HH com 402

Elliot Willoughby is, his peers have long ago decided, a puzzle. What can one make of a man who dislikes dinner parties, keeps only a handful of bioengineered beast-kin servants, and appears to actually enjoy jaunting about on interstellar trips rather than staying at home
and cultivating a taste for gardening? But eccentrics have their uses, as when an inexplicable shortage on the planet Dante threatens the supply of life-extending lazarine.

As for Elliot, he merely hopes that Dante will be more interesting than watching grass grow.

But what seemed a simple case of pilfering proves to run much deeper, and Elliot shortly finds himself tangled in a mass of plots and counter-plots. The infamous and terrifying Red Admiral wants to seduce him. The governor's beautiful daughter wants to sabotage him. His hostess wants to throw dinner parties at him. The one woman whose actions and motives interest him wants only to avoid him. And *someone* wants to kill him.

Still, it's only when Elliot uncovers hints that the beast-kin are on the verge of rebellion that he realizes there is such a thing as *too* interesting....

well, as we all know, this isn't a hook. It's a set up for the novel, but it's not a hook. Usual advice on what to do


jamiehall said...

So far, what you've got is this: an adventurer from a society that looks down on adventuring travels to another planet to solve a simple mystery. It turns out to be a complex mystery (of which you only give us frustrating hints) and the genetically engineered servant class is about to rebel (good for them, but how does this tie to anything else?).

This is plot description, and it doesn't even tell us where things are headed, other than that the simple mystery turns out to be complex. Give us less set-up, and actually include the meat of the matter, and it may be a hook.

Anonymous said...

Yes it's only the setup, but a good one! I liked it. I'd like to see the rest of the hook.

Inkwolf said...

Sounds like it's meant to be a swash-buckling James-Bondish/Indiana Jonesish sort of space adventure. You've mentioned three women, and my spider senses tell me he'll be bedding at least all of them at some point in the book. Not criticizing, I think there's definitely room for some high-energy, rip-roaring rocket-wrangling space adventures out there, without the cultural and technological navel-gazing of serious futuristic fiction.

But the Beast-kin storyline reminds me a lot of The Island of Doctor Moreau (I loved the Marlon Brando version.) If you haven't actually seen it, you really should give it a watch. It involves genetically constructed beast-men who eventually rebel against their creator, and is an excellent film.

The phrase "The governor's beautiful daughter" will always and forever bring to mind the classic computer game, Microprose's Pirates!--but that's probably just me. :D

Virginia Miss said...

I don't read much sci fic, but this actually looked interesting (although of course you only hint at the action). Good luck.

Anonymous said...

It hooked me. I don't see why this one doesn't work, since it has the who, the what, the why, and the how it all gets screwed up... plus a good dose of "and it will be fun to read, too! I think the answer is that it doesn't work for THIS agent.

Mags said...

Elliot Willoughby???

Is this supposed to be an SF Regency mystery/romance?

If so, I love it.

Anonymous said...

Okay, it may not the the formulatic hook, but I like it. Very cool original ideas there. Beast-kin, parties and mysterious llife prolonging element is a great start. Hope you find a format for this hook, because I think the story could be great. Good luck man.

Anonymous said...

FWIW, I think it's wonderful that the Red Admiral wants to seduce him and the governor's daughter wants to sabatoge him.

Kat said...

Well, this is what I get for "hooking" a novel I'm only a quarter of the way through. Bad kat. :) On the bright side, it really helped me focus on what I wanted the story to be.

inkwolf: he actually only gets to bed one of them, the other two falling into the "too young for me" and "too bugfuck crazy for me, run away!" categories, but yes, it's a bit swashbuckling otherwise, and intended to be a bit of a parody. I'm having an awful lot of fun with it. And yup, watched and read Dr. Moreau (it's a very good H.G. Wells novel) before writing the book. I was hoping to file the serial numbers off a little more, though. :)

Mags: It's intended to be more of a Victorian/SF crossover novel: I spent an awful lot of time reading Jane Austen before I wrote it. But yup, that's the general idea. :)

And thanks so much to everyone who said they'd like to read it. I'm just beginning to slog through the Dreaded Middle, and knowing that people will at least be *interested* in the beast when I'm done with it is very reassuring.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like Douglas Adams to me, but then, I'm a novice sci-fi/humor reader (unlike many on here).

I inferred the stakes and the antagonist part, and it sounds fun and fast.

I would request pages, but I'm not an agent, unluckily for you.

Georgiana said...

This looks like lots of fun. If you want a beta reader let me know, you can reach me through my blog.