Although Star Trek producer Gene L. Coon rejected the outline, he realized Gerrold was talented and expressed interest in his submitting some story premises. Bearing preliminary titles and, in some cases, preliminary character names, Gerrold submitted five premises. A fourth premise, "The Protracted Man", applied science fiction to an effect seen in West Side Story , when Maria twirls in her dancing dress and the colours separate. The man is no longer unified, separating into three visible forms when he moves, separated by a fraction of a second.
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Published Plot[ edit ] A single man who writes science fiction books and screenplays for a living, adopts a son who claims he is from Mars. The adoptive father comes to be intrigued by the possibility his son might really be a Martian. Ultimately, the father realizes that he loves his son whether or not he is a Martian. The son uses a magical "Martian wish" to be a human so he can remain with his father.
The initial idea for the story actually came from the author overhearing another adoptive parent remark that her daughter had told her teacher that she [the adoptive daughter] was really a Martian. Although nothing specifically science fictional occurs in the story, Gerrold makes suggestive hints. David Gerrold was out about his homosexuality when he adopted his son. In the novelette, the sexuality of the protagonist is not disclosed although the novel identifies him as gay.
In the feature film, the protagonist was a straight widower with a female love interest , causing criticism from the LGBT community. Archived from the original on
The Martian Child: A Novel About a Single Father Adopting a Son
The Martian Child