Wanted: Beta-readers for short SF story.

If you are interested in process, I have a short SF story that I could use some beta readers on.

The story is only 2800 words BUT the turnaround is fairly tight and I would need responses today. I’m writing on the planes, so in order to get this turned in, I have to dive into revisions tomorrow. Whee!

Remind me not to book my schedule this tightly again?

Here’s a teaser.

Water Over the Dam
by Mary Robinette Kowal

The late afternoon sun cut across the boardroom table and Aniyah’s tablet took advantage of the solar to boost the contrast. She stared at the numbers on the projection, took a slow careful breath before she spoke again and tried hard not to actually shout at Lennox Hillam. “But computer modeling supports my projections about the efficiency of microturbines.”

He paid more attention to his cell phone than her, flicking something off the screen with a meaty thumb. The artificial tanned orange of his skin crinkled as he squinted at the phone. “I would need to see evidence that your microturbines can provide enough power to merit decommissioning the Klamath river dams.”

What had she been talking about for the last half hour? Aniyah swallowed the bile and set her smile to charming. “At the moment, all I’m asking for is an opportunity to address the board.” Which was actually what she thought this meeting was supposed to be. She’d straightened her goddamned hair for this so she’d look more “professional,” and instead of talking to the board, she’d spent time explaining power coefficients to this entitled white man, who seemed to be playing Candy Crush on his phone.

Just drop a note in the comments below if you are willing to read and I’ll send you the password and the link. Thank you.

Edited to add: Thank you all, so much. I’m set on readers right now.

Did you know you can support Mary Robinette on Patreon!

25 thoughts on “Wanted: Beta-readers for short SF story.”

  1. I’ve never beta read, but I have a degree in journalism & I’m an obsessive reader. I read roughly 12-17 books a month, mostly in the SFF genre. I’m a proper grammar/spelling nut. If I fit your needs, let me know.

  2. Good timing, for me at least -waiting for system updates-, and I like Sci-fi. Do you still need another beta? If so, I’m happy to help.

  3. Timothy Cramer

    Unfortunately, I’m too late to join the party. Woe me!

    Timezones … sigh … this is how Dan must feel …

    The first three paragraphs are great. I’m sucked in and want to read on.

    I love the contrast between the spoken words and the subtext. And between her required cool, professional attitude on the outside and her raging inside.

    Also, you present wonderfully the inherent unfairness in the situation: He is very impolite, ignoring both her and her arguments, and by this alone totally unprofessional, but if she complained, she would come accross as unprofessional.

    > Which was actually what she thought this meeting was supposed to be.
    Good line: Shows how angry she is, that she has reasons, that she really would rather just do her work, that her anger is focussed and not about ltu&e …

    Please do not book your schedule this tightly again!

  4. Ack! Sorry I missed this Mary. Was in the middle of another beta read, actually 🙁 Please feel free to poke me with a stick if you have others.

  5. A day late and a dollar short, again. Timing has just been atrocious lately. I’ll have to set a schedule to check back more often. Sadly I do not sign up for newsletters seeing how I check my email all of once a month.

    I still haven’t decided what reading to take with me next week, but it won’t be on the “efficiency of microturbines” which I just so happened to spend a couples hours on at work today. Oh dear life, dear sweet ironic life, laughing at me behind my back.

    I hope everyone else gave you great feedback

  6. Hi Mary!

    I met you at Sam Weller’s tonight and mentioned how sorry I was to miss this…

    It was wonderful to meet you!

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