Dear Writer’s Voice coaches,
I’d like to submit my completed adult science fiction manuscript Biohunter for your consideration (and hopefully enjoyment), and introduce you to my unconventional heroine Niobe Grace.
Niobe is guilty of many things – bar brawls, affairs with married mayors, eyebrow-raising morals, and of swaggering through life like a punch-drunk cavalier. She is also the best biohunter east of the Rockies; a fact that has helped her avoid more serious censure from the Guild of Biohunters.
Orphaned at a young age, Niobe joined the Guild to help other victims of the constant, brutal biological warfare over resources. Biohunters are neutral players but when Niobe is framed as the source of deadly new weapons wreaking havoc across the north-east, she faces the fight of her life to prove her innocence, avoid execution, and protect the people she has come to love as family from a rising and ruthless new power.
Set in a post-climate change, resource-starved North America, Biohunter is influenced by my love of urban fantasy such as Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files, with his eccentric, flawed protagonists battling overwhelming odds, and of complex, fun but deadly women such as River Song and Buffy.
Biohunter is a stand-alone novel at 82,000 words but also has the potential to be developed into a series.
I’m an Australian freelance science journalist by day and non-fiction author by night (The End: The Human Experience Of Death, and The Sixth Wave, both published by Random House Australia). I write, blog and rant at www.biancanogrady.com.
Thank you for your consideration, and I hope Biohunter appeals to you.
First 250 words:
The ambush came as Niobe hauled her dusty turbocycle saddle bags along the dimly-lit walkway that ran the length of the motel. It had been a long day on the road, and she really didn’t have the patience for it.
She had to credit their stealth – she didn’t hear a thing until the snub nose of an ultrasound injector pressed into the exposed flesh at the back of her neck, snuck in above the worn leather of her jacket. Her neck hairs rose in ineffectual defense, and she suppressed a shudder at the contrast of cold metal on warm sweaty skin.
Niobe growled a silent curse. “For Gaia’s sake, can’t we do this after I’ve had a shower?”
She eased her head to one side, hoping for a glimpse of her attackers. One stood just beyond the downward cone of light that lit the door to her room, too far to be holding the weapon to her neck. Two of them, then. There was a whiff of salty, smoky body odor that suggested a long time between washes. She heaved a sigh. “Fine. What do you want?”
Niobe could have answered the question for them. Most likely gold, or her comms unit – something they could sell to buy a meal or some water. Resources were scarce and a biohunter was an obvious target for someone looking for gold, or high-tech comms gear. There was precious little technology around these days, and what did exist was priced…