Genre Focus: Science Fiction

In the last year or so I have been getting a lot of emails asking for scripts of specific genres, to which I usually reply with a list of recommendations. So for the next few weeks, instead of emailing the usual cut-and-paste reply, I will group the two pagers into different genres here, starting with Science Fiction.

In the following scripts you will find spacecraft, time-travel, apocalyptic human extinction, and a giant holographic head.

Memory and the Mountain – A memory broker tries to convince an ageing mountain climber to sell his memories.

The Hack – The story of Rupert Winward, hack science fiction writer in the 1960s.

Diaspora – A world leader prepares to make the most important speech of his life.

L’Esprit De l’Escalier – A mad, old, obsessive scientist has unlocked the mystery of time travel.

I Remember a Lot of Octobers – After breakfast, Mara decides how to spend the rest of her day.

The Last Librarian – At the dawn of the war which destroyed humanity a massive library was sent into space in an effort to preserve the world’s books.

Europa – Researchers on an ice station get the call one of them has been dreading.

Chronology and the Captain – A strange encounter in a cafe between a bored waitress and a time-traveler.

If you like these then check out my personal top five, or browse all 72 scripts in the script index.



Tattle Tale

A hard boiled tale of double crosses, subterfuge, and marbles.

This one was fun to write. Knowing that I had up to five pages to play with really opened the story up a lot. and I wanted to write something that is for children that can be enjoyed by adults.

The story is based loosely on something that happened at my school when I was a kid and I’d love to expand it into a feature one day.

Hope you like it.

Tattle Tale


The complete beginner’s guide to escaping from the boot of a car.

The first thing you’ll notice about this script (especially if, like most of my readers, you are American) is the use of the Anglocentric “boot” to describe what would otherwise be called the “trunk” of a car. I debated whether to use the Americanised version or not. Ultimately I went with the one I personally use knowing, obviously, that it doesn’t actually matter all that much. If the film is made in America feel free to just transplant the word “trunk” in there wherever “boot” is used.

The second thing you might notice, particularly if you’ve read a lot of the other scripts, is that this one is a little darker than I usually go for. I do find it difficult writing dark stuff but I’m not wholly opposed to it. I’ve written stuff darker still and probably will again at some point, it just doesn’t come to me as easily as some lighter stuff.

Hope you enjoy it.


Téja’s Top Ten: Part One

I have decided to begin my hiatus a week early as I have been far too busy preparing to move my family to the other side of the planet. So instead my good friend Téja Hudson has compiled her top ten two pagers and written a little bit about each one.

Téja is an important part of my process when writing these two pagers. Every week I will send the first draft to her and we will spend some time discussing the strengths and weaknesses before I tackle the next draft. I really can’t say enough nice things about Téja and I’m going to miss living in the same city as her (and indeed the same country, continent and hemisphere).

So in ascending order, Téja’s top ten part one:

#10 – Life Support

This is such a touching script, simple idea but with enough personality to make it both funny and sad and beautiful. I also think it’s a really well-structured example of the two-page format, of what can be achieved emotionally in such a short space.

#9 – Chronology and the Captain

Again, I love the simplicity of this one, but also the underlying depth of emotion of both characters. There is something so true and so human about what these two focus on when the whole of time and space are at their disposal. Lovely stuff.

#8 – Hole in the Head

Once again, Robert mixes serious ideas with delightful whimsy. I love this script for the caravan in the middle of the desert, for the scrap metal wind chimes and for that final line of dialogue, which turns everything upside down in my own head.

#7 – Falling Into the Sky

I love everything about this script, except maybe the title (which I feel gives away the surprise of the first scene). A strong, simple set-up and a delightful pay-off nonetheless, with rich characters that leave me wanting more.

#6 – The Gravediggers

I happen to think this script is kind of perfect; the only reason it isn’t higher up on my list is because I suppose I have a personal bias towards contemporary films and I’m completely in love with each of the five script I ranked higher.
Wonderfully descriptive characters, a new angle to an old story, and the feeling of being “in on the joke” all make this script a thoroughly enjoyable read. It also made me run for my copy of Hamlet again…

Make sure you check out the top five next week.