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Hong Kong Polytechnic University - PolyU HK

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ELC1A01 Science fiction as a reflection on humanity

Story planning sheet


Aim: This story planning sheet is to help you plan your short story and make sure that you haven’t missed out anything important. You should submit it with your first draft for the Writing Requirement.


Highlight the items below that apply to your story:


  1. The philosophy in the story is about:
    Human nature:
    family, politics, drama;
    A good life: agreement with nature / pleasurable sensations / live modestly in the limits of your desires /
    freedom and fate / skepticism
    Modernism: Descartes' rules and maxims / scientific method / social contract / empiricism / sovereignty of the people and their right to pass laws /
    desire vs. reason

  2. The sub-genre is: Hard SF / Soft SF / Robots / Interstellar travel / Time travel / Superpowers / Bodily transformation / Parallel universe / Alien Invasion / Immortality / Apocalyptic / Post-apocalyptic world / Godlike aliens

  3. The plot is: Overcoming the monster / Rags to riches / Quest / Voyage and return / Comedy / Tragedy / Rebirth / Rebellion Against ‘The One’ / The Mystery

  4. The society is: theological / mythological / self-sufficient / inter-dependent / agricultural / scientific / inter-stellar / military / industrial / trading / tribal / slave-based / feudal / capitalist / socialist / communist / globalised / colonial / dictatorial / multi-cultural / hyper-diffused (from a single original society) / over-populated / environmentally-unsustainable / post-apocalyptic / consumer.

  5. The setting is: Time: ___3015____Place: _Mars and Earth_

  6. The dramatic situation is: __Deliverance__

  7. In this dramatic situation the main characters are (fill in your choice in the table below):
    Characters: hero / anti-hero / Byronic hero / trickster / antagonist / fun villain / mirror of the hero / evil genius / mad scientist / android / robot / cyborg / clone / talking computer / mind reader / empath / mutant / scientist / eye candy / starship crew / outlaw / trader / smuggler / investigator / mentor / loyal friend.
    Personality type:
    Big Thinker / Counsellor / Go-getter / Idealist / Innovator / Leader / Mastermind / Mentor / Nurturer / Peacemaker / Performer / Provider / Realist / Resolver / Strategist / Supervisor
    Role: Evil genius / Empath / Scientist / Mad scientist / Doctor / Trader / Smuggler / Spaceship engineer / Administrator / Investigator / Guide / Hero / Loyal friend / Sage / Trickster / Martyr / Fun villain / Other: ____


Character

Personality type

Role

Institution / Rank

1. Protagonist - Maggie

Loyal friend


Peacemaker



2. Antagonist - Circle

Evil genius

Mastermind

Trickster


3. Other(s) - Zinc

Mentor


Big Thinker

Guide


  1. The structure of the plot is:

    1. 1st act: Setup
      Incident : Maggie lost her grandpa and felt all alone.
      Turning point : Zinc appeared to comfort her and invited her to take a relaxed trip and go visit Mars.

    2. 2nd act: Confrontation
      Worsening situation : Maggie went sightseeing alone and was kidnapped by an alien called Circle .
      Need help : Zinc found Mag.....[read full text]

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He had his own comfort zone. And as an old man, nothing would be better than staying with his beloved granddaughter in his knowing world.

However, our earth had transformed a lot in these years. Things became all digitalized and our life became more high-tech. It was so advanced that any device was built in our brains so that we humans could search anything anytime in our minds. And our mother nature couldn’t stand it anymore. Natural disaster happened once in a while. Even trees became one of the distinct species on earth.

Everything was not natural. They were all computerized.

It seems a good idea for me. But do you really mean it? Now?’

Yes! Getaway. Leave past. Don’t look back. Look forward. Come!’ Zinc encouraged me to move on.

I really did miss my grandpa, as if the sky missed the sun at night. But I knew I had to move on. Distraction like Zinc’s suggestion seemed to have saved my life.

Okay. What should I prepare?’ I got a little bit excited. I had never planned a trip before, even on earth. As I had to be with my grandpa, I didn’t think of going to a trip alone. I treasured every moment spending with him. Those moments became the sweetest memories of my life. In fact, I liked to explore the unknown. I felt that I was a woman with freedom, not like a little girl with a guardian anymore.

I made my own decisions and took responsibility of each of them. Suddenly I seemed to have learnt to cherish my freedom and lonely moments.

Send you information. You. Sleep. Good night.’

Thank you Zinc. See you soon.’


***


After a few days, I packed up my stuff and was excited to plan my trip to Mars. Thinking that my friend was waiting for me far away, I was never lonely ever again. I started to search for my spaceship ticket online. It took 6 months to get to Mars. I needed some entertainment. So I brought some books with me. And I had to attend a briefing before the trip.

Aliens on each planet possess a specific type of qualities; tourists would be given an injection to perform that particular specialty. For Mars, aliens living on it could be able to be invisible anywhere anytime as they wanted. Thus they were called the invisible aliens. When I was small, I liked to dream of being invisible to others so that people couldn’t see me and I could be absolutely free to do what I wanted.

Without people seeing me or monitoring me, I was finally set free to be myself, not thinking what others’ thought about me. Also I received a training offered by my chosen space-line company ‘MARTIAN’ on practicing walk in space and studying the system of spacecraft that I would take so that I knew the .....

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He wore a plain white t-shirt and a pair of loose black trousers. He gave me a warm loving smile while I was approaching him. He as a Martian, actually quite looked like a human in terms of the outfits and the body figure. Except that his eye color was a bright reddish orange and the presence of the third eye.

Martians were born with their specialized invisible power. And he had already prepared a standard M-chip which meant Martians microchip. It would be injected into my blood in next second. Tourists from other planets could thus be assimilated and lived like the Martians with M-chip. Zinc told me that through the injection, we could be invisible as Martians and accommodate ourselves on Mars.

I show you. Control. Mind. Concentrated. Handle well.’ Zinc taught me how to perform the ability. After a few seconds or so, it seemed that I could play with this new special power. It should not be difficult to me though. He demonstrated to me and I could see him appearing and disappearing.

Shining star.’ Zinc smiled with a wink. But I was not sure I could handle this successfully at the first trial. It’s like controlling the balance on the bicycle in my first ride. I fell down a few times and then finally I learnt it.

After a few days getting to know things about Zinc, his family and Mars, I became more familiar with this new environment. Although I knew Zinc was eager to show me around, I had an urge to explore this planet on my own. And today I had to go out visit some places alone and Zinc had to get back to work. He was a therapist helping disable Martians who lost their ability due to accidents, sickness or aging.

Enjoy. Trip.’ Zinc smiled to me.

Sure! Don’t worry about me. Let’s meet at night!’ I got on a tourist bus and said goodbye to Zinc.

As soon as I got off the bus, I realized someone was following me. But I pretended not to notice his presence. I kept on walking and suddenly I recognized the sensation of dizziness. I felt like falling onto the ground in the next second. That person held me when I was just about to fall down. Then I lost my consciousness.


***


I was super sleepy. I saw grandpa sitting next to me watching television. It’s about the latest news that accidents occurred to astronauts heading to Mars. There was an explosion and no one survived. From the reflection of the TV, I could vaguely saw my figure. I was just a baby girl sitting on a sofa like a doll. Suddenly I felt like crying. Grandpa immediately grabbed me and held me w.....

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Hey! Do you see the cloud coming?’ I screamed and hoped that he could release me. Watching the sand cloud coming toward us, we needed to take actions.

I had no idea how to escape from that terrifying cloud and soon I knew after a few minutes I could see no stars anymore. At this moment, he released me and I dropped onto the floor, feeling helpless.

Go! Now!’ He shouted at me and then disappeared.

I was not able to move a bit. Feeling the roaring wind pounding my soft human body, I closed my eyes hopelessly. All of a sudden, I was held by a man. And then we were rushing to a car. As soon as we got on the car with the banging of the car door, the sand wind was hitting the car with dust and pellets. I could hardly breathe. With sands in my eyes and all over my face, I wiped it and would like to say thanks to the person who had saved me.

Hey thank God! Zinc you’ve finally found me.’ I cleaned the sand in my mouth, expecting loads of questions about where I did go in these couples of days and nights.

Zink? Who? Me. Circle. Save. You.’ To my surprise, this was the kidnapping guy who brought me to life again.

But I knew that instead of saving me, he was saving his hope of finding his long lost father.


A couple of hours later, Zinc got us beneath a sand dune. I wished he could realize my absence and tracked me down to here earlier. And now, I felt obliged to help Circle to find his long lost father.

I was fundamentally a helpful human being who was also optimistic. I could not say it was a nature or nurture but I just felt the need to help people. Compared to my lost grandpa, at least there’s still a chance that Circle would find and meet his father someday somewhere in the future. Or his father would co.....

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He. Blocked me. Me. Visited Earth. Last time. Can’t search him.’ Circle said.

I will go back to the earth to find out what’s happened to your dad and hopefully asked him to back home.’ I promised to Circle. Zinc insisted to go with me. So we headed to the Earth.

On the departure day, I looked at the pale pinkish-yellowish Martians sky. I was shocked by the glamorous view and wondered.

Will I see this stunning view again? Goodbye Mars.


After the arrival on earth, it’s time to inject the Human microchip into Zinc’s body since it’s his first visit to earth. Our human abilities are to get connect with the powerful internet with our brain and act as a human encyclopedia. Mobile phones had faded out as our H-chip emerged. Every human had advanced to be knowledgeable and omniscient.

Cyrus was living in a small house beside a lake. It’s quite a remote area and no one would accidentally pass by if they were not intended to do so. When we got closer and closer, I could see a man sitting on a wheelchair.

We. Keep. Invisible.’ Zinc suggested.

When we were standing in front of him, he glanced up, as if his internal radar had warned him about a danger or obstacle nearby. I was about to say Hi. He looked straight at me, but then he moved his head to the original position, kept on reading a book lying on his thigh. He couldn’t see us!

Impossible!’ Zinc exclaimed. Zinc studied him for signs of a reaction to our presence. Nothing at all.

His. M-chip. Gone! Not Martian.’ .....

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In this way, he could be healed someday by the magic of time.

Yet it’s totally unfair to Circle! Didn’t he know that he still had a son waiting him back terribly? It’s such a selfish decision hiding away from someone who loved him so much and desperately wanted him back.

We’d better not to reveal ourselves until the end, partly because I did not want to disturb Cyrus but mostly because I would like to keep this as a matter only between him and Circle. Isn’t good?’ I asked Zinc.

Sure. Follow. You.’ Zinc agreed to me.

Although we would like to find out the reasons of Cyrus’s staying on earth, we suppressed our curiosity. After all, it’s a private issue between father and son.


***


On the day Circle arrived here, Zinc and I were preparing to leave. One last thing to do was to witness the reunion of a father and a son. It’s so good to meet someone whom you were longing for, especially when you thought you would never see him again.

When Circle was standing in front of his father, he fixed his shirt to look presentable. Then he smiled. ‘Hi,’ he said, feeling hopeful and self-conscious.

Cyrus rubbed his eyes seriously and opened them again. ‘Oh. My. Boy. Found. Me.’ He whispered. Tears were running down his cheek and then he was speechless.

They hugged each other so hard that they would not let go of one another ever again in their life.

I knew my grandpa would be always in my heart. Next time when I met him, he would say to me. ‘Sweetheart, you are really tough. I know that you can get through anything like a warrior. Come, come to me.’


~ .....

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