Call the police! Someone stole my folder of creative writing from grade 6 English class, which included some awesome science fiction stories.
One of the stories I remember well involved a strange race on another planet - a planet which offered a wealth of gifts. For lack of something more creative (I was after all in grade 6, with a consistent B+ average), I called the planet "Pandora". I was going to at least change the spelling to "Pandhorra" or alter it a bit by calling it "Andorrha" or something cool like that, but I never got around to it. One of the gifts ripe for the taking was a rare and valuable mineral, impossible to find on earth. It was so hard to find, I called it "unobtainium" (pretty dumb I know, but I wrote the story in a rush, the night before it was due). The story was full of one-dimensional characters like "the evil capitalist corporate miner" and the "tough yet sensitive scientist". Also the "tough but becomes sensitive army guy" and the "hot native woman", probably inspired by Mulan or Pocahontas or something.
The story was also full of completely transparent metaphors for environmental destruction and white man's trampling of native peoples and habitats. Also being a grade six boy, some of my illustrations for this story had scantily clad native women showing just a hint of nipple. I blame it on puberty. I called the natives "Na'vi" - see how I took out the "E" and "T" from "native" ("Get it? E.T.?") and switched two of the letters around? I was pretty proud of that little bit of cryptic work. Also there were a lot of dragons, because I was really into Dungeons & Dragons (D&D to the hip) at the time. I still have those translucent, many-sided dice.
There were also illustrations of really cool vertical-take-off-and-landing gunships and giant armed bulldozers which I kind of ripped off from these Steve Jackson games called OGRE and GEV. Also, even though humans and the natives could easily learn each others' languages, and the planet was mostly hospitable to humans as long as they were wearing oxygen masks, I created this really convoluted way for humans to interact with (and ultimately have sex with - puberty again) the aliens via this Vulcan-mind-meld-like thing with these artificially bred imitation aliens which I kind of stole from Blade Runner. I called them "surrogates". No wait I think I called them "avatars".
I remember hoping to some day make a movie of this story, using state-of-the-art computer animation, maybe even in 3D. I had even started to work on some sprite graphics for it on my Commodore 64 and had saved them on my Datassette recorder, figuring that some day the technology would catch up to my vision. Also I printed the story on the new dot-matrix printer we had just bought. It came with a few cool fonts, and you could also design your own custom fonts. I just used one called Papyrus (the dot matrix printing made it a little bit fatter) - it looked a bit lame but I didn't have time to design something better, and it was good enough for a grade 6 project. I was hoping that the font and my illustrations would distract my teacher from the fact that I didn't spend very long writing the story itself.
Anyway, if you see or hear any signs of this story please let me know, I'd really like to get it back.
•Steve Donnelly Email
More Recent Reviews...
Capote (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener)
In the chic and bustling literary world of 1950s New York, famed writer Truman Capote (Philip Seymou... More...
Brokeback Mountain (Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Randy Quaid)
In the wilds of 1960s Wyoming, two young men with difficult pasts, Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and ... More...
Syriana (George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet)
Based on Robert Baer's book "See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Ter... More...
King Kong (Jack Black, Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody)
When most of us think of King Kong, we think of the iconic image of Kong on the top of the Empire St... More...
Shopgirl (Claire Danes, Steve Martin, Jason Schwarzman)
This heart-felt and bitter-sweet story dives into the hum-drum life of Mirabelle Buttersfield (Clair... More...
the review archives