*In the late 20th century came the internet. From the internet was born
"Chat." And Chat led to cybering, to online sex between parties who sat at
home in their comfortable chairs and typed reciprocal erotica and porn to
each other on their computers.*
*In the early 21st century Chat became virtual reality. Chatters plugged
directly into their HEVE--home electronic video entertainment
interface--created characters from the data streams, and inhabited virtual
bodies in a virtual world. The online sex was better. Sometimes when
people were locked virtual skin to virtual skin they could almost forget
that they weren't actually exchanging bodily fluids.*
*By the mid 21st century mundane reality was still boring, but virtual
reality was no longer good enough. *
--- from "Sex: The New Story of an Old Act."
There were two vampires, a shapeshifter in semi-human form, a sword-witch, a
demon named Baell, and a dozen sluts of various persuasions and genders on
the battlements when Boone came on. And the low sky was like ice from the
vac-shield, a half solid, shifting weave of thin light that kept black space
away from the surface of the Sea of Tranquility.
Just a mention on formatting. Some people use * to designate italics. I had a rant on my failing vision and exhaustion all prepared, but in the interest of saving time: which is easier for you to see? *Italics* or Italics? Might be email formatting in this case, but I do see it in regular submissions.
With the quote, you've just started a story with what is essentially backstory. I think this history/set up could be relatively easy to show via action, and you want to start a story where the story starts. Savvy? Additionally, the writing in the excerpt and the setting premise are not quite special enough to grab me. I see various forms of internet/future sex in stories fairly often. I'm not saying don't use it, though, because those stories can be interesting.
If the story is well-done and makes it past the vote, I'd probably ditch the quote in editing. Problem is, during voting we tend to pick the stories that: A. are so great we don't care how much work they require, or, even better, B. are great and also need the least amount of work. (We're editors. We're lazy. Just ask Gremlin.)
Things do take a turn for the better once the story proper starts. We got a fun cast of characters and setting details: a guy named Boone (which, since he's named, I'm assuming is the MC) and they're on battlements. Cool. Maybe they're under siege or at war, so it sets up conflict. I like the "dozen sluts of various persuasions" because it feels a bit like a slur, and that shows me Boone's bent. Not sure why the next sentence starts with a conjunction. It doesn't seem connected to the previous, though the details are interesting and reinforces the futuristic sci-fi. I don't have an entirely clear picture of the surroundings, but in the first graph, that's okay. This author also shows he might be able to write in this graph, undoing the damage done with the quote. I'm willing to read on to find out more.
To show you I'm not damning all quotes: my latest short story starts with a short quote from Roman times. But see my issue with the quote? It takes up a lot of real estate, so it must really count. I don't believe that's the case for this one.
I don't want to leave you with the impression that I only read the first page of submissions. I tend to read 3 pages. If it's promising, I skip to the end to see how that works before reading on. (It's not entirely true. Occasionally I read all the way through--forgetting my method--and that bodes well for a story. I will advocate that story.) But I know for a fact that many editors do only read the first page. Some book editors and agents only read the first page. So the first page is important stuff, yo.
I've got more entries, but I'm out of town for a few days, so I'll do another when I return. More pages please! Talk this up!