Monday, December 17, 2012

Hangover Round 1 Entry #7

TITLE: Savage Jungle
GENRE: Middle-grade Science Fiction

Twelve-year-old techie Kreith and his uncle are stranded in an alien jungle with some of the deadliest animal species in the universe. After he gets separated from his injured uncle, Kreith must find an abandoned research facility to call for help and get them out alive.
I rip the wrapping paper off the present without removing the bow, lift the lid off the large cardboard box, and peer inside.  A small chip rests on the bottom.
“It’s a book,” Uncle Tonas says, eyes wide in his thick-jawed, tightly muscled face.  “Go on, download it.”  He leans forward, monstrous broad shoulders and all, a cigar between his pointer and middle finger.  The total opposite of me.  Sure, I’m only twelve years old, but my overly large black sweatshirt and baggy jeans hide the fact I’m as skinny as Uncle Tonas’s pinky finger.
As I pick up the tiny chip and insert it into my Multipurpose Bracelet, I feel his gaze as my parents look on from the couch.  My MB registers the chip, and asks me if I would like to download the book The Top 200 Most Treacherous Creatures in the Universe.
“Yes,” I say, and it starts to download.  I turn to Uncle Tonas and force out, “Sounds val.” Slang for “valuable resources,” they’re all anybody cares about these days now that humans have explored every planet in the universe.
But don’t get me wrong.  The book really will be a val read, especially since I live on the most boring planet in the universe.  But I’m confused.  Uncle Tonas usually gets me the coolest presents.  


  1. Sounds like an interesting premise. A nitpicky thought, the uncle sounds big and tough – so it didn’t work for me that Kreith compared his thinness to that of his uncle’s finger. I think of big bulky guys as having sausage fingers, but that is just me.

    I found the paragraph explaining the slang to be cumbersome. In the preceding paragraph, you effortlessly explain the MB. The slang explanation reads as if your MC knows there is a reader out there who needs the definition. If you wrote something like: “Sounds like a val read” (when MC is talking to uncle), and then skip the slang explanation and go right to something like, “The book really will be a valuable read…” I think the reader would get the gist. I understand there is significance to the ‘resources’ part of the explanation, but this may not be the best spot to work that in.

    Good Luck!

  2. I agree about the slang. That part tripped me up a little, but otherwise I thought it read well. Good luck!

  3. This looks great. Touching on what HHorner said, there are a couple of spots where your MC seems aware of the reader. The slang is one, and the comparison to his uncle's finger is another. The way it reads now, it seemed like something he wouldn't naturally think. Maybe try something like, "Sometimes I wish I weren't as skinny as my uncle's finger." That isn't quite right either, but whatever you put, just make sure it's something that the MC would naturally think. Good luck!

  4. Not big on the explanation of the slang. Otherwise, I really like this, and the log line totally hooked me. Good luck!