PW #116: Adult Sci-Fantasy: SLOW BURN ARMAGEDDON

Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor: J.C. Nelson
Mentee: Ian Barnes
Title: Slow Burn Armageddon
Category/Genre: Sci-Fantasy
Word Count:89,000


Asher broke the hacker’s number one rule: Never steal from your employer. Then he broke rule number two: When you do, don’t get caught. Now, he’s on the run through Boston, sporting unknown cybernetics and sharing brain-space with a fallen goddess. Asher wants nothing to do with her, but she insists there’s more at stake than his life. A storm of radioactive magic looms, and unless Asher can discover how to exorcise the goddess, it’s going to delete the eastern seaboard.


I’m going to die on the subway, Asher Mar thinks as someone knocks him into the handrail. What a shit way to go.

He tenses, but no knife slips between his ribs. No mage’s fire scorches the oxygen from his lungs, and no shockstick sends electricity coursing up his spine, rendering him unconscious on the sticky floor.

Asher cranes his neck around.

The kid with the cybernetic ears bumps into him again, gripping the subway strap and swaying as the train squeals around the turn. His head bobs to the beat pumping through his chrome, oblivious to the nervous death-glare Asher shoots him.

As his panic levels reboot, Asher contemplates hacking the kid’s system to replace whatever he’s blissing out on with techno-polka and air horns. Instead, he shoves his hands into his coat pockets and returns to staring at the doors.

Relax, he orders himself. You’re safe. Stop twitching like a sim junkie and blend into the crowd.

His arms itch, which doesn’t help. Needles of static prickle and burrow beneath his skin. Scratching makes it worse.

The subway screeches to a halt and the doors swish open. Cold air washes across his face as the pressure equalizes, bringing with it the stale stink of sweat, ozone, and spilled coffee.

If ARC-Sec finds me, I’m dead.


2 comments to PW #116: Adult Sci-Fantasy: SLOW BURN ARMAGEDDON

  • I’m interested in seeing more of this! I’d love to see the full manuscript. Please send as a Word document to cmcdonald (at) maassagency (dot) com, along with the query and synopsis in the body of the email, and include “Pitch Wars” in the subject line. Thanks!

    Caitlin McDonald
    Donald Maass Literary Agency

  • Penelope Burns

    Hi Ian! I’m very intrigued by this. Can you please send the full and your query to with “Pitch Wars” in the subject line? Thanks so much!

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