Analysis

74 – Religion in Spec Fic

The Mythcreant Podcast

What could make for light listening better than a discussion of religion? This week, the hosts discuss how gods, faith, and worship are portrayed in various spec fic stories. They delve into deep and introspective topics such as Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s concept of belief-driven deities and argue over why … read more »

Five More Illogical Design Choices in Spaceships

The Outlaw Star, a ship with close combat arms.

Last time, we looked at some of the illogical designs of various ships in our favorite science fiction franchises. This week, we’re doing it again! Science fiction churns out illogical designs faster than a Rube Goldberg factory, so we have plenty to choose from. Keep … read more »

Five Signs Your Story Is Sexist – Against Men

A muscled Riddick broods on his throne.

You’d think patriarchy would be good for men, but it isn’t. Patriarchy enforces strict standards of masculinity that are impossible to meet. But because masculine traits are glorified, it’s easy to lose sight of how toxic they are to men. As storytellers, we may think we’ve created strong central characters when … read more »

Five Illogical Design Choices in Spaceships

Most science fiction authors do not have the credentials to actually design a spaceship. Even authors of hard scifi have to handwave a few things that our current technology has no answer for. Instead of striving pointlessly for exact realism, we usually design our ships … read more »

Five Signs Your Story Is Racist

These days, most of us know not to use racial slurs* or say anything that starts with “some of my best friends are…” We can all go on about how important it is not to judge someone by the color of their skin, which is … read more »

Five Obstacles to a Realistic Interstellar Empire

From Star Wars’ aptly named Galactic Empire to Star Trek’s United Federation of Planets, interstellar civilizations are a pillar of science fiction. Somehow, humanity breaks the light-speed barrier and reaches the stars. Maybe we’ll meet some aliens along the way, maybe not. Either way, our … read more »

Five More Signs Your Story Is Sexist

As Chris handily pointed out a few weeks ago, keeping sexism out of our stories is more complicated than not being a misogynist jerk. Most authors nowadays know enough not to directly insult women,* but sexism still rears its ugly head. This beast is a … read more »

Six Unrealistic Worlds From Popular Stories

The matrix from the outside.

These stories could take place on a volcanic iceberg and still be popular. But having devoted fans doesn’t mean their worlds couldn’t be better. Even when the premise relies on an unrealistic setting, unbelievable aspects can be cured with forethought. Just look at these popular … read more »