Book Jacket

 

rank 5908
word count 40538
date submitted 29.03.2010
date updated 02.07.2010
genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, ...
classification: moderate
incomplete

Gate

J R D MacKay

The faithful are rewarded. Sinners return to the earth to plague the living. There is no place for science here.

 

Dr Rashmi Pandit retrained as a doctor before the walls came down. She's third tier. With no children, no baptism, no promise to God, she knows her body will be burned upon her death. When the gates of hell closed, the bodies of the sinners roamed the earth. Or so the preachers tell it. Rashmi knows there must be another explanation, one that follows Koch's Postulate and Occam's Razor. But as the underground network of scientists slowly dwindles, she risks being revealed for the sinner she really is. With one of the devout sharing her bed, and her only remaining family deep within the black market, she has more to lose than just her soul.

 
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tags

devil, doctors, religion, science, zombies

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14 comments

 

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Bocri wrote 1449 days ago

'Gate' is the ideal type of SF story for a ingénue in the field such as I. I could become addicted. It opens against a backdrop of almost depressing normalcy with the fantasy elements becoming evident low key and introduced as small rents or tears in the fabric. As the plot develops, belted raincoats and underpasses keep us in the rational world but the menace of what is to come is skilfully drip-fed into the mix. The coming of the Thrones? The standard of writing, substantial and, although in the fantasy arena, believable plot, contribute to making this an engrossing read. BACKED. Robert Davidson. The Tuzla Run

JeffCorkern wrote 1197 days ago

There's more raw talent in this than I've seen in quite a long time. I strongly encourage you to keep writing.

The main flaw in this is lack of focus. The writer doesn't quite understand the bones of his story, what the essential elements are.It's wordy, which is a common fault with beginning writers. I have the feeling the wordiness here is due to the writer groping to understand his story.

All of the above is frustratingly vague, I know. Here's a suggestion:

---Print the first chapter out.

---Take a pencil and draw a line between each scene.

---Then describe the purpose of each scene in AT MOST three sentences. (And even that is probably too many.) As in: Scene 1: Intro main character. Intro milieu. (And if you don't know what I mean by "mileu", get yourself some writing books and find out.)

(By the way, if I read a pitch that says a story is a fairy story, I expect to see fairies fluttering around in the first chapter. If I like fairies, I will feel DISAPPOINTED not to see any fairies. Your pitch promises a supernatural setting---but there is NOTHING supernatural in your first chapter, only vague hints. The reader WILL feel frustrated, I assure you.)

--- Then examine each scene and cut out anything that doesn't do what any of your three descriptive sentences say is the purpose of that scene.

CRAWL over every sentence. See if there's anything confusing. See if you can't say it in a shorter number of words. Make sure your sentence mean what you want them to mean. (Your pitch seems to say all scientists are long gone, and everybody's glad of it. Your story seems to suggest scientists are instead a down-trodden minority. Confusing, confusing, confusing.)

Keep your paragraphs as short as possible. Short paragraphs are easier to read. Long paragraphs are hard on a reader. Personally, I look at each sentence where an action occurs and see if it might work better starting its own paragraph.

You need to work on your grammar, too. This is the biggest fault of most beginning writers. Independent clauses require commas for the most part.

Hope this helps.

soutexmex wrote 1384 days ago

Welcome aboard, JRD. This website will improve your writing craft, if you allow it. I'm a bit of a pitch doctor, having read thousands of pitches in my time on this website, so I want to share my insight here with you. You have to think of your pitches as your sales tool to grab the casual reader's eyes. The short pitch works. The long pitch needs to be broken down into smaller paragraphs so it reads faster. You oughta consider ending it with a question so it piques your reader's interest. Perfecting your pitches is how you climb in ranking to gather more exposure and comments to better your novel. The writing is good so I am SHELVING you.

Though I have been a very active member for over a year and have the most commented book on the website, I can still use your comments on my book when you get the chance. Every little bit helps. Cheers!

JC
The Obergemau Key

name falied moderation wrote 1386 days ago

Dear J R D
I just loved your short pitch it was precise and effective as it drew me to read your long pitch which promises me a good read. I really enjoyed what I read and have not read it all but will carry on. When I first saw your tags I thought oh no not another zombie devil book, but you proved me wrong in my assumptions as it does have its original storyline CONGRATS. Well crafted with brilliant characters. BACKED BY ME FOR SURE
I would love you to review my book, different genre but like me cross over and comment on the craft or skill . and please comment and if you feel back my work.
again thank you for a good read best of luck
Denise
The Letter

Burgio wrote 1387 days ago

GATE
This is an interesting story. It’s a bleak look at what a future world could look like – but that’s what kept me reading. You have a good character in Rashmi; she’s likeable and certainly sympathetic because times for doctors are so rough. I was surprised to see people still had to deal with “paperwork” (I envision the future as paperless), but okay. The puzzle as to how this will turn out is good plotting. I’m adding this to my shelf. Burgio (Grain of Salt).

ajmahler wrote 1387 days ago

You have done an excellent job of making Rashmi a believable and sympathetic character. Her fear of the political class clothed in religion is palpable. Her lack of hypocrisy in fighting the established order while observing that same order breaking their own laws (Thrones, police, doctors) is poignant.

A J Mahler
Smoking Kills

SusieGulick wrote 1387 days ago

Dear J R D, I love your setting for your story - what intrigue - my ultimate is to go to Heaven. :) Your pitch is excellent, so set the hook for me to read your book. :) When you use short paragraphs (you may want to cut your longer ones in 2 or many more for us with short attention spans who tend to miss the middles) & lots of dialogue, it makes me want to keep reading to find out what's going to happen next. I'm backing your book. :) Could you please take a moment to back my TWO memoir books? Thanks. :) Love, Susie :)

This is information from authonomy (so beware of any other untrue information you may receive that is spam & not quotes of authonomy):
"When you back a book, it only improves the ranking of that book, not yours. However, the author whose book you are backing may decide to back your book also, in which case yes, your ranking would be improved"
"Every time you place a book on your bookshelf, your recommendation pushes the book up the rankings. And while that book sits on your bookshelf, your reputation as a talent spotter increases depending on how well that book performs."

Owen Quinn wrote 1445 days ago

A world held in check by religious fear, looks like the \church has regained its power, only to be reinforced by the arrival of mthe undead. This is a different zombie story as it explores faith and reigion and the bizarre choices society makes in the face of destruction. There is a grittiness in the writing that speaks volumes of the undercerrent ripples of the apocolypse that is coming. Very good indeed.

PATRICK BARRETT wrote 1446 days ago

I am not a fan of science fiction but you have an incredible ability to mix the mundane with intrigue and keep me reading. There is huge potential here and I am sure you will do well. Paula Barrett (Cuthbert-how mean is my valley)

Squiggley wrote 1448 days ago

Just caught up with chapter 5, thanks for the update.
Plot moving along at a good pace, enjoyed the atmosphere of oppression in the church and found Rashmi's experiment fascinating. Thanks for the detail, made all the difference here.
Enjoyed the flash of humour from McManus; 'don't let it hit you on the way out' and 'meringues'
The thought of Rashmi eating while preparing samples made me feel rather squeamish, would she not worry about contamination? I understand that conditions are far from ideal.
In para 2, line 1 you have a typo - left in the word 'placed' I think when you meant to replace it with 'scattered'
'He's nearly agreed to join me' - slightly clumsy, a dialect trait from West of Scotland which I'm not sure other readers would understand.
Looking forward to more.

kristinnb wrote 1449 days ago

This is really good. Very creative and intriguing read. I will come back to read more later.

Kristin
Demon in the Knight

Lara wrote 1449 days ago

I loved thepitch and went eagerly to ch 1. Your entry slap bang into the story is excellent showing us the scene in an unforgettable manner. Immediate visual image of the worthy protagonist, the opportunistic mother. It's the sort of book I'd buy directly I'd read that opening. I haven't time to read very far but that's no reflection on the book. why are you not at the top of the ratings? What have you done? Is it because you're not a Throne? Strange how real life replicates the fiction.

Perhaps this site plumps you down to the bottom if you revise, or did you take it off at that point and now you're starting again? Either way, I expect to see you knocking me down the list in the very near future.

Backed of course, and probably bought too.
Rosalind
Good For Him

Bocri wrote 1449 days ago

'Gate' is the ideal type of SF story for a ingénue in the field such as I. I could become addicted. It opens against a backdrop of almost depressing normalcy with the fantasy elements becoming evident low key and introduced as small rents or tears in the fabric. As the plot develops, belted raincoats and underpasses keep us in the rational world but the menace of what is to come is skilfully drip-fed into the mix. The coming of the Thrones? The standard of writing, substantial and, although in the fantasy arena, believable plot, contribute to making this an engrossing read. BACKED. Robert Davidson. The Tuzla Run

Jim Darcy wrote 1450 days ago

This is a dark but well realised tale with a fully developed character in Rashmi. You write well but have a propensity for beginning sentences with 'ing' words. This not a problem, but it does put a certain disatnce between the reader and the character, as well as shifting tenses. Just a thought. Jim Darcy The Firelord's Crown

Squiggley wrote 1454 days ago

These four chapters had me looking for more.

Gate is a briskly paced story set in a struggling society that has turned away from science and towards religion for protection. A new caste is in place and the church is in charge because superstition and religion are seen as the only weapons that might save the people from the undead.

The setting is evocative: the decaying walled city rotting from the inside facing disease without antibiotics, power restrictions and low food supplies. Young people dancing in speakeasies and a thriving illegal economy.

The characters are well drawn and believable. A microbiologist who hasn't finished her second degree in medicine is working as a community doctor and trying to figure out what is causing the dead to rise again. She is realistic, turns even babies away without treatment when she has to, and has links to the black market.
We meet the small group she interacts with: close friends/family; patients; McManus who can source almost anything at a price; the nasty receptionist Laura and Patrick, the soldier love interest and his company. There appears to be more to Patrick than meets the eye.

I'm desperate to know more about Subway, the virtual group trying to research against all of the rules - and the Driver, whose face is fading from Rashmi's memory.

The wait till the end of the fourth chapter for our first zombie sighting makes it all the more satisfying when it does happen.

And the deft touch of humour here and there is more than welcome when the world is falling apart.

So, upload more and let me find out what happens next . . .

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