Follow TV Tropes


Fan Fic / The Tales We Tell

Go To

The Tales We Tell is a District 9 fanfiction written by Herr Wozzeck that tells the story of Curtis Bax, a mythologist who gets a job at Multi-National United and makes friends with several prawns in District 10 while he's at it. He's not in it for the money, however; he's there to collect stories. Insert a whole bunch of extra things here, and see it all.

Oh, and it's also told in memoir style and is interspersed with Mythology invented by the author.


The story is notable for featuring essentially an entire cast of OC's in interaction with each other. It is currently in progress, so expect this page to expand as more and more material gets added.

This fanfic provides examples of:

  • Arc Welding: If material is not contained within a chapter, it will most likely be left to be developed on its own.
  • Batman Gambit: How Curtis manages to cause less aliens to starve; he suggests to Piet Smit that they clean up the initially filthy District 10 due to the scent annoying the guards, and when people begin to notice the aliens starving they permit increased rations. There were actually two losing conditions with this particular gambit: the plan would have gone kaput if the guards at the district had not agreed with Curtis in surveys sent out to all of them and if MNU hadn't hired rights groups to hand out rations as a method of saving face after the exposure of their illegal experiments in the source material.
  • Advertisement:
  • Bee People: The extent of how true this is among prawns is played with, even in some of the mythologies.
  • Body Paint: More like Dirt Paint as a result of improvisation on the part of the poleepkwans.
  • Christmas Episode: The main cultural exchange arc that starts with the Song of the Skeleton Flute chapter is partly this. Subverted in that it was written in spring.
  • Children Are Innocent: Matthew. It'll be played with, given the circumstances.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jamecyn, if only because she's always bitter.
  • Death by Disfigurement: Being torn apart is apparently a popular punishment amongst the poleepkwa in folk tales, especially to traitors.
  • Deconstruction: It's all over the place here, most specifically in how it works with the apartheid allegory that was begun in District 9 but instead concentrating more on how the human's decisions impact the lives of the people living in District 10. There are tons other examples throughout, though.
  • Advertisement:
  • Doing It for the Art: Curtis and his mythology-seeking trek into a place with things that can kill him very easily and with so few people around him that he can actually trust.
  • Fanon: The Tales We Tell is in the same continuity as ''Poleepkwa Help Association'', a fanfic by Poleepkwana. Two characters are featured at the present moment, and an arc is planned in which Curtis gets to meet most of the human characters from that story.
    • And then it works in another way, as Poleepkwa Help Association also gives Hendrik's real name.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Edward is slated to die. That falls under those spoiler tags only if you didn't pay attention to the faux dedication at the top of the foreword.
    • Actually, the foreword pretty much gives away quite a few of the major events that occur later.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Boreal, the poleepkwan deity of goodness. In the first tale told featuring him, he's cursed an entire village to die out slowly because of an insult (the nature of which is never divulged in the tale).
  • Hermaphrodite: Played with from the material presented in the movie.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Given the source material, surprisingly subverted: Curtis' friends from MNU are not all out for alien blood. Well, okay, there's Hendrik and Dawid who will eventually cause the death of one of the major prawn characters, but as of the present moment, there isn't too much time devoted to them.
    • See Deconstruction above.
  • Meaningful Name: The main character was named after Curtis Hughes, a 21st Century American composer and a teacher of the author whose 2008-election-themed chamber opera Say It Ain't So, Joe inspired the fanfic.
  • The Medic: David and Eleanor.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: Curtis. I mean, the guy has a master's degree from Indiana University in mythological studies!
    • The presentation cranks it Up to Eleven, seeing as how its presented much like an apartheid memoir (right down to a disclaimer talking about changed names straight out of Kaffir Boy).
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Both humans and prawns get to engage in this at one point or another.
  • Oblivious to Love: Curtis and Caroline. It's lampshaded by Jamecyn and denied by both Curtis and Caroline.
  • One Steve Limit: There's the alien David and the human Dawid. Subverted given that the human Dawid is actually a pseudonym given by Curtis.
  • Only Sane Man: Tania van de Merwe in reference to the state of Wikus. Subverted in that Curtis quickly comes to think that she's correct. And then, there's You Should Know This Already below...
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Tania and Curtis. Eventually.
  • Reverse Mole: Curtis.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Curtis in relation to Piet. Subverted in that he uses his friendship to make requests rather than to climb higher up the scale ladder of ranks, and that he still tries not to break the rules (or tell Piet what he's really doing there).
    • He also gets fairly peeved upon finding out that Piet is very likely trying to replace Wikus with him in Tania's life.
  • Shout-Out: At one point, Curtis and James engage in a conversation that ends with two lines featured in the trailer for the 2010 movie The A-Team. Fridge Brilliance when you consider that Sharlto Copley was cast as one of the main four...
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Kind of. Curtis gives Hendrik, Dawid, and Abejide aliases in the narration. This is more of a stylistic choice to keep with the style of apartheid memoirs.
  • The Storyteller: Played totally straight with Caroline to the point that it's her main function before character development kicks in.
    • This is frequently lampshaded by Curtis via the narraration.
  • Truth in Television: The incident that introduces Kyler and Saskia into the story is sadly based on a similar incident recorded in Mark Mathabane's Kaffir Boy, a memoir of living in apartheid South Africa from the point of view of a black person.
  • Twice-Told Tale: The Song of the Bone Flute is actually based on a Brothers Grimm tale that was set in oratorio form as Das Klagende Lied by Gustav Mahler.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Even more so than the movie which it's based off.
  • You Mean X Mas: The poleepkwans are given a week-long holiday so that a Christmas-based cultural exchange can occur. Also kind of subverted since it happens right before Christmas, which would probably take precedence in a world ruled by humans.
  • You Should Know This Already: Mentions to a "Wilbur" are made throughout the first few chapters. Those that have seen the movie should be able to tell that he is really Wikus van de Merwe.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: