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Pitch Wars Showcase

Please note: These are the entries for the Pitch Wars season beginning in 2019 and continuing through 2020
PW2019 MG #18: THE FUTURE STRIKES BACK (Contemporary Science Fiction)
Mentee:
Cliff Lewis
Mentored by:
Sean Easley
Book Title:
THE FUTURE STRIKES BACK
Category:
Middle Grade
Genre:
Contemporary Science Fiction
Word Count:
66,000

Pitch:

An anxious, asthmatic boy gets recruited by a girl from the future to launch a climate strike big enough to rewrite history.

 

Excerpt:

My chest, like the future, was burning. Still I ran up the mountain trail. The inhaler in my pocket could open my lungs, flood me with sweet, cool oxygen. But not yet. I reached for the other pocket instead. Mom’s phone.

I stopped running, opened YouTube, and hit record:

“I know how the world ends.” I wheezed. “Just ran up Martic Pinnacle… but I’m not supposed to run. Because an asthma attack… like the one I’m having now… can kill me.”

I pointed Mom’s phone over the mountain’s edge, toward the coal-burning power plant in the distance.

“Those smokestacks… are why I need this inhaler. But this inhaler… can’t protect me forever.”

I mic-dropped the inhaler for dramatic effect. With struggling lungs, I told YouTube everything I’d learned about the climate apocalypse that the coal plant had already started.

“If the storms don’t get you, something else will. A plague. A drought. A war. When the world breaks down, it won’t be the weather that kills me, either. It’s gonna be the asthma.” I gasped. “We are running. Out. Of time.”

DONE. I hit publish and dove for my inhaler. But it was gone—bounced right off the pinnacle. So much for dramatic effect.

My throat tightened. My vision dimmed. Perhaps that dirty coal plant was the last thing I’d ever see. But then I saw the pink astronaut.

I had to be hallucinating. Dying will do that. The astronaut planted an American flag, Neil Armstrong-style, then knelt beside me.

“Jonah Kaminski?”

I nodded, my desperate face reflected in her visor.

She handed me something small and silver: An inhaler. “I’m from the future,” she said. “We need you.”

8 responses to “PW2019 MG #18: THE FUTURE STRIKES BACK (Contemporary Science Fiction)”

  1. Lauren Spieller says:

    What a gripping first page! I’d love to keep reading. May I please see the full manuscript + synopsis? It would also be great if you could include ‘Pitch Wars Request’ in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you! 

    Lauren Spieller, TriadaUS Literary Agency
    lauren@triadaus.com

  2. Alexandra Weiss says:

    Hi Cliff! This sounds absolutely incredible and I would love to read more. Please send the full manuscript to me at http://queryme.online/AlexandraWeiss/PitchWars2019.

    Thanks so much!
    Alexandra Weiss
    The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

  3. Melissa Edwards says:

    Hi Cliff,
    I’d love to take a look! Please send your ms as a doc to medwards at stonesong dot com.

    Thanks!

    All best,
    Melissa

  4. Jennifer Unter says:

    This sounds great – I’d love to read more! Please forward the first 50 pages as a Word attachment to jen.nadol (at) theunteragency (dot) com with PW Request in the subject line. Thanks!

  5. Mary Cummings says:

    I’d be happy to read more. Please send the first approx 25 pp and final approx 25 pp as a Word doc, with a synopsis and some bio info, to b.amster.kidsbooks@gmail.com. Be sure to mark header “REQUESTED MATERIAL/PWMG” as we delete emails with attachments without this note. Thanks much.
    MARY
    Mary Cummings
    Agent, Books for Kids and Teens – Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises
    amsterlit.com cummingskidlit.com

  6. Wendi Gu says:

    Hi Cliff,

    I love this opening salvo and would be interested in seeing the rest. At your convenience, please send the full manuscript in Word to wgu@sjga.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

    All my best,
    Wendi Gu

  7. Carrie Hannigan says:

    Dear Cliff,

    My name is Carrie and I’m a partner and agent over at Hannigan Getzler Literary (HG Literary). 
    I’d love to read more of your manuscript! Can you please send me the first 100 pages of your manuscript as a word doc to: 

    carrie@hgliterary.com 

    Best wishes,
    Carrie 

  8. Heather Cashman says:

    Hi, Cliff. This sounds really good and I’d love to read more! If you think we’d be a good fit, please query me at http://QueryMe.Online/HeatherCashman with Pitch Wars in the request line, and I’ll respond soon with a full request so you can upload the file. Thanks!