Schoolboy publishes science fiction
Published author: Cuoc Chien Voi Hanh Tinh wFantom (Fighting with the Phantom Planet) by 10-year-old author Nguyen Binh will hit national bookstores tomorrow. — File Photov
HA NOI — On a trip to Greece, a group of kids from the US discover people from planet Phantom who have landed on a spaceship and are planning to attack Earth. The kids decide to return to their home country and start fighting to protect Earth.
This story, set in 2015, is written by a 10-year-old boy, Nguyen Binh.
The first part of the fifth grader's fiction, entitled Cuoc Chien Voi Hanh Tinh Fantom (Fighting with the Phantom Planet), will hit national bookstores tomorrow.
The 200-page part is divided into fascinating chapters such as The first morning in Hydra, UFO cloud offshore, The attack in Floria, and Sea battle off Venice. Each chapter is open-ended to draw readers to the next chapter.
"Aliens as a science have been examined for years, particularly by Americans," said Binh, who attends the Nghia Tan Elementary School, in Cau Giay District, Ha Noi.
"Scientists still study about UFOs and the media is always interested," he said
"And the children continue hoping that one day they will see a UFO with their own eyes and talk to and make friends with the aliens. They believe aliens are similar to people on earth, being both good and bad, rich and poor."
Binh finished the first part of his story within three months and is writing the second one for a planned eight-part novel.
Most of the fictional characters are from his own imagination, with the main character "I" being partly drawn from himself.
"I just use some, not all, of my characteristics. I am not scared of worms like him," he said.
Binh's parents said he started learning about the alphabet and could read vehicle plates at 18 months. He could read and write in Vietnamese at age 3 and Han Chinese characters a year later. At 5, he could use the computer and the internet. At six he accessed Wikipedia, creating about 100 concepts of his own, most of which were related to Egyptian and other ancient civilisations.
Binh is keen on humanities subjects at school and always gets high grades for literature. His interest in reading saw him churn through hundreds of books in the family library, his favourites being children's books like Harry Potter and foreign tales like Oliver Twist.
He finishes each book quickly and remembers their plots exactly. His favourites were titles like the World Almanac.
He loves to watch cartoons and documentaries on the Discovery channel and he draws well, particularly UFOs shaped like fireballs.
UFOs were like aeroplanes, he said. When crashing into the other objects, they would explode like fireballs.
Binh wrote the story in secret so that even his parents were surprised to discover he planned to publish a novel.
His father had once said rather famously: "I don't know if he has enough resources and experience to write 200 pages. I just notice he spends most of his time, after homework, reading books, typing on computers and making origami."
The novel is published by Tre and Hong Bang publishing houses.
Readers can talk with the author in person at 161B Ly Chinh Thang, District 3, HCM City, at 9pm, on Sunday. — VNS