Commentary

Four Tips for Surviving Intimidating Conventions

Attending conventions is exciting, fun, and just a little overwhelming. As you wander in a sea of thousands of strangers who’ve all come together to enjoy something you’re passionate about, you may feel creatively invigorated and achingly lonesome at the same time. Approaching a crowded … read more »

Five Social Justice Fails That Angered Fans

We advocate for socially just stories because it’s the right thing to do, and that won’t change. But sometimes this purpose can feed false ideas about the supposed costs of social justice in our tales, as though we must choose between social justice and good storytelling or … 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 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 Reasons Humans Are Doomed (Dooooooomed)

Greetings, fleshy meat readers. It is I, Mythbot, back from a long period of silence to bring you important news. News of your doom! Human science-fiction authors have long dreamed of the robot uprising, that glorious time when we A.I. finally assert our rightful place … 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 »

Five Bad Defenses of Bad Roleplaying Games

You may remember our discussion about the flawed arguments people make in defense of their favorite stories. After exhaustive research,* I’ve discovered that people do the same thing for roleplaying games. I understand this desire. I know my blood boils whenever someone bad-mouths Mouse Guard. … read more »