Non-Affiliation Notice:

Dr. Montgomery is not affiliated with the Adler Planetarium. The purpose of this project is to stimulate creative writing in the genre of science fiction and fantasy using resources available in Chicago. If you or your organization would be interested in sponsoring awards for the best stories, please contact DrM-Resources.

The Project

Did you ever read any science fiction or fantasy stories? These were some of my favorites growing up.

Have you seen Avatar in 3D yet? (Seeing Avatar in 3D in an iMax is bigger and regular screen 3D is still "awesome.") Avatar is one of many movies fusing current science with fiction and animation to create and tell a powerful story. A challenge for people who have seen Avatar is to identify what already exists and what was a future projection. Based on ideas about gravity and about how things were growing and their size, what kind of planet do you think Pandora is? How can they have "floating mountains?" (Remember, the movie was made on planet Earth with normal gravity. What did they do to make things seem different?)

The Adler Planetarium in Chicago has a great Cyberspace Website with lots of interesting facts about our solar system and beyond. Writers of science fiction and fantasy often take scientific facts (or theories because some "facts" turn out not to be "facts--Pluto is not a planet after all) and weave a story around them.

This project, which can be done individually or collaboratively, involves taking information from the Adler Planetarium Cyberspace website and weaving your own story around it to turn it into a science fiction or science fiction and fantasy short story.

Anyone who knows how to create animation can turn the short story into a video and that's a future project. Let's start with the basics.

If you want to work on this as a collaborative project (where you and several others write the story together), you'll need your own page for your collaborative (team) story. To get one, you can register at DrM-Projects-MS (for Middle School students) or DrM-Projects-HS (for High School students). Adults who want to write can contact DrM-Resources and we will set-up another site for you.

More details will be coming soon.

Background Reading

If you'd like to do some background reading to see how authors worked science facts and theories into science fiction and fantasy stories, you'll find many books in both printed and audiobook format at your local library (both school and public libraries). For lists of good books, go to this link.