The Twilight Saint (Science Fiction)

Sample Pitches from prior New York Pitch Conference--various genres.
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The Twilight Saint (Science Fiction)

#1 Post by jessicapenot » 27 Sep 2007, 07:43

NAME: Jessica Penot

TITLE: The Twilight Saint

GENRE: Science Fiction

COMPS: Joan D. Vinge meets Ursula LeGuin

CREDS: I am a psychologist who specializes in the treatment of PTSD, the psychological response to extreme violence and life threatening experiences. I have been published in scholarly journals and presented at numerous conferences, events, and trainings. I have also had numerous short stories published in speculative fiction magazines including Byzarium, CSM, and The Harrow.

In the war torn world of Sen, Ailive, a genetically enhanced and savage warrior of unsurpassed skill, may hold the only key to peace, if she has the courage to fight for those she has forsaken against the only one she loves.

In the violent and crumbling world of Sen, Ailive, a genetically enhanced warrior of unsurpassed skill, has spent years wandering from one battle to the next driven only by the desire to fight. But too much death and suffering has stretched her soul thin and her desperate longing for solace guides her to the seemingly peaceful city at the heart of her world known simply as The University. The University is the last remnant of education and enlightenment in Sen. It is ruled by immortal scholars who coldly manipulate all the tribes of the world and hoard all technology. Within the sheltered walls of the University, Ailive finds everything she has ever wanted in life including the love of the man she has always adored, the man who taught her to fight, and showed her that life could be more than blood and death, the only man she considers her equal. Finally, Ailive can stop fighting and live in tranquility.

But the past can never be forgotten and news of a prophet from the South that is growing in influence fills the scholars with fear and Ailive with dread. Ailive knows the prophet is her brother and the people he is leading are her old friends and abandoned family. As the prophet’s power increases, the scholars decide to enact an old plan to cleanse Sen of undesirables. The prophet and all his followers must die in order to preserve the scholars’ own fragile supremacy. Now Ailive must choose between fighting against the scholars and the man she loves or allowing the massacre of millions of her brother’s followers. She must choose between staying in peace and comfort or standing alone, against all of the armies of the world with only a handful of barbarians to help her, and in her choice lays the fate of a world that desperately needs a savior.


I walk the way of the storm. It is all I have ever known. In the haze of early childhood memories, there exists brief moments before the storm, but now it has consumed everything. Every piece of me has been lost and all I can remember is fire and smoke and the remains of old dreams singed by death. Even as I watched the women crying over the bodies of their sons, I knew I couldn’t follow my brother on his crusade of peace. Blood ran down my forehead and it forever stained my hands. I would follow the storm and watch my tribe walk away into the oblivion of the disowned.

“Sister,” my brother called to me from the longhouse. “You must lay down your sword and come with us. The time of the storm is over. God has spoken to me. We must walk and spread this message. The bloodshed must stop.”

My brother, Xander, stood beneath me. His feet were bathed in blood and the ground beneath his feet was stained in all the human waste war can produce. The world around us had disintegrated in an instant. Buildings had been leveled and burnt. Even the landscape was scorched. The snow had melted and the trees were nothing but soot.

Xander too had been ruined. He had been the perfect patrician, but the man before me was a quivering shell of human. His shirt was splattered with blood and there was a mat of mud in his hair that he had made no attempt to clean. A little girl was digging through the ruins of a home somewhere in the distance. I turned my eyes to her. She was collecting all the pieces of her lost life and putting them in a basket. She was naked and alone clinging to a basket of dolls.

“What god?” I answered spitefully. “I know of no god except Zender. I answer his call as we have always answered his call. If you go out there and wander with your flowers and babies and with no weapons, you will be slaughtered and the vultures will eat your corpses.”

“God will protect us,” my brother yelled.

I could only shake my head and return to the temple. I sat in Zender’s shrine and tried to put together some vague understanding of where I had gone wrong. We were the greatest tribe of all time. We had conquered infidels and shown them the light. Where we had walked, we had known only fear and respect. Now our temples were burnt, our walls crushed, and our technology was a crumbling rubble for looters and the tribeless.

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