I finally figured out that the deadlines given to get entries in for the GUTGAA (Gearing Up to Get An Agent) contests, while given as EST, were really EDT. Since the windows fill pretty fast, this meant I was missing them regularly, including the pitch polish which I really wanted to enter. Well, I did get in to the Small Agent Pitch Contest, with the following pitch for the first book of the trilogy that starts about 250 years after the close of Tourist Trap. The contest called for a pitch (mine is probably a little short) and the first 150 words of your manuscript. Here’s what I have for Rescue Operation on the GUTGAA site:


Roi Laian is stuck with the job of being regent for an interstellar confederation. A half-brother he, but no one else, remembers as a monster has started a war behind his back, slaving to collect taxes—and Roi, himself strongly against the legality of slavery, can’t get the votes to reverse this policy. Even his closest ally thinks he’s being paranoid.

Rescue Operation deals with Roi’s attempts to resolve the war, with little help from the Council, and his efforts to salve his own conscience by rescuing a few of the young people being enslaved. The deeper theme of the book is that individuals may react very differently what appear superficially to be the same circumstances.


Roi Laian stretched, feeling the interface lounge accommodate to his motion and massage his body as he shifted position. He opened his eyes, briefly interrupting the computer’s download to his brain as he absorbed what he’d already received. Plenty of decisions he wouldn’t have made if he had been here, but nothing really disastrous. Still, it was good to be back.

He glanced out the window wall of his office, taking in the rolling pastureland dotted with grazing horses. Swim, ride, or work out in the controlled-gravity gym? After he’d checked out the situations Zhaim had indicated were resolved, Roi decided, and reactivated the full computer connection.

The Horizon situation first, he decided, but he was only a few minutes into that when he jerked upright on the lounge. “Oh, no,” he gasped aloud. “He can’t be that stupid. The Council can’t be. Is he trying to start a revolution?”

I need to do a better job on the pitch, but it will be interesting to see what kind of responses I get. Meanwhile, I hope to get the editing done in the next couple of months.

Any suggestions are welcome.