Title: LONELY, DEAD & HEARTWIRED
GENRE: YA Fantasy/ Dystopian
Word Count: 78,000
In a futuristic dying utopia, love is programmed as easily as the pigment of one’s skin.
It’s said that a time existed that love and oxygen were free resources. Floating around our bodies, easy to inhale, easy to exhale. And strangely, people kept within their racial groups like borderlines, wore their body sizes and personalities until the day they died. But they abused that privilege. Now, everything is different. Nineteen-year-old Rori Plaatjie is self-conscious and craves to be beautiful; she uses self-image editing tools made allowable by her country’s technology to alter her body, at an expense: sunlight is created by a yellow machine in the sky, and it’s slowly ebbing away. But now, love and air, expensive commodities, are fading whispers in Rori’s body.
But girls her age have found ways of surviving: finding odd jobs and bonking sugar-daddies to pay for Air-brushing apps and Race-changing apps. People edit their bodies so much that they have lost the ability to feel emotion and connect to others, which is what Rori wants: to be humanly free again. She wants to taste food again, to love someone freely, out of will rather than paying it as a service; and to remain naturally in her body without changing it to fit societal trend. Only one boy can teach her this: her old-flame, Daniel Van Rensburg. But his disconnection to society poses a deadly threat: they’re incompatible, and the few kisses and touches they’ve shared, physically deteriorate his health. And Rori wants to be with him forever.
She must be free from this tech polluted environment, but if she unplugs from society in attempt to keep him safe, she could die. In this day, falling in love could be the end.
LONELY, DEAD & HEARTWIRED, a YA Fantasy, Dystopian, is a multicultural novel, complete at 77,000 words. It can be described as the Uglies by Scott Westerfeld meets Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
First 250 words:
Bwee! The world plunges into immediate darkness, preceded by a dead-end world sucking sound electricity makes when it dies. Arise the zombies. They get off on this ish right? Everything’s mute. Fuck. The sun’s off. Again.
Load-sun- shedding. This is bull.
“Mama!” My voice trills. “The sun’s off again!” I’m banking on her feeding our sunlight reserves into our electricity grid—just, I feel insanely blind in this darkness, and like hell will I trudge through it. My movement would attract uncalled-for attention.
I press the knobs of my collar bones—hard like morula, automatically a female voice responds—prim and curt. “You have twenty percent of oxygen left. Moderate activities are recommended; otherwise, induced sleep will be automated for your well-being. Thank you for your patience with BrainNet network. Would you like to switch on your eye-torch miss?”
“Duh.” With sunlight intensity, two green cylindrical lights spurt from eyes matching my green irises and warming my entire face. The dark makes us alive because it awakens our fears.
For a young country—what is it, sixty, seventy years?—you’d think the blob of fat that’s operating the sun would contain enough patience to prolong its life span.
It’s snowing next door. Yep, you heard that right. Snowing in desert-hot Botswana—yet the sky is a pale, dull blue and a blistering yellow machine blows heat waves lazily downwards to Gabs city seconds before its melts into blackness.