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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any help appreciated.

***
WORLD WAR 97: PART ONE
Sometimes war is just the distraction

Six superpowers battle each other in war after war, perpetually locked in bloody stalemate. Giant airships prowl the skies, destroying everything mankind has previously built; they have forced humanity deep into undercities.

Jordi Roberts thought he'd found his escape from living underground by becoming an American Conference fighter pilot. But ever since a crash that nearly killed him, he suffers from nightmares and the military won't restore his flight status. Jordi spends his time drinking, and seething against those he believes responsible for his plane's malfunction, the sinister cyberterrorist organization known as Celeste.

America is attacked and crippled by their closest ally and left fighting desperately for survival. Only Jordi knows that there's more to the betrayal than it appears, and he suspects that Celeste are involved. His investigations lead him to the heart of the American leadership and to a horrifying truth worse than anything he imagined possible.

Part 1 of a 5 part serial. Parts 2, 3, 4, 5 are due out in June, July, August, September. The 5 parts will combine into one full sized novel.
***

Thanks.

Also, if anyone is interested in beta reading the 20K word part 1, let me know. Would be super appreciated. Especially valuable would be anyone will military or flying experience.
 

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The blurb sounds good to me. It's interesting.

Two little things jumped out at me:

The title says WW 97. As a real life current events/military history nut, this world wouldn't be around after 90-some world wars. However, the title grabbed my attention.

I'm guessing you're from the UK because of the verbs. UKers usually write corporations as plural, where Americans write them as singular entities. It jumps out at me because I'm American.

Example: Only Jordi knows that there's more to the betrayal than it appears, and he suspects that Celeste are involved.

Americans would write "Celeste is involved." People often advise putting a notice in a book that it uses UK spelling and grammar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Frank Tayell said:
Just a few thoughts (to get the ball rolling) - is this alt history or near/far future sci-fi? I'd start with "It's 1967, six superpowers..." or "A century after the wars began, six superpowers are still locked in perpetual war..." Just to give a feel for what to expect

Second para, second sentence change to: "Ever since a near-fatal crash, he"

And get rid of the last bit that says 'one full sized novel' - it makes it seem like it wouldn't be worth coughing up the money for five individual parts.

I'll have a think about the rest later, but I'm really meant to be formatting a paperback at the moment. Must. Stop. Procrastinating.
Thanks, good points. This is the 97th World War so it's far future, year 3511. Maybe "Six superpowers battle each other century after century, perpetually locked in bloody stalemate. " to give an idea of time.
 

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I don't read in this genre, but I gotta tell you you've got the makings of a powerful blurb here.
Grabbed me, for sure. Astute feedback from members.

Stay with it. Sounds like the series has a lot going for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
HAGrant said:
The title says WW 97. As a real life current events/military history nut, this world wouldn't be around after 90-some world wars. However, the title grabbed my attention.
I know what you mean, but there are things going on behind the scenes that make perpetual world wars possible. It's not as simple as every nation trying to obliterate each other in war after war which I agree would destroy the world pretty quickly.

HAGrant said:
I'm guessing you're from the UK because of the verbs. UKers usually write corporations as plural, where Americans write them as a singular entities. It jumps out at me because I'm American.

Example: Only Jordi knows that there's more to the betrayal than it appears, and he suspects that Celeste are involved.

Americans would write "Celeste is involved." People often advise putting a notice in a book that it uses UK spelling and grammar.
Correct, Irish but we use UK English. However, in my books I have decided to use American spelling and try to use American grammar, so I'll change what you pointed out there. Inside the book, I rely on American editors to hunt out my UK-isms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Frank Tayell said:
Okay, I've had some time to think about this. I think the key thing you need to get across in your first paragraph is what the level of technology is. So, there's a mention of airships and fighter pilots (sounds interesting - reminiscent of World War 1). Will this be reflected in the cover? if not I'd include it in the blurb.

Something like; A Millennia after the First World War, mankind is still consumed by global conflict. Over the centuries, technology advanced, stalled and regressed. The six global superpowers are locked in a bloody stalemate...

Now I really should get back to that paperback...
Technology is futuristic. I've definitely given the wrong impression here. Airships are like giant flying aircraftcarriers which hold smaller fighter planes inside it. There may be a picture of a giant spaceship flying over land on the cover to give a better impression of that, but I clearly need a better word than airship (they are called devastators in the book).
 

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David S. said:
The suspension of disbelief is just way to much for me.
Suspension of disbelief is measured on a sliding scale.
If you're the kind that needs their physics to match the "laws of physics" then you're on the high end of the scale.
If you're a Warhammer 40K kind of guy then S of D is out the window.

Sounds like you're somewhere in between.
I understand your point, but it's surprising how certain technologies still continue to need a human presence.
And, with a few exceptions, people tend to get emotionally involved with other people, rather than AI.
Also, maybe AI is just not trustworthy enough (Ultron?).
Maybe there are women whose sole job is to breed future warriors, so there's plenty of cannon fodder/freedom fighters to get the job done.

Blurb was great, input was great.
Also love the idea of releasing the novel in parts, like the episodes of a TV show (go for KU and pick up borrows?) get them hooked.
Maybe you can present the parts as episodes, rather than say they won't be a real book until the end - always be positive.
"Book" is so 20th century. These are exciting episodes in a continuing narrative - more 19th Century in fact (C. Dickens et al.)
 

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If you decide to include "A Millennia", I think the singular is MilleniUM ;o) On a more serious note, I agree the required level of suspension of disbelief is a tad high. I mean, I can readily imagine a future dominated by superpowers at war - but my suspension-of-disbelief would need some (blurb-based) help to agree that the alliances and conflicts of today (US, GWOT, etc.) have survived a thousand years of change. According to those supposed to know, the three essential "superpowers" of tomorrow will be trans-state corporations (post-US), would-be-worldwide religious militancies (post-ISIS/Qaeda) and sheer, straightforward autocracy with thin-to-no ideological excuses (post-China).

However, if, by "America", you're really referring to american values, a future society might definitely still uphold something like the US constitution or the UN charter (personally, I fervently hope so). And I could very easily imagine that society having to fight to keep those values alive!

And "airships" say "blimps" to me, too - baseships, motherships, flying fortresses or anything in that vein would (IMHO) trigger more carrier-in-the-sky-like images ... ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
David S. said:
I have all kinds of problems with it. As someone else said, it's unlikely the world would ever survive 96 world wars. WWIII will be fought with nuclear weapons. You can pick who is being quoted, and exactly what they said, but WWIV will be fought with sticks and stones or spears. Can't imagine how people would fight the next 90.

Fighter pilots (at least those actually in the aircraft) will almost certainly be extinct by the end of this century. I doubt they will still being around 1500 years from now.

Six global superpowers? After 93 more world wars, which would have already destroyed the planet many times over, how can there be six global superpowers? Where do they get the money to build all these weapons? Why haven't they already destroyed each other?

The suspension of disbelief is just way to much for me.
Well, I don't want to spoil the plot, but the tagline is "Sometimes war is just the distraction". So the idea is that these wars are not actually 'real' in some sense, and constant equilibrium has some artificial forces, and nuclear warfare and technology advancement may have been suppressed or controlled in some way.

I'm not going for realistic military fiction. This is closer to Star Wars set above Earth (Fighter pilots like X-wing pilots in Star Wars). If I removed the reference to America, would I give more of that sense? I want a similar suspension of disbelief that Hunger Games/Divergent would get.

Though if someone can't handle the suspension of disbelief before they've found the truth about how this society works, then better that the blurb filter them out.
 

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This is becoming quite a fascinating world-building outing.  :)

"Nuclear warfare and technology advancement may have been suppressed or controlled in some way." That helps suspension of disbelief a lot. Herbert used the same setup in "Dune" - nukes still in the possession of the Great Houses, but not-to-be-used by mutual consent. That - and shield tech - had brought back older styles of warfare. I see no reason why something similar might not cause wars in your world to be on a strictly non-nuke basis, using somewhat "antiquated" fighting methods such as sky-carriers and fighters (yes, remote-control tech will pull the pilot out of fighters - jamming-tech might put him back in). Keeping fighting strictly between military forces would minimize damage to the real estate (and workers/civilians) that I suppose your superpowers are fighting over.

I still have a bit o' trouble believing the US (or any other current state) will be in existence 1000+ years in the future, though. But, like you said, perhaps it'd be better to filter out those unwilling to suspend disbelief on that point. I'd still be afraid of filtering out too many, and try to go for something *like* America without the name, though ... But it's your story and your choice, and noone has come up with a sure-fire way of predicting what will make a bestseller yet, so your instinct is at least as valid as everyone else's  ;D
 

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David S. said:
I have all kinds of problems with it. As someone else said, it's unlikely the world would ever survive 96 world wars. WWIII will be fought with nuclear weapons. You can pick who is being quoted, and exactly what they said, but WWIV will be fought with sticks and stones or spears. Can't imagine how people would fight the next 90.
Fiction is fiction and you can write what you want as long as it makes sense within that world. I guess I wonder why 97 world wars? Why not 17 or even 27?
 

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I might comment that everyone needs to remember this is science fiction. Consider that invasion by Martians requires one to suspend belief since we already know so much about that planet. Yet, no one considers that a deal breaker in science fiction. The old Star Trek had mineral creatures with advanced brains. Did that not require suspension of belief? Don't think in terms of the next world war or even the next 100 years. This is apparently set well over 1000 years in the future.
 

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Sapphire said:
I might comment that everyone needs to remember this is science fiction. Consider that invasion by Martians requires one to suspend belief since we already know so much about that planet. Yet, no one considers that a deal breaker in science fiction. The old Star Trek had mineral creatures with advanced brains. Did that not require suspension of belief? Don't think in terms of the next world war or even the next 100 years. This is apparently set well over 1000 years in the future.
Sapphire, that's a good point. I've listened to scientists in the real world debate whether UFOs could travel across space to earth. One explained that the classic argument against it is because most people picture an advanced society only a few hundred years into the future -- and if we can't travel like that, then neither could they. He said imagine a society a million years ahead of us. In the same sense, 1000 years ahead on earth could cover a lot of things we can't imagine today, just as people 1000 years ago couldn't see planes and cars.
 

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@Sapphire (and David) ...

It's David's story and his call. But he had the guts to post and ask for opinion, and that is what the responses are :  just opinions ;o) Mine is that the more present-day, realistic stuff you involve (US and allies, GWOT, superpower states) in fantastic fiction the greater the demands on suspension-of-disbelief. John Carter IS on Mars, but he's not fighting the GWOT. Herbert didn't put sandworms and melange in Saudi Arabia, or the Bene Gesserit in the Vatican, and Tolkien didn't locate the Shire in Penzance. And so on ...

Personally, I think David's WW97 is (unfortunately) HIGHLY likely - a 1000 years in the future, Earth is likely to be more resource-strapped than ever, and that usually leads to war -- and war usually leads to fewer bigger players, i.e., superpowers. That's what the world looked like a 1000 years ago. It's just that the superpowers of the Middle Ages were not those of today, so why should those of year 3000 be exactly the same as the ones we see now?

But 'nuff said. It IS David's story, his world, his call.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Interesting discussion. I'll have to think about it a bit more. The world I have built makes more sense than it seems, but finding out how the world really works is part of the plot. So, I think anyone who has serious suspension of belief problems with the blurb would have similar issues with the first few parts of the serial, so probably better to just accept that they aren't right for my book.

At the same time, maybe I can hint better that the way the world works is part of the mystery.

It's closer to space opera than hard science fiction/military science fiction (I don't go into any detail on weapons/science/military matters). So maybe need to give that impression better in the blurb.
 
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