Are Humans the Meanest Species in the Universe?

Melinda Snodgrass received the plan for her science fiction novel The Substantial Ground when she started off considering about how terrible human beings can be.

“I had a sudden eyesight of this nine-foot-tall alien ant-like creature with mandibles and claws—just a hideous, horrifying creature,” Snodgrass states in Episode 370 of the Geek’s Manual to the Galaxy podcast. “And it was cowering in complete terror from a tiny human keeping a equipment gun. And I received to considering about humanity and our tendency to be seriously signify, signify monsters.”

The novel can take spot in a universe in which a human empire referred to as the Photo voltaic League has subjugated five alien species, who now dwell as servants and next-course citizens. Snodgrass thinks this is a very plausible initial speak to scenario.

“If we do invent a speedier-than-mild drive, and go out into the universe, and meet up with other aliens, I am persuaded that the initial issue we will do is kick the holy crap out of them,” she states. “So as a substitute of us normally battling off the invading aliens, we are the invading aliens.”

She also believes that any moral development individuals have created is significantly extra tenuous than people today recognize, and that women’s legal rights could promptly vanish if childbearing turned a precedence, as is the case in the Photo voltaic League. “When you’re heading out into space and colonizing planets, if you occur to finish up on a world that is not a goldilocks planet—a incredibly Earth-like world—where there is a severe environment, the issue that results in being a precious commodity is your ability to sustain the inhabitants,” she states. “So above the ensuing decades, women of all ages tumble back into a significantly extra common function.”

All of that makes a good deal of conflict for her character Mercedes de Arango, one particular of the initial women of all ages to go to the Photo voltaic League’s elite military academy. It’s a predicament Snodgrass can relate to, possessing at the time been the only feminine attorney at her legislation agency.

“I actually had a bunch of male attorneys from this major business constructing operate downstairs, and I read them calling, ‘We hear Charlie’s hired himself a woman. Where’s the woman?’” Snodgrass states. “And they all came and looked at me in my business like I was a creature in a zoo. It was incredibly bizarre.”

Listen to the comprehensive job interview with Melinda Snodgrass in Episode 370 of Geek’s Manual to the Galaxy (earlier mentioned). And examine out some highlights from the discussion down below.

Melinda Snodgrass on her father:

“My father was just excellent, he was the center of my existence. I beloved him so significantly, and he gave me just about every opportunity—to examine opera in Europe, to trip horses, when I was sixteen he sat me down and explained, ‘We’re opening a examining account and you have to control it,’ and on and on. At the time of his dying he was handling a tiny pure gas and oil organization, and now I essentially control the organization. I took it above in 2002, and I have been running it at any time considering the fact that. So I have this perception of background with staying the heir apparent—or the heiress apparent—to a business. … It is bizarre nevertheless, due to the fact at times my father would slip. I had a half-brother, who was a terrific offer older than I was, and father would often say, ‘My other son, John.’ And then people today like Senator Montoya, who was possessing lunch with us that working day, was laughing and saying, ‘Wait a moment, what is she?’”

Melinda Snodgrass on Roger Zelazny:

“Roger and I turned incredibly near in the final two decades of his existence. He joined our gaming team, he would come and have supper at our dwelling a lot of, a lot of evenings. He was just the most charming, sort person I have at any time identified. … When I had just started off producing, 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 community science fiction convention, and she explained, ‘You have to change your identify.’ And Roger quickly explained, ‘No. No she doesn’t.’ He explained, ‘Look at my identify. Even nevertheless I’m on the bottom shelf in just about every bookstore, no one forgets my identify.’ And he turned to me and he explained, ‘Don’t you change your identify, due to the fact no one will at any time ignore that identify.’ And I saved it.”

Melinda Snodgrass on the Jean Cocteau Cinema:

“[George R.R. Martin] has turned it into most likely the greatest science fiction impartial bookstore in the Southwest. Because in addition to the minor movie theater, there is a bar—they have a liquor license—and then there is concessions, and he has artists come in and hold their art for a handful of months, so you get to see a variety of Santa Fe artists, and he has all of our textbooks. And when they’re not carrying out motion pictures, he’ll have situations. Connie Willis will come down, and I’ll job interview her, and then she’ll do a signing afterward. … So you can go in and acquire some textbooks, and have a White Walker Cocktail when you’re there, enjoy an impartial movie, and when George is in city you are going to typically discover him there, ensconced in his armchair by the hearth, in the evenings, to visit with people today.”

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

“I was in this legislation business, and I hated it. I would get into do the job in the morning, near my door, cry for about 15 minutes, and then get control of myself and get on with do the job. … [Victor Milan and I] went to see The Empire Strikes Back again, and we received to the scene with Yoda and Luke, and Luke states, ‘I’ll try,’ and Yoda states, ‘Do or do not. There is no try.’ And for some rationale it was like a thunderbolt for me, and I was like, ‘I can invest the rest of my existence in this legislation agency, and in a handful of decades it’s possible I’ll have the major business and I’ll be terrorizing some young associate the way I’m staying terrorized, or I can try to chart my possess existence. ‘Do or do not, there is no try.’ So I walked into the business the subsequent morning, I typed off a letter of resignation, I packed up my plants and my diplomas, I laid it on my boss’s desk, and I walked out.”

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