Tag Archives: paula stiles

[GUEST POST] Paula Stiles on Why Multiculturalism Makes You a Better Writer

Paula R. Stiles has sold a heap and a peck of stories in speculative fiction, as well as a horror novel, The Mighty Quinn (due out in 2012 from Dark Continents Publishing), and a cowritten urban fantasy novel, Fraterfamilas (from Innsmouth Free Press). She is also Editor-in-Chief of Innsmouth Free Press. You can find her at: http://thesnowleopard.net.

Why Multiculturalism Makes You a Better Writer

People often ask me, “Why bother with multiculturalism in science fiction?” and I often reply (because I’m a smartass), “Why not?” But there are, in fact, reasons for why you need to understand and use multiculturalism in your writing if you want to become a good writer.

Standard White Anglo Saxon Protestant Guy Does Not Exist

The two-fisted, upright, straight, utterly sane SWASP male writer of science fiction does not exist. In fact, he never did exist. So, why are we defending this golden age bastion from all comers?
Continue reading

MIND MELD: Who Are Your Favorite Villains In Fantasy And Science Fiction?

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

Every reader holds out for a hero, but be it movies or novels, its the antagonists, the villains, that often bring the heat, spice and power to a piece of work and make it sing.

So we asked this week’s panelists…

Q:Who are the most memorable villains and antagonists you’ve encountered in fantasy and science fiction? What make them stand out?

Here’s what they said…

Scott Lynch
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1978, Scott Lynch is the author of the Gentleman Bastard sequence of fantasy crime novels, which began with The Lies of Locke Lamora and continues with Red Seas Under Red Skies and the forthcoming The Republic of Thieves. His work has been published in more than fifteen languages and twenty countries, and he was a World Fantasy Award finalist in the Best Novel category in 2007. Scott currently lives in Wisconsin and has been a volunteer firefighter since 2005.

.I’ve always had a great admiration for the Lady, from Glen Cook’s Black Company series, with an honorable mention for all of the Ten Who Were Taken that serve her. She’s ruthless but multifaceted, a romantic and tragic figure as well as a provisioner of all the dark arts and fell deeds a reader could desire. As for the Ten, they’re just so fun and iconic, sort of more extroverted Nazgul.

If you’ll allow historical fiction as a cousin to fantasy, I’d also vote for Livia, from Robert Graves’ I, Claudius. Subtle, pitiless, and patient, the deadliest woman (hell, the deadliest person) in a deadly milieu.

Last but not least I’d bring up O’Brien, from George Orwell’s 1984, the chillingly contented ordinary man who patiently explains to Winston what it’s all about… that all the chanting and ideology is a fog, that the politics of Oceania are meaningless, the nature of its wars completely unimportant. The whole point of the crushing pyramid of human misery is to keep a tiny elite with their boots on the throats of the rest of humanity, forever and ever, amen. To conceive that sort of thing, to accept it, to rise and sleep as a happy part of such a brutal mechanism… now that’s villainy.

Continue reading