The Earth is dying. The world runs under one central government known as The Union, a ruthless and desperate organization on a search to find another planet for colonization. When Earth receives a mysterious signal from a neighboring solar system, Harper along with five other prisoners are given the option for early release if they take on the dangerous mission to investigate. But things drastically become more complicated when the crew discovers people on this new planet, and these people know who they are. Harper left Earth to run away from her past, but the world she found has a darker history than her own. In this forgotten wasteland, everyone is desperate to protect something, and Harper must decide what is worth fighting for. But in a game of survival, only one question matters: who is telling the truth?


Second Planet is an interactive podcast & television franchise based upon the novel by Shelby Merry. This is a story of resilience and unrefined legacy.  Through the Malakai's gaze of afro-futurism, the world of Second Planet is unparalleled and explored black and brown pioneers creating and finding a new world, through the new frontiers.  


Brought to you by Alex Phillips, when Shelby Merry wrote Second Planet, it was written to be adapted as a feature, but the loose ends of her novel can be easily expanded to accommodate a podcast or television series. The balance that this story straddles between interactive podcast with already built in soundscapes, as well as opportunities for a  feature and television allows us to target both film and television actors for the leads, while also opening up the opportunity for new talent. 





I was a child with my head in the clouds, and as I grew, I looked beyond to the stars. 


I have always said that beyond the titles, I am a storyteller at heart. With the many mediums we have available to us to do so, I sought out to forge a new experience. Music reaches into every nook and cranny of our world experience, yet it hasn’t reached the physical page. 


I was born in the hills of Appalachia, where storytelling and music are one. Old lore and fables are woven into the fabric of my creative hand. The ties of where you came from and the stories stretching back are an important part of who you are. I wanted to expand that unique world view into our society as a whole. With this world I created, I wanted to give people the space to think on these things. 


Growing up in radio, and with ten years experience in the music industry, music had to be a part of this world. For four years I composed for the Adult Swim cartoon “Final Space” and have written several artist songs for tv and film. I have always had a special interest in merging mediums to tell a cohesive story. Second Planet isn’t just a book: it’s an auditory, emotional, and thought provoking experience. I created an original soundtrack to accompany the book as you read. Much like our place in the stars, I wanted to explore the places we can take storytelling. Adapting Second Planet into a podcast will create a new storytelling experience our world hasn’t seen yet. 




Shelby M.


A letter on afro-futurism by malakai.

This is a story explores that lineage through the loss while exploring new frontiers.   Even the planetary guidance within itself is a mirror of the missing legacy, and what we long for within the African diaspora.

Taking the original narrative of Second Planet while also applying afro-futurist gaze was a no-brainer.  What Shelby Merry has created is a world that already, at its core allows for us to see ourselves within an afro-futurist gaze. 

By looking ahead, we in turn begin to explore and dissect what it means to pay homage to black afro-futurists, scholars and artists who look to a better tomorrow and future.   It is time for us now to look towards the future.  To build the worlds we deserve. By gazing through the looking glass of black surrealism and afro-futurism,  Second Planet allows us to see the possibilities while challenging the very system built to keep us in bondage. 


At its core, THIS is a show that will be reconstructed for all of us.  Like the reality of the narrative world in this novel,  black and brown bodies in the real world are often prisoners of a systematic and inherently oppressive government.   Even those within the prison system itself, are pipelined into an infrastructure meant to keep them bound. This is why this story is so important.   It gives us an opportunity to explore what happens when we turn the notion of trauma on its head, and instead, rely on our resilience, intelligence and fortitude to build something new and to explore new horizons. 

After reading SECOND Planet I found myself asking…What does it mean to find a home that is truly yours? What does it means to gaze in the mirror, and for once, to see yourself for you really are.  Lineage and ancestry is our lifeblood. Through Afro-futurism we connect ourselves to  the threads of our ancestors together. Fully and wholly.