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Authors Seeking FREE Betas > 104K Alternate History Thriller, Escape from America

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message 1: by Mark (last edited Oct 01, 2018 07:18PM) (new)

Mark Guerin (mark_guerin) | 7 comments ***UPDATE*** I'm still looking for beta readers for my 104,000 word dystopian thriller, ESCAPE FROM AMERICA.


Imagine the Berlin Wall, people desperate to escape from East Germany to West. In ESCAPE FROM AMERICA, when the president builds a wall across mid-town Manhattan to keep people from fleeing the USA for the newly created New England States of America (NESA), cable news reporter Max Davy is desperate to rescue his fiance, Theresa, from the US. She is stuck there with her agoraphobic sister, Sonny, who refuses to leave until they are evicted from their condo and moved to a shabby housing development. When Max is approached by an activist group to build a tunnel under the wall, he sees his chance to rescue Theresa and Sonny, but a competing tunnel is exposed by a US spy, people are killed, and Max is forced to change his plans, rerouting through train tunnels under Manhattan and enlisting the aid of homeless people who live there underground. On the day of the escape, Max discovers the USA has planted that same spy in his group who threatens to reveal Max's plan unless Max agrees to rescue someone with knowledge that could topple the US president.

I am a 2014 Novel Incubator graduate, have an MFA from Brandeis University and won an Illinois Arts Council Grant. A frequent contributor to Dead Darlings, I am also a playwright, copywriter and journalist.

As far as feedback goes, anything is fine. I find in-line comments most invaluable, especially when you come across something confusing, unbelievable or undeveloped. (I will provide a Word doc into which you can insert comments.) General comments at the end of each chapter and the end of the book are also appreciated. I want to know what's working and what's not, and where your interest lags. Thanks for your help!

message 2: by Scott (new)

Scott Gregory | 9 comments HI, just read your post, and as it was eight hours ago I'd bet its not out -of-date. I'm a recent reject from Angry Robot who advised I join a beta group. The manuscript they rejected shares similarities with yours and I believe you'd relent and SWAP with me. It's about a young teacher thrown out of the profession and into the streets/addiction and is rescued by a social justice movement dubbed Transhumanism, a cover for a public awareness campaign aimed at marketing the planet to alien bureaucrats to salvage/extend committee meetings. There is an opposing faction that want to cleanse planet for new life strains, judging humanity as an economic/holocene failure. This continues with the budding social movement being squashed via backlash and our hero along with love interest go into hiding in the wilderness on a Wildland firefighting unit. He is ambushed again yet rescued by alien patrons and thrown 100 years into the past at same exact time, different year, along with all primary characters except one that's murdered earlier. A similar series of events repeat in this historical vein, as the opposing faction clash,and lead to an ultimate confrontation. I won't reveal the ending. It has the feeling of a speculative thriller. What do you say? Do you have the time?

message 3: by Mark (new)

Mark Guerin (mark_guerin) | 7 comments I might consider a swap, but I'd like to see some sample chapters first before I commit. Email me at I'll reply with sample chapters (or the whole ms, if you want) of my own.

message 4: by Scott (new)

Scott Gregory | 9 comments Will do

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Mark wrote: "I'm seeking beta readers for my dystopian thriller, ESCAPE FROM AMERICA. This is two years in the making, a third revision. I'm looking to make one final revision before querying.


Imagine ..."

Hi! I am willing to beta your story. I am not currently working on any projects (also, I am a journalist, not a novelist) so I have nothing to swap in return. I love both dystopian novels and politics and this seems like a perfect mix of both. I am new to beta reading, but I do have experience critiquing content as a staff editor of a news magazine.

message 6: by Scott (new)

Scott Gregory | 9 comments This might pique your interest. Keep in mind this is more a speculative thriller and not “hard” science fiction. But plenty of dystopian themes are on hand. Email or Dropbox?

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Scott wrote: "This might pique your interest. Keep in mind this is more a speculative thriller and not “hard” science fiction. But plenty of dystopian themes are on hand. Email or Dropbox?"

Check your PMs.

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