Being the weird girl is never easy, but in a dystopian future where women are licensed as domestic pets, it's a nightmare. Mina is a magical foundling raised by sage off-gridders who teach her to feign compliance. But talent will out, and Mina’s dreams threaten the Night Mare’s rule. Discover the trilogy today!
Turn to page 69 of any book and read it. If you like that page, buy the book.
That was Marshall McLuhan’s advice anyway. Barb Taub invites readers to submit their own or other works (pg. 69 only of course!) http://barbtaub.com/2015/04/13/page-69-challenge-excerpts-from-leaning-into-love-memoir-and-its-a-nightmare-dystopian-feminist-fantasy-fiction/
It’s a Nightmare (The Gold Stone Girl, Book 1) by Nicole Quinn
Genre: Dystopian feminist fantasy fictionMina, a rogue DreamWeaver, is born in the Off-grid of the Night Mare’s Winkin City, a world, where human females are kept as cattle, and licensed as domestic pets. She’s found inside a willow tree, alongside lygaeidae hibernating as larva. Mina lives the life of a human-breeder, who discovers that in order to survive, she must change everything.
Page 69 (BlueBarnProductions, May 11, 2014)
The voice inside my head pipes up, Pilar was raised as cattle, always intended for trade or sale. Stooped Helga has survived three owners already, while Chinaka’s people want the evil spirit beaten out of her, before they’ll accept back. Soo doesn’t talk, so she’s never heard. You have known humanity.
Day after day we sit on our cushions in yurt #13, watching Pater Dick strut his
lessons. In the winter, it’s freezing. The Pater’s meager government allotment of wood he reserves for his personal use, while he sends us out, harnessed together like a pack of hounds, to hunt for felled branches. In the summer, it’s sweltering, both inside and out.
Nicole Quinn is a WGA writer. Her feature film Racing Daylight (writer/dir) stars Academy Award winner Melissa Leo and Emmy winner David Strathairn, and it’s streaming everywhere.
Nicole won the Harper Audio contest to read on Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. She has produced a dozen AUDIOBOOKSand narrated as many, It’s a Nightmare, The Gold Stone Girl, book 1, has been nominated for a Tiptree Award.
“The three stones you choose at Registration are the predictors of your behavior. What we will expect of you. Gold, silver, vermillion, yellow, blue, grey, scarlet, green, pink, and white. Each color has a meaning, to help us identify and weed out the trouble makers early. To understand which of you deserve preferment as pets, and perhaps as media.” He looks around at the five of us.
“No, I guess not.” He says with a snort. Pater’s Dick’s feet stop in front of me. I don’t look up. After a pointed pause, he moves on.
“The most sought after stone, of course, is the gold, which trumps all other stones in its value to society. There is no greater honor for a breeder than to pull the gold stone.
That lucky girl gives her life to the Night Mare, in reparation for our sins.
“The most recent gold stone pulled, however, was a fake. Several hundred cycles back,” Dick tells us.
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When I discovered that baby girls were being thrown away, I needed to write about it. I wanted to understand a society where that could happen, where females were complicit, where it was of the culture. To venture so far into the dark, I needed hope, and someone to embody it. I needed her to be someone I would want to follow from fear and darkness, into the light.
Mina, the protagonist of my epic trilogy, is a rogue Dream Weaver, recast in the Night Mare’s government-church dogma as, The Gold Stone Girl. She’s the human sacrifice the Night Mare, the demon ruler of the world, must consume to renew the planet, and herself. It’s not a light burden.
Mina is found inside a tree, and raised by outsiders, Off-gridders, which allows us all to get to know the Night Mare’s horror from a distance, at least in the beginning. Then I gave Mina the task of having to save the whole world, in order to save herself. Ultimately everyone has a stake in her success, or failure, even the Night Mare.
Mina’s a reluctant hero who slips through the cracks of the Night Mare’s system, a system set up specifically to find her. She wants to be normal, like everyone else, except for being owned, and abused. So in order to find a new normal, Mina has to undertake the extraordinary, she has to discover who she is, from inside herself, as all record of her legend has been expunged by her enemy.
I wanted to create the type of confident woman I’d long admired in novels about housekeeping, Jane Austen heroines, and such. Women who aspired to lives that were not allowed to them. Even if the perceived stakes weren’t high, will I marry on my own terms, in partnership, in love, or will I not marry at all, in a world where marrying meant you were property, and, not to, meant spinsterhood, financial ruin, and familial shame. It was a time when widowhood was the only state in which a woman could own her own life, though not always her own property if it was entailed away to the next male in the family line.
I didn’t want Mina to be the she-male of gamers and graphic novels, hyper-sexualized and hyper-violent, something to be caged and tamed, before she’s killed. I wanted someone less two dimensional. Someone flawed, who makes mistakes and grows from them. I wanted her to understand how to physically defend herself, and others. I wanted her to know how to survive the planet. What doesn’t kill her does make her stronger, but in her heart she's flight, not fight.
Mina’s greatest gift is in her ability to separate her own self-worth, from the stereotypes by which all females on the planet Blinkin are prescribed by law. Mina’s journey is to turn a perceived weakness, her ability to dream, into the basis of her strength and confidence. Mina’s magic is belief in herself. She doesn't dream of rescue, she dreams of rescuing herself.
Nicole Quinn is a WGA writer. She's written scripts for HBO, Showtime, and network television. Her feature film, RACING DAYLIGHT, (starring Academy Award winner Melissa Leo and Emmy winner David Strathairn), is streaming everywhere. She won the Harper Audio contest to read on Neil Gaiman's 10th anniversary full cast audiobook American Gods. She has produced a dozen audiobooks and narrated as many. Her plays are published by Playscripts, Inc.
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