Commentary

Five Tips for Telling Stories of Resistance

Furiosa and Max aiming guns.

In a time when oppression is more visible than ever,* many authors wish to pen stories of resistance. They are inspired by films like Rogue One and novels like Marie Lu’s Legend, stories where the characters stand up to the evils of power. Such stories … read more »

Six Sources of Censorship to Terrify You

Recently, a slew of articles have asked if sensitivity readers act as a form of censorship.* For those not familiar with the term, sensitivity readers are consultants who advise authors about whether a story has offensive or harmful content. If an able-bodied author has a … read more »

When Dark and Gritty Is Just Exploitation

Daenerys being held aloft by freed slaves.

­Some weeks ago, the makers of the Game of Thrones TV series, Benioff and Weiss, announced their next project. Titled Confederate, it will feature an alternate-history US where the South won the Civil War and slavery is still legal. In response, many social justice advocates … read more »

A Storyteller’s Guide to Criticism

A book with pages torn out.

Criticism is the low point of many storytelling careers. It crushes our dreams and makes us feel like our darling creations have been torn apart. But no matter how much we dislike criticism, we need it more. How can we benefit from something that cuts us so deep? Read more »

Six Signs Your Story Is Queerphobic

We’ve talked about racism and sexism before, but bigotry against non-straight folk is just as important. Most storytellers know not to use blatant stereotypes these days, and yet queerphobia persists. To prevent these toxic messages from creeping into our work, we have to search for … read more »

Five Signs Your Story Is Ableist

If you write ableist stories, you are contributing to the systemic oppression of people with disabilities or diseases. Of course, you probably don’t mean to make their lives worse, but good intentions won’t erase the damage your story does. It’s up to all of us to … read more »

Six Tips for Challenging Bigotry With Your Work

Storytelling has a long legacy of fighting for justice, and speculative fiction is no exception. Franchises like Star Trek and Discworld have challenged the way people think and demanded that society improve. When it feels like the path to justice has been lost, many storytellers fight back with their … read more »