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Hi there, I’m Christopher Leone, screenwriter/director by day, and I am extremely excited for you to read my first book.

Man, it sounds cool even saying that. MY FIRST BOOK.

BUT-- this isn’t my first science fiction story. My previous project was Parallels, a digital feature I wrote and directed for Fox, about a group of people who discover a mysterious Building that is a gateway to infinite parallel Earths. I also co-created and wrote The Lost Room, a SyFy miniseries about a motel room from 1961 that doesn’t exist anymore and all the seemingly ordinary Objects that came out of it -- the Key, the Comb, the Bus Ticket -- that all now possess surreal powers. It stars Peter Krause, Juliana Margulies, and Kevin Pollak and it got me a nomination for a Writers Guild Award.

Champions of the Third Planet is a story I know by heart. In part it’s my love letter to Star Wars – not the juggernaut multimedia franchise, but the 1970s space adventure movie I was in love with as a kid. So it’s also a love letter to my childhood.


THE STORY

Champions of the Third Planet is a story about a boy named Milo who find a mysterious black Orb in the woods behind his school.

Soon Milo and four other kids — including his little sister and the kid that bullies him at school — all end up trapped inside this Orb, which kidnaps them to a dead planet on the other side of the galaxy. It turns out there are thousands of these Orbs throughout the galaxy that are collecting alien life forms and bringing them back to this one planet WHERE THEY ALL HAVE TO FIGHT IN A GIANT ARENA. Milo and the other kids suddenly find themselves battling in alien gladiatorial matches in teams of 5 vs. 5, fighting aliens of all kinds: crab-shelled wolf-like aliens, giant amoeba blobs, evil black slugs that reproduce faster than you can stamp them out...

To survive all this, he kids are injected with "robocytes" which make them stronger and faster. And even though the kids don’t necessarily all like each other, they have to figure out a way to work together to make it back home before they find themselves eaten, or worse, in the arena.

And all they have to do to go home is defeat the "Champion"...whatever that is. So what nobody expects is: the Earth kids start to win.


This is based on an actual fantasy I used to have as a kid about discovering a space ship in the woods, and it got me to thinking about all the things that obsessed me back then. I mean, the idea of having super-powers and fighting a monster on another planet taps into some pretty deep childhood fantasy for me. So I set out to write a book that would have obsessed me when I was 10 but that I would still want to read now.

The thing is, I like my fantasies grounded. I want to believe they could happen. So it was important to me to start the story in a real, grounded place, with kids I could believe in, who had some of the real problems I had at that age, and then take them across the galaxy. In this respect it’s also got its origins in E.T. – an ordinary boy in the suburbs who stumbles across something from another world.

I’m writing this as a book because I want this story to go from my brain into your brain as a pure experience. The good parts are mine, the flaws are mine, it’s all mine and soon, hopefully, yours too.

Plus, just the idea of holding a book in my hands that I MYSELF WROTE would be pretty mind-blowing.

And since it’s my very FIRST book, anything you can do to help me push through it will be much appreciated. Your comments, enthusiasm, constructive feedback, or just cheerleading from the sidelines will be a massive help to me -- truly.

I hope you like the book.

--Chris

P.S. Please follow me on Twitter (@christophrleone) or I will break both of your legs.