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Discussion Starter #1
So, I'm about to launch the third book in my series! But the blurb is kicking my rear region. I would be hugely appreciative if anyone could give me comments / feedback / suggestions.

The genre is space opera / science fiction thriller. So I want to promise action, suspense, and planetary-scale conflict. 

Here's what I got:

Bruised by tragedy, Space Corps agent Elfrida Goto accepts a quiet assignment on Mercury, the factory of the solar system. But she's soon swept up in an election campaign that could end human colonization on Mercury. Threatened by a glamorous but evil candidate, Elfrida turns for help to a reclusive local corporation ... that's hiding a terrible secret.

Now, far from help, Elfrida alone stands between the colonists of Mercury and a fate worse than death. But the greatest danger she faces may be her own past.

And on Mercury, the sun is rising.
 

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I like that it's pithy. I think I'm incapable of writing my own blurbs.

Some confusions that come for me:
"...election campaign that could end human colonization on Mercury." You mean like a vote to disband the colony, or a more dramatic consequence of the election?
"...and a fate worse than death" Fate for the colony or for Elfrida. The cliched "fate worse than death" is rape - I don't know if you want that association.
"...the greatest danger she faces may be her own past." So that suggests that the "fate worse than death is for the colony, not her.
"And on Mercury, the sun is rising." What does that imply?

What's her dilemma?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
George Applegate said:
I like that it's pithy. I think I'm incapable of writing my own blurbs.

Some confusions that come for me:
"...election campaign that could end human colonization on Mercury." You mean like a vote to disband the colony, or a more dramatic consequence of the election?
"...and a fate worse than death" Fate for the colony or for Elfrida. The cliched "fate worse than death" is rape - I don't know if you want that association.
"...the greatest danger she faces may be her own past." So that suggests that the "fate worse than death is for the colony, not her.
"And on Mercury, the sun is rising." What does that imply?

What's her dilemma?
Excellent points, George!

Version 2, hopefully addressing them:

Bruised by tragedy, Space Corps agent Elfrida Goto accepts a quiet assignment on Mercury, the factory of the solar system. But she's soon swept up in an election campaign that could lead to the evacuation of human colonists from the planet. Elfrida is torn between her loyalty to the Space Corps and her sympathy for the colonists, who've built a fascinating underground world. Threatened by a glamorous but evil candidate, Elfrida turns for help to a reclusive local corporation ... that's hiding a terrible secret.

Now, with the true stakes of the election unveiled, Elfrida alone stands between the colonists of Mercury and genocide. The key to saving the planet may lie in her own past.

But the sun is rising, and Elfrida must unlock the truth before the brutal sunlight of Mercury ends her quest forever.

Better, worse?

I always have trouble summing up my MC's dilemma. In this case, it's that she is traumatized and disilusioned to start with, and wants a quiet life, but she has to rise to the occasion and find the strength to confront her old enemy (the "glamorous but evil candidate").

"A fate worse than death" is genocide, after the stakes are raised, things go wrong, and the evacuation plan turns into a plan to kill everyone. Did not mean to imply rape! Thanks for pointing that out.

"The sun is rising" refers to Elfrida being trapped in the path of sunrise. On Mercury, that is a lethal place to be!

Thanks again for your comments!
 

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Felix R. Savage said:
Bruised by tragedy, Space Corps agent Elfrida Goto accepts a quiet assignment on Mercury, the factory of the solar system. But she's soon swept up in an election campaign that could lead to the evacuation of human colonists from the planet. Elfrida is torn between her loyalty to the Space Corps and her sympathy for the colonists, who've built a fascinating underground world. Threatened by a glamorous but evil candidate, Elfrida turns for help to a reclusive local corporation ... that's hiding a terrible secret.

Now, with the true stakes of the election unveiled, Elfrida alone stands between the colonists of Mercury and genocide. The key to saving the planet may lie in her own past.

But the sun is rising, and Elfrida must unlock the truth before the brutal sunlight of Mercury ends her quest forever.
Much better. Personally, I wouldn't use the word "fascinating" because it sounds self congratulatory. Perhaps something like "self sustained" or "vibrant."

Still some confusions for me:

Are "the true stakes of the election" only revealed to Elfreda?

You might hint at the needed capabilities that this reclusive corporation possesses. Possibly later in the blurb mention that this corporation has a terrible secret that might confound her plans along with daylight.

It's still not clear why daylight on Mercury would be something they hadn't planned for since it occurs every 176 Earth days.

You say "quest." Although you have given some indication of her dilemma (which I gather is whether to expose the plot to kill the inhabitants of Mercury), we don't know what her quest is.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wheee, Patty, thank you! Hopefully this is the right place to say that I love your blog posts about agriculture in space, and I kept them in the back of my mind while I was writing this book.

George, this is very helpful. I think I'm going to borrow "vibrant" from you. I also was reluctant to say fascinating, because the colony is fascinating to Elfrida but I personally would not want to live there (insectivorous cows, vegetarian mosquitoes, living carpets, and a maaaajor rat problem, all held together with chewing gum & string by an underfunded genetic engineering R&D operation ... thanks, but I'll stick with Tokyo :D ).

Also, I may leave out the bit about the sun rising. The situation is that Elfrida ends up stuck in the path of sunrise without any means of escape, but really, my reason for putting this in the blurb is to show how this story could only happen on Mercury, i.e. Contains Real Science (TM)! And this is less important to the reader than the story. So:


Bruised by tragedy, Space Corps agent Elfrida Goto accepts a quiet assignment on Mercury, the factory of the solar system. But she's soon swept up in an election campaign that could lead to the evacuation of human colonists from the planet. Elfrida is torn between her loyalty to the Space Corps and her sympathy for the colonists, who've built a vibrant underground world. When violence threatens, Elfrida turns for help to a reclusive local corporation ... that's hiding a terrible secret.

An alliance with criminals seems like a small price to pay, but it's not enough to stop a glamorous but malevolent candidate from stealing the election. Now,  the price of peace will be even higher ... and Elfrida is the only one who can pay it. Alone, she confronts the evil power that would drive humanity out of space forever. And on a planet where sunlight itself is fatal, she has zero room for error.

The third book in the Interplanetary War series brings Elfrida's battle with the enemies of humanity to a shocking climax, as mistakes from her past come back to exact a dreadful toll.


Note: I am not specifying just who / what the enemies of humanity are, not wanting to give the game away, although readers of the previous books will guess. But does this come across as too vague?
 
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