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Pitch Wars Showcase

Please note: These are the entries for the Pitch Wars season beginning in 2021 and continuing through 2022. Please note that our Agent Showcase ends at 9:00 p.m. ET on Monday, February 14, 2022. Agents will not be able to leave comments requesting material after that time.
YA #42: THE SAPPHIRE AGE (Science Fiction #OwnVoices LGBT, Immigrant)
Xiran Jay
Mentored by:
Rebecca Kim Wells
Book Title:
The Sapphire Age
2018 Entries
Science Fiction (#OwnVoices LGBT, Immigrant)
Word Count:


Asian lesbian cyberpunk mermaids fight institutional discrimination. War refugee Tari is grateful that she was allowed to immigrate into the ocean as a cyborg mermaid. Despite being treated like a perpetual foreigner, she studies her hardest to improve the lives of the “real” mermaids born with bio-engineered gills. Until a gillkind tries to murder her, and the police cover it up. To find her assailant and hold the powerful accountable, Tari fights to become the first cyborg police cadet. But when a conspiracy threatens gillkind existence itself, she must decide how far she’s willing to go for justice.



Mentari PVT-224 couldn’t believe that humans centuries ago had imagined “mermaids” with real, unbroken tails. That made no sense. There were so many important things between a person’s legs; where would they go?

The light metal of Mentari—Tari’s— mech suit boots rang like rain against the genetics labs’ shining white floors as she hurried to get out and head to her other volunteer job. Her mind, though, lingered over the hologram she’d just seen: a 3D mesh of neon lines in a dim chamber, projecting a gillkind butt.

This butt sure didn’t flow into one of those fantasy mermaid tails. No, it extended into two soft treader limbs instead. They could latch together by suction force, forming the illusion of a tail. Patch by patch, the memory diffused to life on the display visor fitted over her face, like a specimen stained visible by dye.

Not that gillkind asses were some mystical secret or anything. Sure, they were always covered in real life by the shape-shifting nanosilk robes gillkind wore, but Tari had studied more… intimate… diagrams than she wanted to remember.

This ass was more special than any of them, though.

This ass foretold the future.

4 responses to “YA #42: THE SAPPHIRE AGE (Science Fiction #OwnVoices LGBT, Immigrant)”

  1. Kaitlyn Johnson says:

    Hi Xiran,

    Ahhh!!!! You revised this! I’m so happy to see it in the PitchWars showcase. If you still feel we’re a fit, I’d absolutely love to see the full. This is one that has still stuck with me. Please submit your query, synopsis, and full manuscript to http://QueryMe.Online/KaitlynJohnson/Contests. Looking forward to diving into this story again.

    Kaitlyn Johnson
    Corvisiero Literary Agency

  2. Xiran,

    Wowza!!! That’s thinking outside the box! I’m already obsessed with this! Please, please, please send it to me!!! #MustRead

    Can you send me the pitch, the full, and a synopsis (2-4 pages)? Please use Times New Roman, size 12, black, double-spaced text, 1” margins all around, and ½” paragraph indents. Attach the manuscript and synopsis as two separate Word documents (docx). Sent to: lynnette (at) theseymouragency (dot) com and add “Pitch Wars Request” along with your title in the subject line. Thanks.

    If more than one agent from The Seymour Agency likes your entry, please send requested material to the agent you feel will be the best fit. #OneAgentAtATime

    Looking forward to reading more.



  3. Zabé Ellor says:

    This looks absolutely fantastic and I can’t wait to see more! Please send the query, synopsis, and first 30 pages to me via QueryManager (http://queryme.online/ZabeEllor)

    If more than one JDLA agent requests your project, please submit to the one you feel will be the best fit!

  4. Laura Bradford says:

    OMG you had me at Asian lesbian cyberpunk mermaids. I can’t get my hand on this one fast enough! This sounds so fresh and fabulous I am just dying to read more. Please send it to meeeee!
    Please send me the full ms + synopsis at laura@bradfordlit.com and put Pitch Wars in the subject line. Can’t wait!