Two cover-copy possibilities for my scifi novel

A little bit of writerly silliness:

Option One: the sensible paragraph.

A bored technical team discovers a crashed alien space probe on Verlassen, the furthest dwarf planet from the sun. The discovery triggers a new space race, to build a starship and travel to the planet that the probe came from, only nine light-years away. Lorelei Bloem, the team’s science officer, persuades The Conference of Nations, a global diplomatic and humanitarian agency, to build a starship. But the competition includes military juntas, corporate oligarchies, and fanatical religious groups, all intent on sabotaging her work. She calculates that the ship must be built in less than sixteen years: after that, the looming cold war between the superpowers will collapse the world’s economy and biosphere. Under pressure from all sides, and thrust into the spotlight unprepared, her choices will determine the future of civilization.

Option Two: the single run-on sentence to be read by one of those hip young YouTube vlog stars whose video editors make them sound like they’re high on coffee and uppers.

This book is about a scientist who discovers a crashed alien space probe and therefore comes to think her civilization might be on the edge of collapse (because science– read it and you’ll see), and so creates a mathematical formula to calculate exactly how fast that might happen, and further comes to believe her civilization can be saved by building a starship to visit the planet that the probe came from, however her bosses at the multinational UN-like agency she works for, because of their cartoonish incompetence and paranoia, deliberately subvert not only the starship construction program but also anything that might actually be helpful; the whole thing is a kind of extended metaphor in which aliens and the emptiness of space stands for the intrinsic otherness of people and therefore the inevitability of loneliness and despair, along with a hippy-dippy statement about how intellectual curiosity is the best solution to that existential loneliness and even that won’t work all of the time.

Place your vote in the comments!

See also: Why I’m Writing Science Fiction Now.

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One Response to Two cover-copy possibilities for my scifi novel

  1. Heather Logan says:

    Option One. Definintely Option One. I don’t think I’d even make it to the end of the Option Two paragraph if it were on the back of a book.

    I’ve heard that “Snowcrash” lost a lot of potential readers in its first chapter, which is written in a totally different style than the rest of the book.

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