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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

LETTERS TO THE SLUSH PILE #11

Dear -----

I'm only a couple of pages into your story. I've stopped reading to write this post. Just so you know, On Spec is a speculative fiction magazine.

I know sex sells, but you're far better off starting us off with a hint of science fiction or magical fantasy, not some sex scene that makes me groan (in the wrong way) and talks about 'strokes' and 'blossoming womanhood'. Are you referring to orgasm when you talk of 'blossoming womanhood'? To me, this is 'fluffy sex' prose. Don't romanticize. Write it like it is.

Also, eyes can't 'embrace'. Even when they're emerald green. You might want to check an earlier ABC's I posted, on E is for Eyes, Arms, Legs, and Other Bodily Appendages.

Okay, after penning the above rant, I returned to your story to give it a fair read. I see that you do have an SF element to it. Still, (and for an SF market) you might start with an opening that establishes your story as SF and not romance or erotica.

You also need to think through some of your logic. Since most governments in the democratic world include officials who are 50 and over, I find it highly unlikely that anyone over 50 would be relegated to government compounds. Furthermore, you need to be careful when you target a particular ethnic group  as terrorists in need of mind alteration. There's a word for that. It starts with 'R'.

- Susan.

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