Monday, March 26, 2007
Guess the Plot
1. After months of watching that insipid infomercial, Blake Pinter gives in and orders a set of kitchen knives that can slice through aluminum cans. But when he chops his first vegetable, a rutabaga, he’s transported to the twelfth century. Can Blake find the food that will time slice him back to the present, or will he forever hop through history cursing his lost $39.95.
2. Dragged to the mall by his wife, Roy stumbles upon a metal cylinder that allows him to travel back and forth to different civilizations. Will he use it for his own pleasure, or to assist the tall, gangly creature known as . . . The Traveler?
3. In a San Antonio restaurant, Burt expected lime with his Corona, never noticing that the menu actually said "comes with a slice of time." When the waiter asked him what year he desired, he answered 1836 on a lark. Now how will he survive Santa Anna's attack on the Alamo?
4. Shady realtor Ted Cutter thought he could market vacation time-shares, but business does not take off until he develops the one hour time-slice. Trouble ensues when he merges his company with an escort service and the neighbors start to complain.
5. Nina is a small business owner, Evan is a stay-at-home dad, and Rory is a short-order cook. What do they have in common? Nothing--until a flawed time-space continuum experiment shifts each of them into the life of one of the others.
6. The Great Witch who jellified the year 1532 has decided to slice it up and sell weeks. Who is buying? Scamps, scoundrels, and devil-may-care princelings who screwed up royally the first time and would like another go. But can bonnie Prince Robert meet the witch's price?
Dear Evil Editor:
Thank you for taking the time to review the query for my 81,000 word science fiction novel, Time Slice.
Even though Roy Washburn has [only] been retired [only] a few months, he's already bored. When he finds a small metal cylinder with odd markings on an all-too-routine trip to the mall with his wife, he can't help but investigate. With just a nudge of the cylinder's triangle shaped pointer, Roy finds he can [focus a beam of light on a nearby wall. Astounded, he calls a press conference to reveal what he calls the most remarkable discovery in the history of mankind. Three reporters show up and laugh him out of the room.] float back and forth in the time stream and learns that countless civilizations inhabit "his" Earth, each occupying their own thin slice of time. Roy also encounters a tall, gangly creature, The Traveler, who knows more than a little about the cylinder, and who needs Roy's help. [Is this the same "Traveler" who appeared three times on Star Trek: The Next Generation? The Traveler whose greatest gift to humanity was taking Wesley Crusher with him to explore the universe, and thus off the series?]
Roy's clandestine experiments with the cylinder continue even after learning that his wife, Emily, is terminally ill. [I've said it before and I'll say it again: when your spouse is terminally ill, common courtesy demands that you suspend all time travel experimentation.] Roy's daughter, Ann, sees her father's inattentiveness to Emily as further proof that he hasn't changed over the years and is self-centered as ever. The chasm between father and daughter widens.
[Emily: Your wife is dying, and you're going where?
Roy: The Etruscan civilization. But don't worry, I'll be back two months ago.]
Faced with his wife's terminal illness, a daughter who resents him, and an alien who needs his help, Roy must decide whether to use the cylinder to satisfy his own wants or to help his family and new friend through their crises. [Why is this an either/or decision? The cylinder can be used only once?] Much to Roy's surprise, the goals are not mutually exclusive.
Thank you for your time.
Where does Roy find the cylinder? In the pocket of a shirt on a rack at Abercrombie and Fitch? Is it a coincidence that he finds it, or was it preordained?
I'd like more information about what happens when Roy uses the cylinder. Also, what it is the Traveler wants from Roy.
On the other hand, less (or no) information about Emily would be fine in the query.