Are Humans the Meanest Species in the Universe?

Melinda Snodgrass received the strategy for her science fiction novel The Superior Ground when she

Melinda Snodgrass received the strategy for her science fiction novel The Superior Ground when she started out pondering about how dreadful human beings can be.

“I experienced a sudden vision of this nine-foot-tall alien ant-like creature with mandibles and claws—just a hideous, horrifying creature,” Snodgrass says in Episode 370 of the Geek’s Manual to the Galaxy podcast. “And it was cowering in complete terror from a little human holding a equipment gun. And I received to pondering about humanity and our tendency to be really imply, imply monsters.”

The novel usually takes place in a universe in which a human empire termed the Photo voltaic League has subjugated 5 alien species, who now are living as servants and 2nd-course citizens. Snodgrass thinks this is a fairly plausible first contact state of affairs.

“If we do invent a a lot quicker-than-mild travel, and go out into the universe, and meet other aliens, I am convinced that the first matter we will do is kick the holy crap out of them,” she says. “So alternatively of us normally combating off the invading aliens, we are the invading aliens.”

She also thinks that any ethical development people have made is substantially additional tenuous than people understand, and that women’s legal rights could promptly vanish if childbearing grew to become a precedence, as is the circumstance in the Photo voltaic League. “When you are heading out into house and colonizing planets, if you occur to end up on a world that isn’t a goldilocks planet—a very Earth-like world—where there’s a severe ecosystem, the matter that will become a precious commodity is your means to maintain the populace,” she says. “So in excess of the ensuing many years, females tumble back again into a substantially additional conventional function.”

All of that generates a lot of conflict for her character Mercedes de Arango, a person of the first females to go to the Photo voltaic League’s elite military services academy. It is a predicament Snodgrass can relate to, owning when been the only woman lawyer at her regulation firm.

“I practically experienced a bunch of male attorneys from this large workplace making operate downstairs, and I listened to them calling, ‘We hear Charlie’s hired himself a lady. Where’s the lady?’” Snodgrass says. “And they all came and looked at me in my workplace like I was a creature in a zoo. It was very strange.”

Hear to the finish job interview with Melinda Snodgrass in Episode 370 of Geek’s Manual to the Galaxy (above). And examine out some highlights from the dialogue beneath.

Melinda Snodgrass on her father:

“My dad was just superb, he was the centre of my lifestyle. I cherished him so substantially, and he gave me every opportunity—to review opera in Europe, to experience horses, when I was 16 he sat me down and explained, ‘We’re opening a checking account and you have to handle it,’ and on and on. At the time of his dying he was handling a little organic fuel and oil company, and now I actually handle the company. I took it in excess of in 2002, and I’ve been jogging it ever because. So I have this feeling of history with becoming the heir apparent—or the heiress apparent—to a business enterprise. … It is strange nevertheless, since at times my dad would slip. I experienced a fifty percent-brother, who was a fantastic offer older than I was, and dad would often say, ‘My other son, John.’ And then people like Senator Montoya, who was owning lunch with us that working day, was laughing and stating, ‘Wait a moment, what is she?’”

Melinda Snodgrass on Roger Zelazny:

“Roger and I grew to become very near in the final two many years of his lifestyle. He joined our gaming team, he would appear and have supper at our property lots of, lots of evenings. He was just the most charming, form person I’ve ever identified. … When I experienced just started out writing, this literary agent that I had—who was also Victor Milan‘s and Bob Vardeman‘s agent—we were being all at this supper, at the regional science fiction convention, and she explained, ‘You have to adjust your title.’ And Roger straight away explained, ‘No. No she doesn’t.’ He explained, ‘Look at my title. Even nevertheless I’m on the base shelf in every bookstore, no one forgets my title.’ And he turned to me and he explained, ‘Don’t you adjust your title, since no one will ever fail to remember that title.’ And I held it.”

Melinda Snodgrass on the Jean Cocteau Cinema:

“[George R.R. Martin] has turned it into most likely the greatest science fiction independent bookstore in the Southwest. Mainly because in addition to the small film theater, there’s a bar—they have a liquor license—and then there’s concessions, and he has artists appear in and dangle their artwork for a few weeks, so you get to see several Santa Fe artists, and he has all of our guides. And when they’re not accomplishing videos, he’ll have situations. Connie Willis will appear down, and I’ll job interview her, and then she’ll do a signing afterward. … So you can go in and buy some guides, and have a White Walker Cocktail although you are there, observe an independent film, and when George is in city you will often obtain him there, ensconced in his armchair by the hearth, in the evenings, to visit with people.”

Melinda Snodgrass on Star Wars: Episode V—The Empire Strikes Again:

“I was in this regulation workplace, and I hated it. I would get into operate in the morning, near my door, cry for about fifteen minutes, and then get manage of myself and get on with operate. … [Victor Milan and I] went to see The Empire Strikes Again, and we received to the scene with Yoda and Luke, and Luke says, ‘I’ll consider,’ and Yoda says, ‘Do or do not. There is no consider.’ And for some purpose it was like a thunderbolt for me, and I was like, ‘I can expend the relaxation of my lifestyle in this regulation firm, and in a few many years possibly I’ll have the large workplace and I’ll be terrorizing some younger affiliate the way I’m becoming terrorized, or I can consider to chart my have lifestyle. ‘Do or do not, there is no consider.’ So I walked into the workplace the upcoming morning, I typed off a letter of resignation, I packed up my crops and my diplomas, I laid it on my boss’s desk, and I walked out.”

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