctor with moral reservations bit is seriously overused at this point. Why did he only have moral reservations about Gemma? If he did have moral reservations why not quit or blew the whistle or look up porn at work and infect them with horrible virii?

Even if he had some good reason for helping Emma...your hook makes it sound like that was IT. His plan was to pretend she was dead and let her take it from there.

There are a LOT of experimented on heroes and anti-heroes out there - Gen-7, Dark Angel, Friday, Hammered by Elizabeth Bear and pretty much every other Dean Koontz novel. That's not to say you can't use the idea but be aware of what other people have done in this genre.

jamiehall said...

Nearly all of this is backstory, or explaining how your set-up idea works. You need something about what happens after she wakes up and escapes.

roach said...

If you are submitting a novella to a magazine you don't write a hook in your cover letter. You write "Please find enclosed my (however many word) novella TITLE for consideration." and that's it.