Author Topic: SF blurb critique request  (Read 931 times)  

Offline Michael John Grist

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SF blurb critique request
« on: July 11, 2018, 06:10:27 AM »
Hi there, this will be for a relaunch of a book previously titled Mr. Ruin. New blurb, new covers, altered text. Title is Soul Jacker. Thank you for your help!

Your mind is the battlefield.

In the year 2364, crippling resource wars have devastated the world. The last of humanity survives on a sprawling raft of neon-lit slums high in the Arctic Circle, eking out a pitiful existence in the ruins of the past.

With the wars over, ex-marine Ritry Galante runs an illicit clinic in the depths of the slums. Once the greatest of the Souljackers - elite troops who risked their sanity diving into enemy minds - he's now a broken man reduced to implanting memories for cash.

Then a terrified girl enters his clinic, bearing the tongue-brand of the slum's brutal crime lord, and Ritry is yanked into a plot that threatens not only his future but all of humanity's. With the clock counting down on the souls of a family he hasn't yet had, Ritry must become a Souljacker once more, and fight for salvation in the insane maze of a dying mind, before his time runs out

A cyberpunk thriller with a gripping heist on the mind.

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Offline VanessaC

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2018, 06:55:37 AM »
Nice - I'm new to the blurb game, but a couple of quite nit-picky newbie thoughts which may or may not be useful:

- Is it Soul Jacker or Souljacker? I think you should be consistent between title and text
- I wonder if a bit of simplifying would help tighten it a fraction e.g. after the tagline, first sentence could read: "It's 2364 AD.  Resource wars have devastated the world", and change "illicit clinic" to "illegal clinic"

Just my tuppence worth - and feel free to ignore.

Offline idontknowyet

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2018, 07:20:08 AM »
I really like the blurb.
I don't know about the last line. Instead of saying the book is steampunk I might show them using the cover and put a hook at the end.

Offline Michael John Grist

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2018, 07:25:27 AM »
Nice - I'm new to the blurb game, but a couple of quite nit-picky newbie thoughts which may or may not be useful:

- Is it Soul Jacker or Souljacker? I think you should be consistent between title and text
- I wonder if a bit of simplifying would help tighten it a fraction e.g. after the tagline, first sentence could read: "It's 2364 AD.  Resource wars have devastated the world", and change "illicit clinic" to "illegal clinic"

Just my tuppence worth - and feel free to ignore.

Thank you Vanessa, I think those notes are really helpful! Here's the altered version:

Your mind is the battlefield.

It's 2364. Resource wars have devastated the world. The last of humanity survives on a sprawling raft of neon-lit slums high in the Arctic Circle, eking out a pitiful existence in the ruins of the past.

With the wars over, ex-marine Ritry Galante runs an illegal clinic in the depths of the slums. Once the greatest of the Soul Jackers - elite troops who risked their sanity diving into enemy minds - he's now a broken man reduced to implanting memories for cash.

Then a terrified girl enters his clinic, bearing the tongue-brand of the slum's brutal crime lord, and Ritry is yanked into a plot that threatens not only his future but all of humanity's. With the clock counting down on the souls of a family he hasn't yet had, Ritry must become a Soul Jacker once more, and fight for salvation through the insane maze of a dying mind, before his time runs out

A cyberpunk thriller with a gripping heist on the mind.

I really like the blurb.
I don't know about the last line. Instead of saying the book is steampunk I might show them using the cover and put a hook at the end.

Thanks idonyknowyet - you may be right, I will think about a hook I could use...
 

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Offline Maria T

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2018, 07:31:39 AM »
Then a terrified girl enters his clinic, bearing the tongue-brand of the slum's brutal crime lord, and Ritry is yanked into a plot that threatens not only his future but all of humanity's. With the clock counting down on the souls of a family he hasn't yet had, Ritry must become a Soul Jacker once more, and fight for salvation through the insane maze of a dying mind, before his time runs out

I really like it. Couple suggestions:

1. "Yanked into a plot" seems a little on the nose for a story blurb. Is it a conspiracy?
2. Last sentence opens "With the clock counting down" and ends with "before his time runs out." Probably don't need both?

Nice job!

Offline Michael John Grist

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2018, 07:56:35 AM »
I really like it. Couple suggestions:

1. "Yanked into a plot" seems a little on the nose for a story blurb. Is it a conspiracy?
2. Last sentence opens "With the clock counting down" and ends with "before his time runs out." Probably don't need both?

Nice job!

Thank you, and great point about plot! I was using it because conspiracy implies many people, and this is really the planning of one evil guy, but yes - conspiracy is much clearer. As for clock/time double mention, yes it may be overkill. What about something like this for the last line:

Then a terrified girl enters his clinic, bearing the tongue-brand of the slum's brutal crime lord, and Ritry is yanked into a conspiracy that threatens not only his future but all of humanity's. With the clock counting down on the souls of a family he hasn't yet had, Ritry must become a Soul Jacker once more, and fight for salvation through the insane maze of a dying mind, before the real suffering begins…
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 08:04:30 AM by Michael John Grist »

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Offline Maria T

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2018, 08:29:21 AM »
Personally, I'd just stop after "dying mind." Such a great image.

Offline catowned

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2018, 11:42:36 AM »
Your The mind is the battlefield. Stay in the story.

It's 2364. Resource wars have devastated the world. The last of humanity survives on a sprawling raft of neon-lit slums high in the Arctic Circle, eking out an pitiful existence in the ruins of the past.
Use resource in the next paragraph.
If this is the last of humanity, reader knows world is devastated.


With the resource wars over, ex-marine Ritry Galante runs an illegal clinic in the depths of the slums. Once the greatest of the Soul Jackers - elite troops who risked their sanity diving into enemy minds - he's now a broken man reduced to implanting memories for cash.
Prefer 'illicit' since it means illegal and immoral.
Prefer without 'broken man'


Then a terrified girl enters his clinic, bearing the tongue-brand of the slum's brutal crime lord, and Ritry is yanked into a conspiracy that threatens not only his future but all of humanity's. With the clock counting down on the souls of a family he hasn't yet had, Ritry must become a Soul Jacker once more, and fight for salvation through the insane maze of a dying mind., before the real suffering begins…
With futures at risk, reader knows the clock is ticking.
If Ritry lives with his future progeny's souls, that goes in 2nd paragraph. Here, it seems he'll be neutered.
Put a name on the antagonist. Is it brutal crime lord or dying mind or ...?
Fight for salvation? What is the evil goal Ritry must stop? What is the 'real suffering'?


A cyberpunk thriller with a gripping heist on the mind.
Reader knows this from blurb.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 11:44:46 AM by catowned »

Offline Michael John Grist

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2018, 03:09:43 PM »
Personally, I'd just stop after "dying mind." Such a great image.

Thanks Maria- definitely will consider this!



Thank you for the comments, catowned! Here is an altered version that attemps to answer your (very relevant) questions about antagonist and concrete stakes. In the earlier blurb, I was sidestepping this on purpose, as it seems a bit complicated to express snappily:

The year is 2364. Resource wars have devastated the world. The last of humanity survives on a sprawling raft of neon-lit slums high in the Arctic Circle, eking out a pitiful existence in the ruins of the past.

With the wars over, ex-marine Ritry Galante runs an illicit clinic in the depths of the slums, implanting false memories for cash. Once the greatest of the Soul Jackers - elite heist artists who risked their sanity breaking into enemy minds - he's now a broken man seeking only to forget the scars of the past.

Then a murderous stranger called Mr. Ruin enters his life, offering absolution but demanding one last heist, and Ritry is yanked into a conspiracy that threatens not only his future but all of humanity's. With the clock counting down, Ritry must become a Soul Jacker once more, and fight for salvation through the insane maze of a dying mind before Mr. Ruin can reach the terrible power at the core...
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 03:36:05 PM by Michael John Grist »

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Online P.J. Post

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2018, 03:54:38 PM »
It's been a long time since Ritry Galante risked his sanity on a pre-frontal data-hack. Once a renowned Soul-Jacker, now he's on the low-end outs of the Article Circle, letting his customers peddle their new memories throughout the neon-lit slums instead - staying out of trouble.

But Mr. Ruin remembers better times, and tracks Ritry down for one last job. One last wetware heist.

Ritry's final conspiracy begins with a terrified girl escaping the local slum-lords, and ends with a desperate race through a dying mind, except this one is hiding an incomprehensible power that threatens to end the last flotilla on Earth - and humanity along with it.
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Offline catowned

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2018, 10:08:56 PM »
Like the rushed psychedelic feel of pjpost's sample.

Like the original blurb. It's the core of the story and Ritry's dilemma, though it doesn't have the descriptive feel of the new blurb.

New blurb still has the curse of ambiguous stakes.
Absolution/salvation/power at the core? What?

In 2nd paragraph -
Rather than 'forget the scars of the past' (which he could feed to the worms),
say why he's broken -- something about the family he lost.
That would add context to his salvation/absolution rewrite of the past in the next paragraph.

In 3rd paragraph - Consider weave in some core concepts from the old blurb --
Ruin will show Ritry how to dive into reality itself.
Ritry could rewrite his past and start again but only if he agrees to do Ruin's bidding (& jack the insane maze of a dying mind for the reality altering power at its core).

Offline Michael John Grist

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2018, 02:48:12 AM »
Thank you, PJ Post, I love that blurb! It's so economical, and pacey, and frames the story through character motivation. Using just a few of those genre vocab really grounds it nicely. For some reason I avoided words like 'hack' and 'wetware', but they really make the genre and world clear, with great efficiency.

It's been a long time since Ritry Galante risked his sanity on a pre-frontal data-hack. Once a renowned Soul-Jacker, now he's on the low-end outs of the Article Circle, letting his customers peddle their new memories throughout the neon-lit slums instead - staying out of trouble.

But Mr. Ruin remembers better times, and tracks Ritry down for one last job. One last wetware heist.

Ritry's final conspiracy begins with a terrified girl escaping the local slum-lords, and ends with a desperate race through a dying mind, except this one is hiding an incomprehensible power that threatens to end the last flotilla on Earth - and humanity along with it.

Here's my slight adapatation, to make it fit:

It's been a long time since Ritry Galante risked his sanity on a deep-brain data-hack. Once a renowned Soul Jacker, now he operates in the low-end of the Arctic Circle, peddling cheap memories throughout the neon-lit slums just staying out of trouble.

But Mr. Ruin has other ideas, and tracks Ritry down for one last job. One last wetware heist.

Ritry's final conspiracy begins with a terrified girl escaping the local slum-lords, and ends with a desperate race through a dying mind, except this one is hiding an incomprehensible power that threatens to end the last flotilla on Earth - and humanity along with it.

Like the rushed psychedelic feel of pjpost's sample.

Like the original blurb. It's the core of the story and Ritry's dilemma, though it doesn't have the descriptive feel of the new blurb.

New blurb still has the curse of ambiguous stakes.
Absolution/salvation/power at the core? What?

In 2nd paragraph -
Rather than 'forget the scars of the past' (which he could feed to the worms),
say why he's broken -- something about the family he lost.
That would add context to his salvation/absolution rewrite of the past in the next paragraph.

In 3rd paragraph - Consider weave in some core concepts from the old blurb --
Ruin will show Ritry how to dive into reality itself.
Ritry could rewrite his past and start again but only if he agrees to do Ruin's bidding (& jack the insane maze of a dying mind for the reality altering power at its core).


Thank you catowned! I think you must have read the book, so I really appreciate you sharing your ideas. Here is a rework that includes some of the original blurb, the new blurb, and PJ Post's blurb:


The year is 2364. Ex-marine Ritry Galante lives a quiet life in the neon-lit slums of the Arctic Circle, seeking to drown his guilt from the last big resource war. Once the greatest of the Soul Jackers - elite hackers who risked their sanity breaking into enemy minds he now peddles cheap memories to the dregs of humanity, just staying out of trouble.

But Mr. Ruin has other ideas. He tracks Ritry down for one last job - a wetware heist unlike any attempted before - that could rewrite history itself.

It begins with a terrified girl escaping the local slum-lords, and ends with a desperate race through the insane maze of a dying mind, in search of an incomprehensible power that threatens to end the last flotilla on Earth - and humanity along with it.

Any clear preference between these two? Or am I just moving the chairs around on the Titanic? ;) 

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Offline VanessaC

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2018, 02:59:09 AM »
Back with my nit-picking.  I think both the new blurbs are good.  Slight preference for the first as it's a little shorter, but I agree about the deckchairs - either would work well.

Two queries:

- are you going to use the initial tagline, i.e. "The mind is a battlefield"?  Could be effective (I see taglines used a lot, and it's a good eye-catching opening)

- the last line kind of suggests to me that it's covering the whole plot - i.e. you start with Ritry being drawn in and end with the race through a dying mind.  Is that the overall plot?  I tend to like blurbs that give you the premise / set up and you have to read the book to get the rest - this one suggests (to me) that that's the whole plot.  Slight changes might make it more open - "Ritry's involvement begins with a terrified girl escaping the local slum-lords and before long he's in a desperate race ..."

This isn't my genre, so of course feel free to ignore. 

Offline Michael John Grist

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2018, 05:34:30 AM »
Back with my nit-picking.  I think both the new blurbs are good.  Slight preference for the first as it's a little shorter, but I agree about the deckchairs - either would work well.

Two queries:

- are you going to use the initial tagline, i.e. "The mind is a battlefield"?  Could be effective (I see taglines used a lot, and it's a good eye-catching opening)

- the last line kind of suggests to me that it's covering the whole plot - i.e. you start with Ritry being drawn in and end with the race through a dying mind.  Is that the overall plot?  I tend to like blurbs that give you the premise / set up and you have to read the book to get the rest - this one suggests (to me) that that's the whole plot.  Slight changes might make it more open - "Ritry's involvement begins with a terrified girl escaping the local slum-lords and before long he's in a desperate race ..."

This isn't my genre, so of course feel free to ignore.

Thank you, Vanessa! Really helpful comments - I'm with you on the faster version PJ Post suggested. I've learned a lot in this thread about how important it is to get to character drive over flat world description - and how you can do both at the same time.

Here's the latest, with minor changes (swap flotilla for city, amongst others) and a new stinger at the end:

The mind is a battlefield.

It's been a long time since Ritry Galante risked his sanity on a deep-brain data-hack. Once a renowned Soul Jacker, now he operates in the low-end of the Arctic Circle, peddling cheap memories throughout the neon-lit slums – just staying out of trouble.

But Mr. Ruin has other ideas. He tracks Ritry down for one last job - a wetware heist that could rewrite history itself.

It begins with a terrified girl escaping the local slum-lords, but soon becomes a desperate race through the insane maze of a dying mind, searching for an incomprehensible power that threatens to end the last city on Earth - and humanity along with it.

Can Ritry finish the hack in time?

Alternate last bit, because it better reflects the stakes-

It begins with a terrified girl escaping the local slum-lords, but soon becomes a desperate race through the insane maze of a dying mind, as Ritry searches for an incomprehensible power that threatens to end free will forever, and plunge humanity into an endless living hell.

Mr. Ruin wants that power for himself. Can Ritry beat him to the hack in time?

« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 10:11:30 AM by Michael John Grist »

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Offline Catana

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2018, 11:00:57 AM »
Neon-lit? That seems kind of unrealistic given how you've described what life is currently like: "...pitiful existence in the ruins of the past."

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Offline VanessaC

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2018, 11:25:34 AM »
Glad it was helpful.

Of the new versions, I like the first one, but I would be tempted to leave off the last line (the question). Or if you want really short and sharp, end at "dying mind" - that's a powerful point to end.

Whatever you decide, it reads well to me and best of luck with it.

Offline catowned

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2018, 11:45:33 AM »
I read the look inside, took the graysmithing ride.

It can be a challenge to focus the blurb, reveal the stakes, pull the readers.
This mashup is close.
You do want to better reflect the stakes.


Here's the comments...

2nd paragraph
It's never one last job. The reader can see this is a series. Even if Ruin says it in the story, perhaps use instead...
'for a job'


3rd & 4th paragraphs - the ones that better reflects the stakes
Is the girl at the start a demo of Ritry's skills or is she a major part of the Ruin/dying mind conspiracy?
If she's not a continuing main character in primary story arc, leave her out of the blurb. Focus on the primary story arc.

These paragraphs, 3 & 4, separately or together, would be stronger with Ritry's personal stake as well.
Thrillers have a personal stake, a reason the main character keeps risking self for the goal.
Ruin chose Ritry because he'd have a personal stake that's pivotal to the job & the story.
He could rewrite his rewrite his past, regain his lost love, if he gets Ruin what he wants.
That's a significant part of Ritry's character and morality, and why he's subverting Ruin - trying to stop what Ruin wants or get there first or leave a back door or...

eta. more stakes
« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 01:10:42 PM by catowned »

Offline C. Gold

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2018, 01:18:03 PM »
The mind is the final battlefield.

It's been a long time since Ritry Galante risked his sanity on a deep-brain data-hack. Once a renowned Soul Jacker, now he operates in the low-end of the Arctic Circle, peddling cheap memories throughout the neon-lit slums -- just staying out of trouble.

But Mr. Ruin has other ideas. He tracks Ritry down for a wetware heist that could rewrite history itself.


I like this part (added final and merged that last sentence a bit). Now we need to know why Ritry took the job and what the setup is for the stakes.


It begins with a terrified girl escaping the local slum-lords, but soon becomes a desperate race through the insane maze of a dying mind, as Ritry searches for an incomprehensible power that threatens to end free will forever, and plunge humanity into an endless living hell.

Mr. Ruin wants that power for himself. Can Ritry beat him to the hack in time?


I like the punch of this (minus the girl bit which doesn't seem to relate to anything else). However, if Ritry is doing the wetware job, how is Mr. Ruin going to beat him to the hack? How does the job start at rewriting the future and morph into end free will forever/plunge humanity into an endless living hell? This simply doesn't make sense with the first half of the blurb.



Offline Michael John Grist

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2018, 02:56:33 PM »
Extremely useful, challenging comments - thank you. I need to rewrite this book, and getting the blurb straight is proving to be revelatory for me. It is all there in the current book, but buried. In a rewrite I need to bring the tension up.

Neon-lit? That seems kind of unrealistic given how you've described what life is currently like: "...pitiful existence in the ruins of the past."

Thank you - I'm thinking like the neon-lit slums of Bladerunner? But that 'pitiful existence' looks like it is gone now anyway...
« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 11:44:10 PM by Michael John Grist »

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Offline Michael John Grist

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2018, 11:44:41 PM »
Glad it was helpful.

Of the new versions, I like the first one, but I would be tempted to leave off the last line (the question). Or if you want really short and sharp, end at "dying mind" - that's a powerful point to end.

Whatever you decide, it reads well to me and best of luck with it.

Thank you Vanessa! Others have liked the 'dying mind' line, I will definitely think about it as an ender.

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Offline Michael John Grist

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2018, 11:45:18 PM »
I read the look inside, took the graysmithing ride.

It can be a challenge to focus the blurb, reveal the stakes, pull the readers.
This mashup is close.
You do want to better reflect the stakes.

Here's the comments...

2nd paragraph
It's never one last job. The reader can see this is a series. Even if Ruin says it in the story, perhaps use instead...
'for a job'


3rd & 4th paragraphs - the ones that better reflects the stakes
Is the girl at the start a demo of Ritry's skills or is she a major part of the Ruin/dying mind conspiracy?
If she's not a continuing main character in primary story arc, leave her out of the blurb. Focus on the primary story arc.

These paragraphs, 3 & 4, separately or together, would be stronger with Ritry's personal stake as well.
Thrillers have a personal stake, a reason the main character keeps risking self for the goal.
Ruin chose Ritry because he'd have a personal stake that's pivotal to the job & the story.
He could rewrite his rewrite his past, regain his lost love, if he gets Ruin what he wants.
That's a significant part of Ritry's character and morality, and why he's subverting Ruin - trying to stop what Ruin wants or get there first or leave a back door or...

eta. more stakes

Thanks for going so deep, catowned. I hear you on stakes. I am wary to start explaining late story stuff, but there should really be something in there about why he's doing this. I will try to add it.

Also, you are right that the terrified girl is not that important. She does kick the story off, and she also gives us a chance to see Ritry in a hack, but she plays no further role. I think it shows range and urgency in the blurb, but maybe it is not necessary.   

Should I call the book Soul Hacker instead of Soul Jacker? I'm thinking this because, as you've seen in the book sample, I use the word 'dive' a lot for going into minds. 'Jack' is an odd replacement for that, though 'hack' works mostly fine. So why 'Soul Jacker' if he is always 'hacking'? I will try in this version.

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Offline Michael John Grist

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2018, 11:46:42 PM »
The mind is the final battlefield.

It's been a long time since Ritry Galante risked his sanity on a deep-brain data-hack. Once a renowned Soul Jacker, now he operates in the low-end of the Arctic Circle, peddling cheap memories throughout the neon-lit slums -- just staying out of trouble.

But Mr. Ruin has other ideas. He tracks Ritry down for a wetware heist that could rewrite history itself.


I like this part (added final and merged that last sentence a bit). Now we need to know why Ritry took the job and what the setup is for the stakes.

It begins with a terrified girl escaping the local slum-lords, but soon becomes a desperate race through the insane maze of a dying mind, as Ritry searches for an incomprehensible power that threatens to end free will forever, and plunge humanity into an endless living hell.

Mr. Ruin wants that power for himself. Can Ritry beat him to the hack in time?


I like the punch of this (minus the girl bit which doesn't seem to relate to anything else). However, if Ritry is doing the wetware job, how is Mr. Ruin going to beat him to the hack? How does the job start at rewriting the future and morph into end free will forever/plunge humanity into an endless living hell? This simply doesn't make sense with the first half of the blurb.


Thank you, C Gold! Great questions about free will becoming endless hell and also rewrite history earlier. Also- how is Ruin compelling Ritry, or how could be beat him? If I explain it (kind of the synopsis) in non-optimized prose, it might look like this:

There is enormous power at the center of the mind. It's incredibly dangerous to get it. Only Ritry has the skills. Ruin tries to entice Ritry to dive for him, offering a way to rewrite his history and get his girl back, but Ritry sees the danger. Ruin is a sadist - with that much power  he would enslave humanity and torture them for fun. So he says no. Ten years pass (fast). Ritry now has a family, after getting his life together. This is halfway through the story. Ruin grabs them, and tells Ritry to do the hack. So Ritry does the hack (this takes half the book), barely survives, but manages to use the power in the middle to escape. Ruin comes, thinking he's won, and Ritry triggers a trap to crush Ruin in the real world. The end.

I can mention his lost girl for motivation, for sure. I struggle to phrase the rest snappily - hence just jumping to Ritry doing the desperate race.

You are also correct that the terrified girl bit is not really necessary/connected. It is early story kicking off material.

OK here is another stab at it:

The mind is a battlefield.

It's been a long time since Ritry Galante risked his sanity on a deep-brain data-hack. Once a renowned Soul Jacker, now he operates in the low-end of the Arctic Circle, peddling cheap memories throughout the neon-lit slums trying to forget the love he lost in his last deep hack.

But Mr. Ruin has a grander plan. He tracks Ritry down for one final job - a wetware heist to steal an incomprehensible power from the heart of the mind. The risks are immense, but the rewards? Ritry could rewrite history itself and bring back his love. Ruin could indulge his manipulative sadism on an unparalleled scale.

And Ruin won't take no for an answer.

So begins a desperate race through the insane maze of a dying mind, as Ritry struggles to complete the most dangerous hack ever conceived, while trying to prevent humanity's descent into Mr. Ruin's brutal grip.

Hmm. I don't know, but the best I can come up with now, having a blurb-fried brain. Thanks!

Michael John Grist | website

Offline Jeff Tanyard

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2018, 12:25:01 AM »
Should I call the book Soul Hacker instead of Soul Jacker?


I vote yes.  Everyone knows what a hacker is, but "jacker" in this context is vague and doesn't really tell us what's going on.  It sounds like hijacking, which would imply mind control at a totalitarian level, but the rest of the blurb doesn't seem to support that.  It sounds like the hacked person still maintains some control over himself.  So, yeah, I'd go with hacker instead.

Hope that helps.   :)
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Offline C. Gold

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2018, 12:30:14 AM »

I vote yes.  Everyone knows what a hacker is, but "jacker" in this context is vague and doesn't really tell us what's going on.  It sounds like hijacking, which would imply mind control at a totalitarian level, but the rest of the blurb doesn't seem to support that.  It sounds like the hacked person still maintains some control over himself.  So, yeah, I'd go with hacker instead.

Hope that helps.   :)
A jacker would be someone who plugs a jack in a socket embedded in their neck.

Offline Michael John Grist

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Re: SF blurb critique request
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2018, 02:46:44 AM »
Thank you Jeff and C Gold. I think either could work - because yes, in the book (if not the blurb) Ritry is hi-jacking minds and souls completely. Maybe it just comes down to how it sounds, and I do prefer Jacker.

Here is another crack at the blurb, w/ changes to last para:

The mind is a battlefield.

It's been a long time since Ritry Galante risked his sanity on a deep-brain data-hack. Once a renowned Soul Jacker, now he operates in the low-end of the Arctic Circle, peddling cheap memories through the neon-lit slums, trying to forget the love he lost.

But Mr. Ruin has a grander plan. He tracks Ritry down for one final job - a wetware heist to steal an incomprehensible power from the heart of the mind. The risks are immense, but the rewards? Ritry could rewrite history itself and bring back his lost love.

So begins a desperate race through the insane maze of a dying mind, as Ritry struggles to complete the most daring hack ever conceived. Yet there are hints of a dark conspiracy - what does Mr. Ruin really want? With that much power he could destroy the last city on Earth, and humanity along with it.

Then only Ritry could stand in his way

Michael John Grist | website