View Full Version : Looking for beta reader/beta buddy/mentoring for SF novel

12-12-2010, 09:03 PM
I have recently completed a 50,000 word SF novel, entitled "The Life We Merit" and would love to find a beta reader to help me improve it. I am also rather inexperienced with publishing, so a little mentoring would be helpful too.

A couple of "alpha readers" have already been through it. More specifically, I would like someone to help me tighten up the narrative (identify any bad habits, parts of the story that are unclear) and get it into a shape where I could approach agents or publishers with samples. Given my inexperience, I am thinking mostly about the traditional route to publishing, but I am technically very knowledgeable and savvy, so willing to consider the self-publication route.

I am willing and able to take strong criticisms. For any interested people: I have provided a link to the first three chapters, should you wish to take a look.

Edit: I thought this was implicit around here, but let me make it clear. I am also willing to exchange MSs and beta yours in return. Genres accepted would be SF/fantasy/historical/thriller. Not so hot on romance/horror/crime. Preferably supply first few chapters like I have to see if I would like to read the whole thing.


If you are interested, please leave a message here and I can provide my email address to take things further.

12-12-2010, 09:07 PM
It was pointed out that I ought to provide a blurb. Here's part of an introductory letter intended for agents/publishers:

The novel explores the idea of an interstellar human society referred to as the Union. The time is undetermined, but it is understood to be a few hundred years into the future when mankind has colonised a dozen or so nearby star-systems. The Union is a ruthless meritocracy, which coldly and calculatingly divides its inhabitants into the lucky few Citizens and the disenfranchised Civilians. As the novel opens, some inhabitants believe it is heading towards civil war.

The story follows three men, comrades on the Starship Musket who are trying to achieve the life they feel they deserve. Lehto is the respected Chief Petty Officer, who scorns the Union in favour of joining the radical rebel movement; Bullman is one of his crew, mistrustful of Lehto and content to live out his life in the second-class (until he gets mixed up in events against his will); Pavlovich is the Musket's executive officer, a loyal by-the-book man whose career has long been stalled, but hopes for glory in the upcoming troubles. The story takes place across different star-systems as humanity comes evermore closer towards its first interstellar civil war and our characters navigate complex choices to do what they think is right.

This is a work of 'soft' science-fiction. The technology takes a back seat in favour of exploring other themes including loyalty, rebellion, social justice, and the crushing conflict of ideas that civil wars inevitably descend into. Nevertheless, the story also finds time for a few dashing heroics, spectacular space battles, and a few social critiques not altogether out-of-place in our own society.