Deathwalker Colony

King Everett Medlin

Book Cover

GENRE

SCI-FI

    Core Theme

    GOOD VS EVIL

    TIME PERIOD

    Future

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    BABYLON 5, DUNE, STAR TREK, FARSCAPE, STARGATE SERIES, VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS

    CHARACTER LIST

    ESTRELLA: 17. LEAD. NAIVE BUT DETERMINED AND STRONG.

    ADMIRAL SLOUT: N/A. ALIEN. ADOPTIVE UNCLE TO ESTRELLA.

    KSCHEEECH: N/A. ALIEN. TRUSTED CONFIDANTE OF SLOUT AND ESTRELLA.

    NORVEGICUS: N/A. ALIEN. VILLAIN OF THE BOOK, INFECTED WITH PARASITE.

    Logline

    It’s been two years since the return of 'Anarchy' and the ensuing debacle wherein it was discovered the crew were infected with a deadly pathogen. All is seemingly back to normal as the development of a vaccine has led to crew members peacefully assimilating into Naustie society. Or maybe not.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 13-17,18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    24th century Earth and alien planets

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Me

    Year Published: 2020

    Starting Description

    Word reaches Admiral Slout of the assassination of a political candidate out on planet Suidonj. Estrella is a fan of this would-be reformer and deeply saddened when she receives the news. Upon further investigation however she suspects the pathogen may be the true culprit.

    Ending Description

    Estrella will eventually come to realize that the source of the pathogen, an alien intelligence from the other side of the galaxy, is continually evolving its efforts. Ultimately she will face the aliens' chosen champion, a creature no one would have suspected.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

    9798696570525

    Mature Audience Themes

    Extreme Violence

    Plot - Other Elements

    Meaningful Message,Twist,Coming of Age,Happy Ending

    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain

    Main Character Details

    Name: Estrella Mwonga

    Age: 18

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Decisive,Heroic,Leader

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Admiral Slout

    Age: (Pig-like alien being, middle aged)

    Gender: Male

    Role: Mentor

    Key Traits: Badass,Masculine,Confident,Faithful,Blunt

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Keech

    Age: (Lizard-like alien being, elderly)

    Gender: Male

    Role: mentor

    Key Traits: Selfless,Outspoken,Gracious,Faithful,Empathetic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Norvegicus

    Age: Rodent-like alien being (young adult)

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Villainous,Narcisstic,Skillful,Manipulative,Secretive,Charming,Complex,Criminal

    Genre

    ACTION, THRILLER, MATURE AUDIENCE, DRAMA, POLITICS, FANTASY (SCI-FI)

    Brief

    The young human leader of former penal colony New Australia recognizes signs across the galaxy of a dangerous parasite that causes violence and madness. Since her planet already has the antidote and vaccine, she embarks on a journey to other planets to save their populations from destruction. A new risk arises with an infected union leader threatens to destroy them all, and it’s only her quick thinking and devoted crew that saves the day.

    Overall Rating

    GOOD

    Point of View

    THIRD PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: FAIR

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: FAIR

    Franchise Potential: GOOD

    Pace: FAIR

    Premise: EXCELLENT

    Structure: FAIR

    Theme: EXCELLENT

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    It is accurate.

    Draw of Story

    The manuscript begins with a parody of American politics that incorporates some from the presidential races in 2016 and 2020, as well as current battles with up-and-coming young congresswomen. It’s all taken to the extreme, of course, but it sets the stage well for everything to come. It immediately hooks a reader into the story because it’s easy to understand and relate to, even though it’s aliens portraying these roles rather than humans. The tragic assassination of a young and inspiring politician establishes a dark tone and the very real consequences of the plot, which is fantastic.

    Possible Drawbacks

    The plot isn’t as well-developed as it could be, and it would need to be less episodic in a feature or television adaptation. It’s very repetitive in its current form, what with Estrella and her crew visiting multiple planets to do the same thing again and again. Though each experience is slightly different, this repetition would be obvious onscreen. The pacing sometimes feels rushed as well, and there are interesting scenes that are only discussed or that are sped through. Even the climax with Norvegicus feels rushed. The through-line is also a little jumbled, though paring down and strengthening the plot would likely fix that.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES HEAVILY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    It’s not exactly a hook, but the cinematic landscapes of an adaptation would effortlessly draw in any viewer. The worldbuilding is superb, and it really shows in the attention to detail the author puts into developing each planet and its people. It all goes hand-in-hand and creates powerful and realistic worlds, even though they’re alien to us. For instance, the cat people of Enosh needing a lot of sleep and living in small rooms as they spend most of their time out and about in the city feels believably correct. The parallels between the world as we know it and this vast future universe are also intriguing and make it all more tangible.

    Fanbase Potential

    Absolutely, an adaptation of this book could easily grab a fanbase. Sci-fi is one of the most popular and fan-driven genres, and there’s so much here for an audience to engage with.

    Awards Potential

    Due to the science fiction genre, this is unlikely to have traditional award potential. It could do quite well with technical awards, though.

    Envisioned Budget

    LARGE BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    BABYLON 5, DUNE, STAR TREK, FARSCAPE, STARGATE SERIES, VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS

    What’s New About the Story

    The very idea of an alien parasite that can inspire violence and madness is very unique, and it’s an interesting twist on a sort-of zombie story that works well and is applicable to many different planets and beings. The fact that the parasite is also somehow artificial intelligence and can make people intelligent and great leaders is a bit confusing. Being as clear as possible as to exactly what this parasite(/pollen) is and what it can do would help a great deal, and more logical specificity would boost the originality.

    Lead Characters

    The fact that Estrella is so young is a great place to start the story. It gives the character so much room to grow throughout an adaptation and/or sequels. She’s complex and interesting, and she doesn’t have her emotions under control the way a “real” adult would quite yet. Sometimes this can make her feel a little uneven, with her angry or upset outbursts, but ironing that out so she seems less extreme would be an easy fix. She’s growing up alongside her very planet, and now she’s proven herself to be a capable leader. She’s absolutely the kind of character an audience will become invested in and want to follow.

    Uniqueness of Story

    All of the moving parts of this novel make it a rare gem for sure. There are many different aspects that are unique and compelling, and for the most part they work together really well. This does feel different from a good amount of sci-fi that’s out there, even if certain elements are held to (such as a sprawling universe, or a young hero). Though the world building that’s on the page is great, it could be bettered if certain small details were a little clearer. For instance, TV news shows seem to be almost the same in this futuristic world, as do political rallies. It would be interesting to see more of what sets them apart from the familiar.

    Possible Formats

    TV Series: Network, Cable, Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    CONSIDER

    Justification

    The only reason this project isn’t a “recommend” is due to the pacing and the narrative arc. That said, those are both fixes that would be easy to make in an adaptation, so this definitely deserves attention. The themes of immigration, refugee crises, and workers’ rights are all topical, and they mirror the world we live in well. The manuscript is an enjoyable read that entrances the audience right away, and Estrella is a joy to follow along with throughout. It’s easy to root for her, and, even at her darkest or most ruthless, she’s empathetic. This would be a difficult project to see made, if only for the high budget, but there’s something original and dynamic here. The very best sci-fi always has something to say about the world, and this is presenting many, many messages that would be of interest to an audience. It might be worth considering what this is ultimately saying regarding workers’ rights and labor unions, since the two main characters we see fighting for such things — Gilt Duroc and Norvegicus — are, respectively, killed or controlled by aliens. Giving more of a sense of what this world might look like going forward would solve this.

    Brief

    A planet that has risen from its status as a penal colony to being a promising world full of a mix of alien races, New Australia also boasts a young, ambitious human leader. She begins to recognize signs across the galaxy of a dangerous parasite that causes violence and madness, which a crew from her world accidentally brought back from an uninhabited planet a year and a half ago. She embarks on a journey to other planets to share their vaccine and antidote with other leaders, saving entire populations of various species. When she thinks their task is finished, a new risk arises with a union leader who threatens to destroy their galaxy once and for all.

    What We Liked

    Estrella is a stand-out protagonist. Her age makes her perfect for both a teenage and adult audience alike, casting a wide net for an interested audience. On the cusp of adulthood, she symbolizes her burgeoning planet and its challenges flawlessly. She is coming into her own, just as New Australia is, and it would be thrilling to follow her journey. She’s complex and interesting, and she’s never one-note. She’s capable of both ruthlessness and extreme empathy, and she’s determined to do what’s right and save her people above all else. She’s never afraid to risk her own life for the good of the galaxy.

    Film: There are several sci-fi film series that have set the ground for this to be a successful feature
    adaptation — and prove that it could work and be a fan favorite. There’s no shortage of locations to explore, and each would be more cinematic than the last. This could easily work as a stand-alone film that closely parallels the divided politics that humans face today, or it could begin a series with several sequels as we follow these characters and their adventures through space. The politics of each planet are fascinating and fun to explore, and it allows these aliens to feel like real, empathetic characters in whom we can see our own reflections.

    TV: This is the sort of manuscript that’s made to be a television show. It’s epic, sprawling science fiction at its best, traversing the very galaxy while exploring new worlds and peoples. There are a variety of planets to explore, as well as interesting alien species to feature. Estrella is also a young character, and she has so much room to grow. It would be inspiring to see her truly become the strong leader that her planet needs her to be, living up to her parents’ memory. A series would ensure she has the time to explore all of the places she needs to while fulfilling a satisfying character arc that would intrigue all viewers.

    Key points:
    1. Complex female lead
    2. Vast sci-fi world
    3. Possibility for sequels
    4. Unique aliens
    5. Cinematic visuals

    Synopsis

    On the planet of Suidonj, a rising progressive star candidate, GILT DUROC, is assassinated. She was the only one standing in the way of LANDRASE JAHMFF ruining their world with his anti-immigration rhetoric. Suidonj is normally peaceful, and its pig-like humanoid inhabitants aren’t prone to violence. ESTRELLA MWONGA is the ruler of New Australia, once a penal colony and now a thriving planet filled with diversity. Estrella worries that Suidonj might be infected with the same parasite that led to the death of her PARENTS. A ship that departed 18 years ago, showed back up 17 years later with dangerous alien pollen from an unoccupied planet that causes violence and insanity. Estrella’s parents and many others on the planet were killed before the spread could stop. New Australia now has a vaccine that will stave off the parasite, and Estrella realizes they need to distribute it to other planets where they’re seeing signs of an outbreak. With ADMIRAL SLOUT and KSCHEEECH by her side, she sets out to meet with PRIME MINISTER ABRAFRILRIC on Suidonj. They identify the parasite in the ASSASSIN’S brain, and they’re able to supply Abrafrilric and his people with the vaccine and antidote so they can begin to heal.

    With that crisis avoided, they head to other planets to do the same. Next is Enosh, which is full of cat-like humanoids, then Zorgolong, whose lizard-like inhabitants are being bullied by an aggressive cult. As the CULT LEADER was an astronomer and engineer, he has access to the codes which could make a nuclear minefield out of the satellites orbiting the planet. Estrella and her crew soon realize the leader has been taken captive by more radical members, and they rescue him and his FOLLOWERS who don’t agree with the violence. The planet is cured of the parasite, and the crew carries on to Earth. The Prime Minister of Earth, DEVI, rolls out the red carpet treatment for Estrella, but Estrella soon realizes that Earth’s allegedly utopic workers appear to be mindless drones. The pharmaceutical industry got everyone hooked on over prescribed antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication years earlier without it being widespread knowledge. The parasite has infiltrated Earth, but it wasn’t clear because the lower-class workers were drugged to the gills. Devi works alongside Estrella to quickly get the antidote and vaccine distributed. Estrella returns to New Australia, though the truth of her adventure is kept under wraps to prevent panic.

    On the isolated colony Frabrak 3, Schpleefti immigrant worker NORVEGICUS has inspired a labor movement. It started with his rodent-like people and has spread to the Schpleefti immigrant population on Suidonj. Estrella at first supports his cause, but she begins to think he might be too good to be true. He could be infected with the parasite, manipulated by the artificial intelligence in the alien pollen. Norvegicus calls for a galaxy-wide labor summit in a neutral location: New Australia. Estrella learns that Norvegicus used to be mute, and he doesn’t even speak his own language — only the more formal Galactic. His sudden intelligence suggests he’s been affected by the brain-altering parasite. The parasite purposely singled out a vulnerable community, as many of the immigrants are undocumented, and thus wouldn’t have been called in to be vaccinated against it. At the Galactic Labor Summit, Estrella, announces that Norvegicus is infected with the parasite, and he in turn admits to poisoning all of them.
    Quarantine is quickly instituted, and scientists develop an antidote in the nick of time. The alien parasite had sought to destroy modern civilization and blame it on the reformed criminals on New Australia. A team of scientists leaves for Frabrak 3 to ensure all immigrants and workers are inoculated.

    About The Author

    King Everett Medlin has been writing since 2013, when he first developed the idea for Rijel 12. It was originally designed to be a SciFi series, with the objective of creating several short installments. Instead he got a lucky break when Chandra Press from San Diego responded favorably to the original draft, deciding to publish it as a full length novel. He lives in Denver with his wife Caroline and has two grown children. He's a graduate of the University of Oklahoma where he played college Rugby; and remains a diehard Sooners fan to this day. His specialties are Science Fiction and Mystery/Suspense novels, focusing on unusual stories with intriguing plot-lines and amazing characters.