Sunday, February 23, 2014


NA Sci/Fi


Ivan killed his mother. His father hates him. His brother beats him. He is Durochka, the Little Fool.

And then the firebird comes, stealing sculptures from his beloved mother’s garden.

His family won’t believe what he has seen, so Ivan, an autistic twenty-three-year-old, goes out alone seeking proof of the mysterious bird. FORREST GUMP meets LUNAR CHRONICLES as Ivan discovers his autism makes him a hot commodity to the scientists who would use his brain to further their own ends. Ivan is thrust into the center of a conspiracy to bring down a foreign government, unsure of who to trust or what consequences his choices might hold.

The key to Ivan’s survival may lie with a spy crucial to the rebellion, a woman code-named Trojan Horse. A woman who has Ivan’s eyes. A woman who knows Ivan’s face. A woman callous enough to walk out on an autistic son.

First line:

A midwife placed her hands on the small of Vasilisa's back, pressing hard to relieve the pain of the contraction.


  1. You've done such a beautiful job of clarifying your story here. The original pitch made it difficult to tell what genre you were writing in, and this is a much better illustration. I'm definitely intrigued by the strange mix of different elements here. You've presented us with a puzzle that I'm keen to put together. Well done. The only thing I'm not sure about is the Forest Gump reference. But that could just be me. I prefer comparison titles to be books rather than TV shows and movies, but I know trends change. :) Best of luck to you!

    1. Just a quick note - Forest Gump was a book before it was a movie. Love this pitch.

  2. Would definitely keep reading on this one! The only part that threw me was the comp of the Lunar Chronicles. Maybe you're using it because it's a new take on a fairy tale (as those books are), but I was trying to see some other tie in and was stumped. In my opinion, comps work best when you say why you're using it as a comparison: whether it's "the wry humor of A Series of Unfortunate Events", or the "vivid worldbuilding of Scott Westerfield's Leviathin series", etc. Good luck!

  3. Judge comment: Ivan sounds like a really interesting character. But I'm really thrown by him killing his mother. It's a powerful hook, but you kind of ignore it for the rest of the pitch.

  4. I'm very curious about an autistic character but I didn't quite get a sense for him in this pitch. However, I loved the line "He is Durochka, the little fool".

    The firebird line made me think this had more of a fairytale flavor, and didn't fit with the science fiction parts, though with a little clearer setup this could certainly work.

    This pitch had some intriguing elements and a lot of emotion, but could use more coherence/clarity.


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