Social Justice

Commentary

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 »

Commentary

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 »

Commentary

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 »

Analysis

Five Stories That Undermine Their Own Message

Christopher from District 9.

Beyond dramatic climaxes and character arcs, many stories have a message to deliver. This message might be a statement on human nature, a cautionary tale about environmental damage, a call for social justice, or anything else you can imagine. Sometimes a message isn’t even intentional, … read more »

Worldbuilding

Five Anachronisms That Fantasy Needs

While the fantasy genre is rapidly growing beyond the limitations of medieval Europe, it is still historical almost by definition. Sometimes fantasy stories are literally set in our own world’s history, and sometimes they use history as inspiration. Either way, authors spend a lot of … read more »

Roleplaying

Six Bad Behaviors GMs Must Prevent

The assassination of Julius Caesar.

Most GMs understand their responsibility to facilitate a fun story for their players, but there’s another side of the job that isn’t so obvious. In addition to planning a great speech for the main villain, the GM must ensure that their players do not abuse … read more »