The Aleutian Voyage...Hang On!

Lou Marich

Book Cover

GENRE

ACTION ADVENTURE DRAMA EPIC FAMILY FANTASY POLITICAL MYSTERY SUSPENSE/THRILLER YOUNG ADULT HISTORICAL FICTION FOLKTALE

    Core Theme

    PERSEVERANCE

    TIME PERIOD

    19th Century

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    THE GREY, NATIONAL TREASURE

    CHARACTER LIST

    JACK CALSIN – 39, A FIELD DIRECTOR FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, HE EMBARKS ON THIS QUEST BECAUSE HE BELIEVES IT'S A SERVICE TO HIS COUNTRY.

    ADMIRAL DOUGLAS WILLIAMS – 65, A TOUGH BUT FAIR COMMANDER DETERMINED TO PROTECT HIS MEN ON THIS LETHAL MISSION TO SERVE CALSIN'S EXPEDITION.

    PRESIDENT JOHNSON - THE 17TH PRESIDENT WANTS THE ALASKAN TERRITORY TO BOOST HIS RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN.

    ALEUTIA – A PREHISTORIC MONSTER, POSSIBLY A DINOSAUR THAT SEEKS TO KILL WHOEVER WANDERS INTO ITS TERRITORY.

    WHITE TAIL – 100, A NATIVE AMERICAN SHAMAN WHO BEARS THE SCARS OF BATTLE WITH THE MONSTROUS CREATURE HE CALLS ALEUTIA.

    DR. COLE – A CYNICAL MAN SCARRED BY THE HORRORS OF THE CIVIL WAR, BUT WHO'S ESSENTIAL TO THEIR SURVIVAL.

    Logline

    In 1866, America began to recover from a bloody Civil War and the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. As a campaign policy to increase his popularity, President Andrew Johnson attempts to purchase the vast territory of Alaska from the Russian Emperor, despite his troubles with Congress.

    Target Audiences

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

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    Washington DC, San Francisco, Pacific Ocean and Alaska

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: with a Publisher

    Publisher: Marlet House Productions, Inc

    Year Published: 1996

    Starting Description

    President Andrew Johnson commissions Field Director, Jack Calsin to survey and explore the vast unknown and supernatural region of the Alaskan territory, escorted by a U.S. Naval fleet.

    Ending Description

    After suffering a vicious attack from the native supernatural creature called, "Aleutia," the events that follow become a life and death struggle to complete his seemingly doomed mission, and newfound treasure, if he can...

    Group Specific

    Native American

    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

    0-9654491-1-4

    Mature Audience Themes

    Extreme Violence

    Plot - Other Elements

    Twist,Other

    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain,Internal Journey/Rebirth,Voyage and Return

    Main Character Details

    Name: Jack Calsin

    Age: 39

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Modest,Confident,Decisive,Empathetic,Engaging,Flexible,Faithful,Heroic,Educated,Honorable,Leader,Obedient,Patriotic,Masculine,Strong Moral Code

    Additional Character Details

    Name: White Tail

    Age: 100

    Gender: Male

    Role: Mentor

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Complex,Decisive,Empathetic,Engaging,Modest

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Aleutia

    Age: unknown

    Gender: Other

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Badass,Aggressive,Villainous,Unapologetic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Admiral Douglas Williams

    Age: 65

    Gender: Male

    Role: logical

    Key Traits: Masculine,Aspiring,Adventurous,Confident,Complex,Honorable,Leader

    Development Pitch

    In 1866, America began to recover from a bloody Civil War and the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. As a campaign policy to increase his popularity, President Andrew Johnson attempts to purchase the vast territory of Alaska from the Russian Emperor, despite his troubles with Congress. An expedition is assembled to survey and explore this region with help from the Interior Department. President Johnson commissions an unsuspecting pawn, Field Director, Jack Calsin, to head the expedition. He travels the Oregon Trail and sails for months aboard the naval frigate USS Hercules escorted by the ship, Governor Clinton. His story is one of adventure, and prehistoric discovery and is legendary, feared by the native inhabitants, and revered as “Aleutia,” mortal enemy to the Shaman medicine men of the time. The events that follow become a life and death struggle to complete his seemingly doomed mission, if he can..

    Genre

    ACTION, SUSPENSE, DRAMA, FANTASY

    Brief

    Jack Calsin is called upon to lead a survey expedition to the wilds of Alaska to purchase it from Russia. The journey is fraught with danger leaving most of the crew dead after the ship is run aground. The only survivor, Jack, narrowly escapes the wreck but comes face to face with a prehistoric monster. It's him or the creature in a fight to return back to Washington.

    Overall Rating

    GOOD

    Point of View

    FIRST PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: GOOD

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT

    Pace: GOOD

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: GOOD

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    Yes, the book profile accurately reflects the book.

    Draw of Story

    The story begins slow. Jack does not want to go into the cold wilds of Alaska. The idea of a dangerous expedition does create interest in the story.

    Possible Drawbacks

    The book is slow to start. Jack meets with President Johnson after Lincoln has been assassinated and the Civil War has been won. There is too much time spent on that considering the book takes a dramatic turn from it. The beginning is setting up the story to be political drama with the Russian's holding Alaska and talks about the politics going on in Washington D.C. but then it turns into a creature story.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES HEAVILY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    The hook is that Jack Calsin is sent to Alaska to help America purchase Alaska from Russia but he faces an ancient creature set to kill him. I would watch for the mix between period drama and science fiction.

    Fanbase Potential

    This could have a decent fanbase. This story has adventure and monsters set in a period piece. It is refreshing to see science fiction set in the past instead of the future without modern technological advancements. It adds suspense to the story.

    Awards Potential

    This does not have awards potential. The story is well written and entertaining but there is nothing thought provoking or extraordinary about the story.

    Envisioned Budget

    LARGE BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    COWBOYS VS. ALIENS, LAKE PLACID, JURASSIC PARK

    What’s New About the Story

    The story is original because it blends real historic characters and events with sci-fi adventure. It has enough to set it apart and leaves room to develop the story further.

    Lead Characters

    The lead character does not stand out. He was comfortable in his place in Washington before he is given a mission out of his element. He suffers greatly and manages to stay alive even though no one else did. He is a typical character for this genre of story.

    Uniqueness of Story

    This is an average story that has enough unique elements that makes it entertaining. It is a short story and can definitely be a prequel to a larger, more in depth adventure.

    Possible Formats

    Film - Studio, Film - Streaming, Film - Indie, TV Series - Cable, TV Series - Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    CONSIDER

    Justification

    This is a well written story that has a good mix of historical drama and science fiction. It is setting up for a larger premise and definitely has franchise potential. The story touches on the native people that live in what is now Alaska and Jack gets help from White Tail who has also had an encounter with the prehistoric dinosaur. This could be a great vehicle to represent Native American culture as they would know about the creatures. During this time period, they are just learning about dinosaur and prehistoric creatures. It would be interesting to see the story develop.

    Brief

    Jack Calsin is tasked with surveying the Alaskan territory for US government that plans to purchase it. Calsin must battle nature, disease, the rugged wilderness and a prehistoric beast that one-by-one claim the lives of his companions to make it home alive.

    What We Liked

    "The Aleutian Voyage" continually subverts expectations as it builds tension through an ever changing but always escalating series of death defying challenges. Just when you think it can't get worse it does and always in a surprising way.

    Film: "The Aleutian Voyage" presents the opportunity to build an adventure story that is not what it seems. What starts out as an exploration to overcome obstacles becomes a constantly terrifying battle for survival. Every moment becomes another struggle in a twisting tale of ever greater menace and misfortune that could fill up the big screen. From this foundation a film could be made that targets fans of history, fantasy or horror, and possibly all three.

    TV: The many travails of Jack Calsin and the men of his expedition could be made into an episodic journey that reveals character through escalating hardships. The power and majesty of the landscape they seek to understand provides the setting for a timeless drama as it also threatens their lives. A limited series could showcase this evermore challenging struggle for survival.

    Key points: Non-stop drama. Visual storytelling. Unexpected twists and turns. Visceral life and death drama. Interesting history and fantasy mix.

    Synopsis

    Jack Calsin of the Department of the Interior is summoned to the oval office and tasked with leading an exploration of the Alaskan territory that President Johnson plans to buy from the Russians. He has one year to explore and file a report.

    Arriving in San Francisco he is whisked onto the Hercules, a Navy Ship commanded by Admiral Douglas Williams. A second ship, the Governor Clinton escorts them. As they plan to survey the Aleutian islands Calsin learns from the medical officer, Dr. Cole, how the men on board have been scarred and embittered by the war.

    After a boiler explosion in the ship takes the life of four sailors. The men are buried at sea and the Hercules uses a windmill pump to remove water coming in. A soldier collapses with what Dr. Cole diagnoses as Typhoid fever, but soon realizes is Bubonic plague. Calsin given the choice to leave the ship, but chooses to stay with the men.

    When they approach the Alaskan coast they are met by a fierce storm that destroys the windmill. As Calsin and others pump to keep the ship afloat they see the Clinton struck by lightning and set afire. Both ships are blown towards a glacier and falling ice crashes onto the Clinton's stern. Calsin watches in horror as the ship sinks.

    As the storm continues the pumping can't keep up and the Hercules slowly begins on sink. Admiral Williams beaches the ship and the other boiler explodes, everything goes dark. When he comes to Calsin find the ship and crew battered but onshore and alive. Calsin surveys what he can from near their camp. The men have plenty of food, but hopes of sighting a ship go unanswered as September arrives with snowfall.

    Calsin explores a nearby cave and finds a gold nugget the size of the cannonball. Returning to the ship he learns they've signaled a passing vessel. As it nears blinding snow falls and the rescue ship runs aground and explodes into flames. Stumbling in the snow Calsin hears shouts and growls, he finds Admiral Williams and Dr. Cole mauled to death. Something slashes him and he passes out.

    He wakes in a Russian monastery with gashes on his face and learns he is the only survivor. The priest, Father Andrei, takes him to visit White Tail, an old native Shaman whose face bears the same scars. He calls the creature that attacked them Aleutia, the spirit that protects this land, and shows them a skull. Calsin thinks its a dinosaur.

    He and the priest go into another cave and find a massive beast frozen in ice. The earth shakes and Andrei is killed by falling rocks. Outside the cave another of the creatures, 25 feet high and hundreds of tons. It attacks White Tail and Calsin flees back to the ship. The creature follows and he fights back using broken wood and the gold nugget as ammunition for the cannons. The ship catches fire, its ammunition depot explodes kills the monster. The explosion and flames attract the notice of a passing ship which is rescues Calsin. He is grateful to be alive and hopes his country will remember the sacrifices of the men who died on this journey.

    About The Author

    Lou Marich is an enthusiast of historical nautical stories. His work combines history and fantasy to explore life in the early United States.