New York City Hypogeographies

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Review Chain

Strange beetles are being found in the caverns of NYC and no one knows where they come from. An unlikely group of friends uncovers a dark secret and must free a little girl's father from prison in order to tell the world.

Table of Contents


Sand was slowly burying the ruins of old New York. Dunes crept up the stairs of the public library. The Bronx courthouse was so... Read Chapter

Many Many Levels Below

BAPTIST PREACHER ROBOT: The veil of reality has been lifted and questions once in the dominion of philosophy are now a matter of mathemat... Read Chapter

Tanisha's Friend

"No pets." That was the rule for show and tell, but the rainbow-backed beetle wasn't like an ordinary pet. She was in a jar. Ha... Read Chapter

Ian's Interview

"Recycle my body O-Lord. That I might never die." -Traditional Robot Proverb   Ian sat tense in his best and onl... Read Chapter

A Spectacular Find

  Most surface dwellers find archeology offensive. Archeologists record, photograph, tabulate, dig, disrupt and worst of all the... Read Chapter

Ms. Madeline

Cleaning a house, cleaning an old house or an apartment, any lived in space can be dangerous. It's not the dust bunnies or heavy furnitur... Read Chapter

Howard and Ian

Howard could tell by the way that Ian came into their small apartment that the interview hadn't gone well. Ian hadn't sent him any m... Read Chapter

The Dollhouse

Park Avenue was one of the first streets in the city to be domed over. The doming of the streets of New York was a last ditch effort to h... Read Chapter

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Recent Comments

Jake J. Harrison

Hi Susan,

You present a grim dystopic version of New York City buried in sand. The first paragraph really pulled me into the story. Why is the city covered in sand? Who is this girl. The visual of the whole city buried is a striking one.

When I read or write, I try to immerse the reader in a story and make them forget it is type on page. To do this, the text and flow has to be perfect. This is what makes a book professional. There were a couple of elements that pulled me out of your story.

1. Check your comma usage. I highlighted some areas where the next required commas. You might want to Google commas and just review when they should be used. I think that will be helpful.
2. Vary sentence structure. Many of your sentences are short. Some short sentences are fine but readers often grow tired of one length sentence. Try combining some of the shorter ones into longer, more complex ideas to keep the structure interesting.
3. Keep the story moving. You introduce some striking ideas and elements but the chapter doesn't really move beyond that. The entire chapter describes the sand. At some point, we get it as a reader and are waiting to learn more about the main character. Characters drive a story and so far all we have learned is that Jamie lives in a brownstone in a buried NYC. There hasn't been any dialogue, which is okay, but I think something has to happen to begin to propel the story. First chapters are key because a reader will decide in the first few paragraphs or pages if they want to continue on.

As I said, you have a very intriguing idea, and with a few tweaks, you can make this story grab us by the lapels, and compel us to read.

I look forward to moving onto the next chapters.
- Jake

Tue, November 10th, 2020 1:15am


This seems like it's going to be a very intersting story. The first chapter doesn't give a lot away but it seems like it's going to have a bit of adventure and be really gripping. I'm very curious to know more about how the sand came about and what the caverns are like. I imagine this story will delve into the caverns at some point and I like that that mystery of it right now is something to look foward to.
I really liked the idea of a city being buried by sand and people continuing on beneath the surface, though I did struggle a little get a clear picture of this. It felt like the descriptions of each thing didn't match up with each other. You describe the sand as creeping up the sairs of the library but also that only the tallest buildings are visible. Also, dunes are covering everything, up all the tall buildings in New York, but she has an old-styled house on the surface. Was the house always there and if so how is it not completely covered in sand, or was it built after the sand came and why was it built in such an old fashion? It almost seems like it's trying to mesh a new dystopian world with old features, which is hard because they don't naturally go together but can be really effective when done well. I think if some of the small inconsistences were a little clearer it would make a huge difference and this interesting futuristic world you've created would really have a lot of impact.
I think this idea is really exciting and engaging. What was once a busy, bustling city now covered in sand and surviving underground is a very distinctive idea. I like that there's also this little bit of tension created with the sand still being a continuing concern. It gives it a sense of urgency almost, that something big is about to happen, and I really like that. There's definitely a lot of strong points to this and it's really set up for an exciting and gripping novel.

Tue, November 17th, 2020 9:37am

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