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North County Students Pen Sci-Fi Series

The covers for

Credit: High Tech High North County

Above: The covers for "What Lies Ahead" by High Tech High North County students.

North County Students Pen Sci-Fi Series


Ryan Foerster, co-author, "What Lies Ahead"

Maryam Abbas, co-illustrator, "What Lies Ahead"


High school students usually write book reports, not their own books. But that's exactly what students at High Tech High North County have done.

Ninth graders wrote, researched and illustrated a series of science fiction stories, published in a two-volume anthology, “What Lies Ahead.” They got some help from noted sci-fi author David Brin, literary agents and professional illustrators.

“David Brin gave us rally great advice: avoid info dumps,” said Ryan Foerster, author of the story “Oxygen Sold Separately.” “A literary agent built off on that idea—you want to make the reader feel like they’re discovering something. The reader likes to put stuff together.”

Maryam Abbas illustrated the story “Clouded Vision” and said she learned how to let go of work if it didn’t serve the story, even if she was proud of it.

“I had one drawing I was really set on, but the illustrator who came in said never to cling to an image, because it wasn’t really meshing with the story,” she said.

Students will be at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore Thursday night for a launch party to celebrate the publication.

Abbas and Foerster join KPBS Midday Edition on Thursday with more on what it takes to put a book together.

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