So, I wrote a speculative fiction novel.
It’s not the best novel ever written, but it’s not the worst either. I’ve been sending it around to agents without any luck, trying not to feel like too much of a failure, but then I realized that even if I don’t get it published I would at least like it to be “out there,” wherever that may be. I believe in it that much at least, in its ideas, and for various reasons I don’t consider self-publishing or e-publishing an option.
This, then, is what I’ve decided on: to copyright it and put it on my very modestly-viewed blog, and to then use my pathetic social networking capabilities so that the greatest possible number of interested readers may have easy, free access. That’s what the link below is (assuming I got it to work properly): a pdf that you may download at will, take with you, leave here, share, etc. For free, let me remind you. I may someday get a Paypal arrangement set up so that people can donate if they think the work merits it, but I kind of doubt it.
Without further ado, then, you may have a look. I’m including here the query letter I have sent to agents so that you may get an idea of the actual content, though it’s not necessary for your reading enjoyment. Just let me sweep you up in my cautionary tale, in a world that could some day be ours if we’re not careful. . . Oh, and let me know what you think.
I am seeking representation for my first completed novel, a 120,000-word speculative fiction cross between Octavia Butler and 1984. I-Land is the hyper-realistic, dystopian tale of an oppressive corporate hegemony and the rebels sworn to resist it. It’s a world secured by the corporate-owned police force, where metal claws are used for citizen lockdowns. It’s a world where smartphones and tablets are obsolete and screen-embedded contact lenses are required by law. A world where citizens are granted rights according to how much they spend, and where non-consumers fend for themselves in the Nink (Non-Incorporated Zone).
I-Land targets commercial fiction audiences and offers pointed commentary on technology, war, spirituality, corporatism and popular culture. It’s perfect for movie adaptation à la Hunger Games and Divergent, and I’ve already written detailed notes for a planned sequel.
In the year 2181, more than a century has passed since the Second Civil War demolished the United States. The most powerful of the five remaining provinces, the eponymous I-Land, is controlled by a technology and telecom megacorporation named Illiex. I-Land’s inhabitants, the Citizens, are child-like simpletons drugged into complacency by mandatory “I’s,” screen displays embedded in their contact lenses. The four protagonists – Mohsin, Betancourt, Dani and Eche – are leaders of a well-organized insurgent group called the People, which has created a new religion around the ideals of Truth, Freedom and Justice. The novel begins at the People’s initiation of a Grand Strategy against Illiex, a battle plan almost two decades in the making. The telepath Mohsin manages the entire enterprise, while Betancourt faces the suspicions of his new allies after defecting from the I-Land Police Force. Eche must cope with the loss of her family while learning how to embrace her burgeoning telepathic power. Meanwhile Dani, a former Citizen, harbors a darkness that could destroy the People and everyone else. The novel documents four days of insurrection in a 3rd-person limited voice that shifts between six different characters. The reader, in turn, witnesses the riveting action through each of their eyes.
My novel stands apart from other such works by its realism and philosophical ideology, along with my conscious defiance of genre clichés. Also remarkable is my incorporation of gender and racial equality into the story; the females are at least as strong as the males and all races enjoy a positive portrayal. There is also a rare depth to the book’s world, best exemplified by the inter-chapter backstory constituted by “excerpts” from the fictional People’s Anthology of the 3rd Millenium. Basically, I-Land differs from other genre fare by being thoughtful – a few pages are enough to discern the heft behind it.
I thank you for your consideration in changing the world.