After choosing the following query for the first "Evil Editor Classic," I Googled the title on a whim, only to discover that the book has been published under the title Song of Scarabaeus, (starred review in Publishers Weekly) and the author somehow forgot to contact me to give credit to the minions for her success and to receive the huge bump in sales that accompanies any reported Success Story. The second book of the series is also now out.
Guess the Plot
1. Jason was excited to find a magical Egyptian ring which endows the wearer with all of the powers of a scarab--armored shell, crushing mandibles, heightened senses--until he discovered that the ring also curses the wearer with an irresistible craving for dung.
2. Funded by TV addicts, the US army's elite Timesquad travels to ancient Egypt to retrieve the Scarabaeus, a mythical amulet that allegedly reveals what's on the island on Lost.
3. Seven years ago the planet Scarabaeus was ruined by terraformer Edie Shade's meddling. When Edie returns, will the now-sentient planet seek revenge?
4. When the gargantuan, pandimensional, superintelligent beetles that built the pyramids invade the Earth, archaeologist Quincy Powers enters their dung heaps hoping to discover their fatal weakness.
5. 14-year-old figure skater Jason Pond hopes to beat the competition with his unique patterns based on the geometric scarabaeus. But when commentator Lionel Humphreys finds Jason's form attractive, Jason realizes he needs more than math to figure out who he is.
6. Can Sarah Ashworth of the Newport Ashworths ever find true happiness amidst a swarm of in-laws and a dung beetle who thinks he’s God almighty?
I would like to submit my 100,000-word science fiction novel, Scarabaeus, for your consideration. The first of a series, it is followed by Children of Scarabaeus and Soul of Scarabaeus. [After that will come Revenge of Scarabaeus, Scarabaeus V: The Final Chapter, Scarabaeus Rises, Scarabaeus vs. Predator, Scarabaeus Meets Abbott and Costello, The Positively Last and Final Appearance Ever by Scarabaeus, and Return of Scarabaeus.] Because of your success with representing women’s science fiction, I feel you would be an excellent agent for my work.
One woman, one planet, [Now there's a woman who shouldn't have any trouble getting a date.] one chance for freedom...
Edie Shade has been trained by the oppressive Crib government since childhood as a cypherteck. She programs the advanced technology called ‘biocyph’ used to terraform new colony worlds. [This all sounds like childish gibberish; but what did I expect from the Crib government?] Her job is both highly skilled and highly valued – so valued she is kidnapped and coerced into working for rovers, who steal biocyph and sell it to the outlawed Fringe worlds. [This is like the movie Serenity. The rovers are the Reavers. Edie is River. That's all I remember about the movie: Reavers and River.] [Wait, the rovers are the Serenity crew, the Crib are the Alliance, and Edie is still River. And the Reavers are the Borg.]
Captive on the rovers’ ship, where the flexible loyalties of the crew add to the tension, [Sounds like a Klingon ship.] she must prove herself useful in order to survive. [Not clear why she must prove anything; they kidnaped her because they knew she was useful.] To make matters worse, she is assigned a reluctant bodyguard, the dark and mysterious convict Finn, who is motivated to protect her by a chip in his skull that will kill him if she dies. [How exactly does having a bodyguard who's highly motivated to keep you alive make matters worse?] [Not only would I welcome a reluctant bodyguard with a skull chip, I would request a dozen more.]
With the authorities on their heels and a traitor on board, the rovers take Edie back to Scarabaeus, the planet she first visited as a Crib trainee. Awed by the beauty of Scarabaeus, she sabotaged that terraforming effort and the mission was pronounced a failure – and that makes it a prime target for rovers. [If rovers are going to this planet to steal biocyph that Edie had a hand in programming, and Edie is on their ship, wouldn't it be faster to just have her program some more than to travel light years through space?] [Who are the good guys? The thieving, kidnaping rovers or the oppressive Cribs, or the meddling, planet-destroying Edie? I'm not fond of any of them.]
But seven years later, Scarabaeus has become a terrifyingly changed world, its evolution now under the control of the mutated biocyph the Crib left behind. As the rover team navigates the dangers of this sentient jungle planet, Edie must risk her own life – and Finn’s – to save Scarabaeus, [from . . . Crib Death!] the world that her naïve meddling created. [Scarabaeus is the good guy, right? Scarabaeus and Finn. Sounds like a comedy team. A better comedy team: Scarabaeus and Scaramouche.] [Wait, Scarabaeus is Earth, Edie and the Cribs are the Bush Administration, and the rovers are Greenpeace. Which makes Finn . . . Huckleberry Finn!]
With a BSc in Biology, I use futuristic concepts of genetic engineering as the backdrop for my novel. I was the associate editor of Australia’s foremost SF magazine, Aurealis, for several years. I work as a textbook editor and migrated to the USA in 2005.
If you’d care to consider representing the book, I’d be happy to send along sample chapters or the complete manuscript. I look forward to your response.
Edie Shade has been trained by the oppressive Crib government to program advanced technology called "biocyph," used in terraforming new colony worlds. Awed by the beauty of the planet Scarabaeus, her first assignment, she sabotages that terraforming effort, and the mission is pronounced a failure.
Years later, Edie, whose job is both highly skilled and highly valued, is kidnaped and coerced into working for rovers, mercenary biocyph thieves who sell to the outlawed Fringe worlds. Captive on the rovers’ ship, where the flexible loyalties of the crew add to the tension, she must prove herself useful in order to survive.
Eventually the rovers are drawn to Scarabaeus, seeking abandoned biocyph from Edie's first project. But the planet's evolution (thanks to Edie) is now under the control of mutated biocyph; Scarabaeus has become a terrifying--and sentient--jungle world. As the rover team navigates the dangers of Scarabaeus, Edie risks her life to save the world that her naïve meddling created.
Scarabaeus is the first of a series. I use futuristic concepts of genetic engineering as the backdrop for the novels. I have a BSc in Biology, and was the associate editor of Australia’s foremost SF magazine, Aurealis, for several years, before moving to the USA in 2005. If you’d care to consider representing the book, I’d be happy to send along sample chapters or the complete manuscript. Thank you.
There seems to be an expectation that the book will involve beetles. Or geometry. Is that how the planet was named?