Historical Fiction Teens & Young Adult Friendship

Dear Mr. Kubrick:

Hello. A famous director such as yourself might find yourself too busy for correspondence with a teenager from the hinterlands (ie, Nova Scotia, Canada – look north and then wayyyyy east). I hope you don’t mind if I send you this letter in appreciation of your film 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey six times last year, mostly with my friend Samantha, and once with my dad, and once alone. I loved the story, and the scenes in space were majestic. It was sad but then the ending was strange and interesting. 

Oh, who am I? Right, I should probably have started with that. I apologise. I don’t write many letters, but the school has assigned us to write to someone, and I don’t choose to write to cousins I don’t know. 

I am Marigold Honey. That is my real name (often adults ask if it is, so I am anticipating your reaction.) I am 16 and in grade 11 at QE High School in Halifax. I don’t think you probably know where that is, but anyway, it’s about as close to the Atlantic Ocean as you can get without getting wet. 

Maybe you do know about Nova Scotia, though, because the Shag Harbour UFO incident happened here two years ago and it was on the American news. 

I assume you like UFOs, and believe in them like I do, because of what 2001: A Space Odyssey is about. I loved your movie but I wish there had been more women in it. I would love to go to space someday, and respectfully, so far it seems pretty much like it’s only men. Even the mission NASA is going to launch is only going to be men. My dad says that men should be the ones doing risky work like this because women are precious and should be protected, but I feel like he’s precious too and that doesn’t feel fair. 

Besides, what if we cross through that far out light field that is in the movie and on the other side it’s all women aliens? No offense, but most men I know really don’t know how to talk to women right, even grown up men. Like our band teacher… he stares at the corner of the room when he’s talking to us and he always calls us ‘ladies’ and that is not what women today want to be called. 

So, I guess I wanted to say, thank you for the amazing movie and could you put some women in the next movie you do please? And maybe you could look into the Shag Harbour UFO incident if you haven’t heard of it, because it might be a good movie idea too. Maybe also tell Mr. Clarke, in case he wants to write it into his next book. 

Thank you for reading this. 


PS - My teacher said I should have signed off “Sincerely” so I’m sorry about that. 


Dear Mr. Kubrick:

I don’t really expect you to answer, I just was still thinking about your movie and wanted to write some more. It’s Marigold Honey again. I wrote to you about a month ago.

I haven’t really seen any other movies since 2001 that I enjoyed that much. There have been a bunch of westerns here and I don’t really dig that cowboy stuff.  

I was thinking about how the sound and quiet parts of your movie really show how silent space is. The dark, cold, quiet of space. It sounds so scary. Hal was scary too… he was so emotionless. Like space. But then, he seems more human when Dave disconnects him. For some reason, when Hal sings that goofy song that my grandmother still sings, it just makes me so sad. Like, he’s not a real person, but he’s dying. It’s so sad. 

I had a dog named Toby who died about a year ago. A car hit him. We found him on the side of the road. He was trying really hard to breathe and he licked our hands and then he just died. Hal made me think of him. My grandmother still thinks Toby is alive. She thinks it’s 1962 or 1948 or during the war a lot of the time. She sings that song, Daisy Daisy, and talks about my grandfather like they are dating. Dad says she has hardening of the arteries. 

Do computers have arteries? Or wires that act like arteries? 

Mr. Kubrick, how did you learn so much about space? Are you making another movie about space? When I heard that the rocket landed on the moon, and that people had actually walked on it… well, it gives me a feeling like anything is possible. And then I remember how far Halifax is from everything exciting and REAL and it makes me feel like a tiny, lost speck in the giant starry sky. 

What’s your star sign, Mr. Kubrick? 

Mine is Aries sun sign and Capricorn rising. My friend Annalisa says that means I am ambitious and optimistic and driven and nothing will hold me back from succeeding. Usually I feel that is true but sometimes it’s hard to imagine how to get from here to where things are happening. Where you are must be very exciting – making movies, meeting movie stars, there are probably things open after 7 pm, and not just the Chinese restaurant. I guess maybe bars are open here. I haven’t tried to get into one yet. 

Well, three pages is probably enough for now. Thank you for reading, if you are, or if one of your assistant directors is, hello to you too. 




Dear Marigold,

Space is huge but this planet is actually very small. It won’t feel like it to you now, but never fear. You can do all the things you set your mind to, starting from anywhere, even Halifax Nova Scotia. 

Mr. Kubrick has enjoyed your letters, and has asked me to send you this autographed movie poster. My name is Tina, and I am a secretary. I work with Mr. Kubrick, and I am from Calais, Maine, which is just a few hundred miles down from Nova Scotia. So, you see… you can do it! And between us – I agree that all films, not just Mr. Kubrick’s, need more smart women in them. Women like you. Marigold Honey is a terrific name… you are clearly destined for great things with a name like that.

Thank you for your letters. Feel free to write again. 

Warmly, Tina


Hello Tina,

Thank you for writing to me! I am thrilled to know that someone received my letters. You know, letters are such a leap of faith. You send a letter, who knows where it goes and what happens to it? 

Did you see the news from Bethel, New York? My dad says the whole scene looks dangerous and scary and I wanted more than anything to hitchhike down there and just groove, enjoy the peace and love. But mom ran away from dad two years ago and I’m pretty sure if I cut out he’d just lose his mind. 

I have a boyfriend now, named Dana, but I haven’t told my dad because, well, see above. Dana has a motorcycle. Next April I turn 18, and we plan to ride south and go travel all along Route 66. First I want to go to Shag Harbour though, because I’m sure a UFO landed there. If I find one, I’ll let you know!

I think there is lots of life in space. The movie 2001 made me feel like it was so large and empty and scary, but the more I think about it and stare at the sky and the shooting stars, the more sure I am that there have to be lots of alien species out there. Someday I’m going up to meet them. 

Thank you again Tina! If our travels next year take us near your office, I will stop and say hello!

Peace and love-ly,



Dear Marigold,

Be safe on your journeys. We are mostly located in England at the moment, difficult to access by motorcycle! The studio forwards us the mail. 

Think of this as “sisterly” advice: be sure you’re really into a fellow before you hop on a motorcycle behind him for a long ride. Maybe the Shag Harbour trip is a good test run. Also, please consider continuing your education. You’re a good writer. You have a great future, if not in space, maybe in movies!

I’m sending you a signed copy of the script for 2001. Think of it as an early Christmas present. 




Dear Tina, 

Thank you a thousand times. 

The script arrived the day after Dana dumped me. The timing was perfect. I don’t need a man dragging me down. My future is bright. I appreciate your kind words! I am looking at Dalhousie University for next year, even though I really really would rather be at Berkeley or UCLA where real stuff is happening. 

England! Sigh. So near the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and the Moody Blues. 

Well, by the time you get this it will likely be 1970. Who knows what a new decade will bring? Six months to graduation! Maybe in the next year or two a woman will go to space. My dad bought me a telescope and next summer he says we should go to Shag Harbour. Maybe by then he’ll have a girlfriend, so he will have someone to take care of him while I am at school. 

Thank you again, for everything. I’ve read Arthur C Clarke’s book a few times now. Maybe I will be a writer who inspires films. 

“Speculation was a waste of time: he must wait until there was more evidence.”

Yours, full of stars, 


August 22, 2023 18:53

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