Tuataria Encounters: April Edition


This time, we’re leaving behind the spooky every day and pondering what is out there, beyond our world. Don your spacesuits, jump in your rockets and journey with me to the other side of our atmosphere. What does the darkness hold? Perhaps you are rocketing towards a black hole – is it a mirror to a parallel universe, or could it be a portal to another time? Maybe you want to explore new planets, or park up on the Moon and stare back down at our lonely Earth. The adventure is yours and where you go is up to you – and you have just 280 characters to tell us about it.


They say the water on Planet Zorthox keeps you young. They say the fruit from the planet is to die for. They say the untouched views are breathtaking. They say it’s an untapped tourist destination. No one knows who ‘they’ are. No one who goes to Zorthox has ever come back.

– I don’t know where this came from I just wanted to be involved

Judge’s comments:
I really love this, especially the twist in the end. It plays on the spooky vibes that space sci-fi generally has, but also has an approachable voice. – Erin


I don’t know if anyone can hear this. I’m the last survivor of the settler ship sent to New Earth. All the others went surface-side and haven’t returned. They’re fine, I guess, but this ship was our home and now it’s a ghost town. Come back? I’m lonely. Come home.

Judge’s comments:
I really like how you can almost hear how lonely this voice is, and it makes your mind start asking more questions of this story – who are they, why are they still in the ship, what happened to everyone who left and why aren’t they replying? – Alys

The One True Ryan of Tuataria

I’m supposed to be in hibernation, but I can’t resist. I’m alone. Truly alone. No one on the crew is awake, no signals incoming. Just me and a metal mudroom with black decor. It’s… nice, to just sit and think. And think, and think. Maybe this is what I needed after all.

– There isn’t much going on here, but it’s a sentiment I wanted to express. It’s an attempt to create home in an extreme environment. The “black decor” references the windows of the craft and their view of nothing. It’s low-key, but that’s fine with me.

Judge’s comments:
This is another story that hints at how space is a place where you could be truly alone in a way that you just can’t manage on a planet of 7 billion people. – Wilko

These three entries are personal picks from our judges! They didn’t get unanimous votes like the previous three did, but each of us chose one entry to highlight for reasons that you will get to read later on.


While we all look at the same moon, it can be easy to miss the red dot of Mars. So long as you know where to look, it’ll always be there. From there, you can try to look further. And further. And further. Who knows what we’ll find?

– I’ve spoken to some people in the server about how the moon is the moon and we’ll all look at it no matter where we’re from and it’s the same. That kind of lead to “well, if everyone’s looking at the same space, it’s all collaborative.” It’s late so this may make no sense lol

Judge’s Comments:
This is my personal favourite- it does a really good job of expressing humanity’s urge to explore more and more of space and just keep going, pushing the boundaries of what we know to try and learn more – Alys


“So, this is it,” thought Al. Head-on collision with a black hole was inevitable at this point. His hand, still holding a pencil, reached out to a small sheet of paper, and as his world lines collided he crossed out the last line of his bucket list.

“Become a noodle”

Spaghettification is the process of stretching out vertically and squishing together horizontally due to very strong gravity and tidal forces.

Judge’s Comments:
Science wrapped up in comedy is a beautiful way of approaching this, and this execution nearly made me have a spit-take. Well done. – Erin


‪I placed my head on a soft carpet towards the green-blue planet. I wondered how this rock has effected me in so many ways and somewhat floaty it feels. Once I was done, I heard a noise outside but couldn’t see a thing.
‪I then remembered a question I had as a kid
‪They’re here.

– This came from a bunch of places: Jinns in Space:tm: which was the premise I wanted to go on, one tweet I saw about how muslim astronauts would probably argue about which direction to pray towards and the fact that the moon is used a lot to symbolise Islam (hence the setting!)

Judge’s Comments:
I want to see the story of a Muslim astronaut who meets aliens and answers their childhood questions. 100% – Wilko

You can view all the entries for this round in a google doc!