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Bethany Lauer
Author
Suicide Door
What would you do if you believed that your dreams were being edited? In my science fiction novel Suicide Door, the telepath Luka Talman believes precisely this. Her loyalties are swiftly divided when she suspects that her superior, a man she’s long considered an ally, has been editing her memories and concealing the truth from her. Ankeny Serra is safe on a world where he is comfortably anonymous when an old friend turned nemesis pulls him back onto a distant colony he’d hoped he’d left behind forever. Labeled a terrorist by the Eidolon- a race of aliens who won the hard fought war against humanity- for a violent crime he does not remember committing; Ankeny is desperate to remain unnoticed. Blackmailed into a mission to retrieve a sensitive cache onboard his old starship, he is quickly stranded among his sworn enemies. Luka is tasked with keeping Ankeny under control. Together they soon find themselves caught in an escalating battle between a relentless alien race and an organization of telepaths on the precipice of a species wide extinction event. Do the Eidolon deserve to be saved? And if so, do Luka and Ankeny have what it takes to prevent an all-out war that culminates in genocide?

Semi Finalist

Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 8.50 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: Lauer establishes an alluring and well-conceived world populated by telepaths with the abilities to infiltrate memories and dreams, and the ungifted “mundanes.”

Prose: Lauer’s prose style is evocative but subdued, and cleanly unveils the nuances of a dark world of telepathy, alien beings, and quantum crossings.

Originality: Lauer is a capable writer, whose worldbuilding and graceful prose stands apart.

Character/Execution: Both central characters have individual depth and agency, while the broader universe of the story is nicely flushed out with convincing otherworldly beings.

Date Submitted: August 30, 2020

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