12.27.2006

HH Com 487

For years, inventor Mark Garden strived to make a flying car powered not by gasoline but by discs that neutralize gravity. Instead he’s made a flying dollhouse powered by discs that neutralize gravity. Super. The next step might be a flying car, except he can’t remember how he made the discs. He also can’t understand why visiting corporate reps seem so interested in it. Even corporate exec Jenna Fairchild, the dangerously-butterfingered woman who makes him more of a mess than his inventions end up, seems strangely frantic about the dollhouse.

While Mark’s confidence self-destructs like his next project, chief executives worldwide are in a panic, convinced that the dollhouse and its mythical flying car successor will transform the world even more than the original automobile did. They order the meticulous, frequently
annoyed Mr. York and operatives from a dozen global conglomerates to band together to match wits with Mark and acquire the dollhouse. Or steal it, whichever keeps them in budget.

Mr. York and Mark trade moves like a chess match between scheming six-year-olds who don’t know how to play chess. Fleeing together, Jenna and Mark wield their considerable survival ignorance to canoe backwards down rivers, outwit paranoid hermits, and scream in panic at stoned bears, even as Mr. York blasts through towns and forests going in the wrong direction. Finally, as the unraveling team of spies zeroes in on them, Mark must decide whether to destroy his miraculous discs before they’re used to mass-produce enormous hovering Cadillacs.


This is great. What makes it work is the vivid imagery, that it's funny, and that I am absolutely willing to believe it's possible.

This isn't as tightly honed as it could be but it works.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

How engaging! I'm worried about your plot, though: "He also can’t understand why visiting corporate reps seem so interested in it."

Really? It's a short logical leap from flying dollhouses to the demise of Bush-Saud oil interests, once the science is applied to stuff other than doll houses.

But assuming that could be made believable, this is one of the **very** few hooks that hooked me. (even fewer than hooked MS)

I especially like "wield their considerable survival ignorance to canoe backwards down rivers". Can see it, would love to read it (if well written).

michaelgav said...

I like it. It's funny. I'll read it first, and then I'll go see the movie starring Rowan Atkinson as Mark Garden, John Cleese as Mr. York and Lisa Kudrow as Jenna. Nice job.

Anonymous said...

Wha?

merper said...

This is great. That chess line was hilarious.

If you can pull off this humor all the way through, I'd definitely buy this.

A Paperback Writer said...

Parts of this do sound funny (I like the canoe bit), but I've read it several times, and I can't figure out a lot of it.
This is the third time I've felt this way about something that hooked Miss Snark. I'm lost.
I hope your 750 words will clear things up for me. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

This is hilarious. I'd read it. It sounds like Hitchhiker's Guide meets Maxwell Smart. Or something. But it's clever and not done-to-death, and you have a great "voice". :-)

Virginia Miss said...

I was hooked by the time I got to "Or steal it, whichever keeps them in budget." A scream!

Congrats on hooking Miss Snark.

I look forward to reading the pages.

Daisy said...

Four hundred and eighty-some hooks in, and this one is the first one that made me laugh out loud. Repeatedly. I really hope the pages hold up to this hook, because right now I really want to read this.

Anonymous said...

Funny! One of the things you have going for you is something I heard Markus Zusak talk about recently--element of surprise. I hope we get to see more of this!

xiqay said...

I guess I don't get the dilemma. Mark has been striving fo ryears to make the flying car powered by discs. What would be so bad about having a company figure out how he made the dollhouse discs and then mass-produce the cars?

What did Mark think would happen if he succeeded to begin with?

And what's so awful about getting rid of our dependence on(and depletion of) fossil fuels?

It's cute, but this seems like a major glitch in the "what's at stake" equation.

Luc2 said...

This is hilarious. Some very funny lines. I couldn't stop smiling.
Great job!

Anonymous said...

Man, I thought I was reading Dave Barry for a moment. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

jeanne said...

michaelgav -- I'll take three tickets, please. Hilarious casting!

Interested to read 750. Curious why "he can't remember."

clarice snarkling said...

This is funny. Like others, I found the details of the plot to be a bit muddy, but I'm excited to read your first pages so that I can find out more. You have a very nice comedic voice, author.

writtenwyrdd said...

You have a wonderful way with words, and this makes me want to read your book.

But I found an unbelievable logic hole: He didn't understand why people were interested in teh flying dollhouse? Come on, even this nutty professor geek would get that.

Best of luck with this one, it sounds great.

Anonymous said...

Let's see, there's Flubber, and Son of Flubber, so why not Grandson of Flubber?

It will all depend on the writing. Hope it works.

j.c.

alternatefish said...

"Mr. York and Mark trade moves like a chess match between scheming six-year-olds who don’t know how to play chess."

I sense another Blackadder fan here...

There are weak plot points (mostly pointed out in other comments) but I think the humor will carry it through. May I please have an autographed copy when you get it published?