Sunday, August 2, 2009

Critique Session #7

Hey all! This is mine--and the last of the critique round--but it's only fair that I throw mine into the gamut, considering I put you all through the wringer :) I also entered this one into the Miss Snark's First Victim contest, although I've revised it based on their comments for a newer one here. This is also the last of the queries--sorry to add some on the weekend, but I wanted to be sure to let each person have a full day on the blog for their queries.

Title: LONG WAY HOME (currently)
Genre: YA SF
Name: Beth Revis
Website: This one :)



Sixteen-year-old Elder has always known that he was going to one day lead the space ship he was born on. Despite the fact that he longs for planet-landing more than anything else, he knows his responsibility lies in becoming the leader his people need during the long journey.

What he doesn’t know is that the current leader isn’t telling him everything. Such as the fact that there’s a hidden level on the ship containing cryogenically frozen people.

Then Amy wakes up fifty years early.

Amy has no desire to become one of the first colonist on a new planet—but her parents do. So she agrees to be frozen for the journey, even if that means giving up the life she loves on Earth.

As Amy adjusts to life on a space ship without her still-frozen parents, she and Elder discover that her cryo chamber didn’t malfunction—someone had tried to kill her and is now succeeding as he unplugs more and more helplessly frozen victims. Desperate to find the killer before he gets to her parents, Amy must combine her knowledge of the past with Elder’s knowledge of the ship and technology. Their digging leads to discoveries about how the ship’s leaders have maintained control in the past…and why one man thinks the answer is to kill the cryogenically frozen people before they have a future.

Complete at 80,000 words and told in the alternating view points of Amy and Elder, LONG WAY HOME is a YA science fiction intended for teens who like modern, character-drive speculative fiction such as Mary Pearson’s THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX.

I am currently a high school world literature teacher and an active member of SCBWI, having been publishing in and working as the copy editor of the state SCBWI magazine. Additionally, I run a blog on writing for MG and YA audiences ( which has over 250 subscribers. I can be found online at or I am prepared to submit the entire manuscript upon your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Beth Revis

First 250 Words

My name is Elder, even though I'm the youngest one on the ship. Not that I'm young. Sixteen years should mark me as an adult. But still, I'm youngest by a decade.

I lay on the cool metal floor of the Keeper Level, the only level with a window to the uni outside. Above me, the stars are abbreviated dashes in the sky, with streaks of faint colors―mostly reds and yellows, but sometimes blues or greens―within the lines of the stars.

I wonder, sometimes―I can't help but wonder―what it will feel like to stand on Centauri-Earth and look up at the stars and see only dots of light, not trailing splatters of delicate colors. It'll be a long time, I know―I'll be really old by the time we land, but when we do, I hope it’s at night. I want it to be really dark with no clouds or moons, and I hope before we set out to make our new world as the first humans on another planet, we all take a moment to stand still on the planet and look at the sparkling stars.

But I try not to think about it too much. Planet-landing is a long way away, and I don't like to remember how much time will pass before I go from being a traveler to a settler.

Above me, the stars glow brightly.

And then one of them dies.
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