Monday, January 28, 2019

The Girl Who Saved Tomorrow – J. R. Kruze – Book Universes

The Girl Who Saved Tomorrow - J. R. Kruze - Book UniversesThe Girl Who Saved Tomorrow – J. R. Kruze – Book Universes

Editor’s Notes for “The Girl Who Saved Tomorrow”

Hi again,

This is Robert Worstell – Chief Editor and Author Wrangler here at Midwest Journal Press.

Welcome to another episode of Book Universes. This week: “The Girl Who Saved Tomorrow” by J. R. Kruze

Let’s dive in.

OK, here’s the pitch:

“I don’t see why I have to wear this – it’s completely impractical! How would you ever, ever fix anything if you have to worry about getting a run in your stockings?”

Steve just shrugged, again. “Orissa, it’s just a swimsuit with garters on it. And it’s all for show. We need hot-blooded backers for finance. So a little leg, a little suggestion, then their blood heats up and loosens their checkbooks.”

“But that’s just your theory. I’d rather be tuning that new carburetor for the meet.”

“Better you than me. And that hired model bugged out at the last minute. Besides, you’re the best judge of character we’ve got. We don’t want ringers, we want real angels.”

He had me there. One look in any man’s eyes and I could tell the real deal from the wannabes.

Then I saw him. That one…

– – – –

And here’s an excerpt:

“Sir, can I get you a refill?” I asked as I pointed to the smaller of the two groups. Their bottle of the good stuff that my brother was holding was fuller than his buddy’s.

“Not right now. How much can you tell me about that plane?”

I caught a twinkle in his eye. This was a test.

“Standard body for the racing monoplane type. Custom engine, custom prop, and safety features you won’t find anywhere else.”

“What’s so custom about that engine?”

“Radial outboard pistons backed by a turbine for higher speeds.”

“So you have two engines there. Interesting.”

“And safer if you have a bird strike.”

“But you can take lower altitudes slower.”

“And can utilize much shorter runways. Plus, the turbine can be clutched into the piston half for an emergency start in case of any stall.”

“Meaning that you are more comfortable in a jumpsuit with a wrench than showing off your legs in a get-up like that.”

“What gave me away?”

He smiled. “Other than knowing the difference between radial-outboard and turbine engines? How you walk in heels, and the number of fingers you bent back today, not to mention that wrenched shoulder.”

I smiled back and tilted my head. “So you aren’t interested in either of these bidding wars.” Said as a matter of fact, not a question.

“No. You’re the genius behind this plane, aren’t you.” Another statement of fact.


“Then you are actually who I came to see today.” He looked around our hanger, and spied the tarps covering our tool kits. “And this is where you’ve built this – or just tuned it?”

“Where we assembled it.”

His smile was genuine. I relaxed a little. He wasn’t trying to hit on me in the slightest.

“Impressive plane. This isn’t a standard monoplane racing body. You’ve had to make subtle changes in it. It may look the same on the surface, but…”

“And you’re trying to pick my brain for secrets?”

– – – –

Now for my Editor’s notes on this book:

The Girl Who Saved Tomorrow is a sequel to Kruze’s earlier work, “The Girl Who Built Tomorrow.”

The main character mentions the reference to what her mom and grandma had to go through. So we’ve jumped a generation here (and left it open for another story inbetween.)

While the “Built Tomorrow” was more steampunk, this “Saved Tomorrow” happens in the 50’s and she has aviation-fueled planes and turbines. So I couldn’t easily sneak in steam engines here.

Kruze gave me the low-down on his research. He found a book by L. Frank Baum titled “The Flying Girl” and was pretty well researched, acknowledging one of the Wright Brothers and Curtiss for side-checking the book.

The main character and her brother’s names were lifted from that book. And as well, the call-sign for the plane she flies into the Salton Sea airport has an easter egg reference to Baum’s more famous books.

The planes involved are mostly post World War II era.

The idea Kruze is still examining is the subservient role women have had to play as genius engineers in order to accomplish all they did.

The role of Abe Smythe is an interesting one. It’s more or less based on the character “Peter” in R. L. Saunders’ “Mind Timing”. Both have the ability to shift time-lines at will. A sidebar that Kruze didn’t get into the book was that Abe’s actual name is Abdullah, which means “messenger from God”.

Another interesting point is how Smythe describes “a CRT screen inside a TV console of the day.” Which may hint that he comes from a future time-line, which is very possible, much as Peter did in Saunders’ book.

This story differs from “Mind Timing” is that while the structure of the piece is romance (alternating viewpoints, starting and ending with the female) you don’t really much of this until the ending (which is, of course, happily-ever-after) but the main story is action-adventure throughout. But we don’t even see a single kiss, and by my count, only two hugs in this book. Like I said, more adventure than anything else.

And if you read carefully, that action never allows poor Orissa Kane to ever soak her feet after those high heels she was wearing in the opening.

Kruze says he was reading some articles about the old Michael Moorcock approach to the pulp magazine yarns, so got swept up in testing more “thriller” ideas into this one.

And he hasn’t really been into writing action-adventure since his novel “When the Dreamer Dreamed”. So this is a welcome return to the genre.

– – – –

And that’s all for this episode.

I’ll be back again next time with more editor’s notes for you from our next installment of Book Universes – so stay tuned.

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