It is the year 2076 and twelve-year-old Emily Pennington is saying earnest prayers that Martin J. McCrae, 117, will promptly suffer a catastrophic heart attack. She’s not the only one. So are more than two billion otherwise law-abiding souls scattered around the solar system. McCrae is the last baby boomer and his death is going to enrich some stranger by $980 million.
Just one problem: McCrae won’t die. After government demographers identified him as the last baby boomer, the lonely pigeon feeder gleefully agreed to become the central figure in a lottery ghoul pool. Contestants pay $25 to be in a museum suite with the chatty fibber for 15 minutes. If they’re present when he dies, they win a jackpot bloated by off-site gamblers who wager millions on the widespread conviction that he could go at any minute. He revels in the boredom-slaying opportunities to tell historic lies and surprise all the ladies with lascivious squeezes skillfully timed to coincide with the instant the souvenir pictures are snapped.
McCrae’s rollicking youth and the lively friendships are woven throughout the book. In 2080, the one-time couch potato lapses into a persistent vegetative state. Court-sanctioned contest rules forbid any treatments. Conspiracy theorists surmise he’s already dead and the government’s using the death pool as a macabre bailout program. As the death obsession dissolves into a moral quagmire with no equitable end in sight, the lines waiting to play grow longer and longer. Because, geez, doesn’t everybody have to die someday?
McCrae revives after two old friends, truly “eternal optimists,” appear and claim to have discovered a life-extending elixir. McCrae must decide to drink the heady potion or allow his life and the nearly billion-dollar jackpot to end naturally.
I'm a Pittsburgh freelancer whose humor features appear in Esquire, Men's Health, Sports Illustrated and other top publications. I would be happy to send you the full or partial manuscript for The Last Baby Boomer, a coming of old, old age story. Because everyone has to die, but only one of us gets to die last.
Thank you for your consideration and have a great day.
Holy moly, are you sure you wrote that original query. This is so much better I'd actually ask for pages.
Dear Query Shark:
The Last Baby Boomer will celebrate his 44th birthday on December 19. He will die -- mark your calendars -- on September 25, 2081. The gala parades down Broadway will begin the next day.
“The Last Baby Boomer” is my 209-page novel about the life and death of the last baby boomer, Martin J. McCrae. Because his impending death will symbolically tombstone a generation known for selfish excess, the 117-year-old McCrae agrees to be part of a lottery ghoul pool.
Contestants pay $25 to be in a museum suite with him for 15 minutes. If they are present when he expires, they win the multimillion dollar jackpot. One problem: McCrae won't die.
Word count, not page numbers. Always.
Tombstone is not a verb. Not now, not in the future, not ever.
You've described the gimmick, but not the novel. Who's the main character? McCrae? The gamblers? Someone else?
If the novel is simply waiting for him to die, you'll need something else to hold our interest.
I’m a (redacted)-based freelance writer whose humor features appear in dozens of top publications including Men’s Health, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Playboy, Golf, Cooking Light and Travel + Leisure Golf.
Please let me know if you’d like to see more of “The Last Baby Boomer,” a coming of old, old, age story. Because we all have to die, but only one of us gets to die last.
There's not enough here yet to entice me. I'd probably read the pages if they were attached, but you'll be much better off if we get more sense of what the story, not just the set up, is.