Melinda Snodgrass acquired the concept for her science fiction novel The High Ground when she began interested by how terrible human beings may be.

“I had a sudden imaginative and prescient of this nine-foot-tall alien ant-like creature with mandibles and claws—only a hideous, horrifying creature,” Snodgrass says in Episode 370 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “And it was cowering in absolute terror from a small human holding a machine gun. And I acquired to interested by humanity and our tendency to be actually imply, imply monsters.”

The novel takes place in a universe during which a human empire referred to as the Photo voltaic League has subjugated 5 alien species, who now dwell as servants and second-class residents. Snodgrass thinks this can be a fairly believable first contact situation.

“If we do invent a faster-than-light drive, and exit into the universe, and meet different aliens, I’m satisfied that the very first thing we are going to do is kick the holy crap out of them,” she says. “So as a substitute of us at all times combating off the invading aliens, we are the invading aliens.”

She additionally believes that any ethical progress people have made is rather more tenuous than individuals understand, and that girls’s rights might shortly vanish if childbearing grew to become a precedence, as is the case within the Photo voltaic League. “While you’re going out into area and colonizing planets, if you happen to occur to finish up on a planet that isn’t a goldilocks planet—a really Earth-like world—the place there’s a harsh atmosphere, the factor that turns into a valuable commodity is your skill to maintain the inhabitants,” she says. “So over the following years, ladies fall again into a way more conventional function.”

All of that creates a variety of battle for her character Mercedes de Arango, one of many first ladies to attend the Photo voltaic League’s elite navy academy. It’s a predicament Snodgrass can relate to, having as soon as been the one feminine lawyer at her legislation agency.

“I actually had a bunch of male attorneys from this massive workplace constructing run downstairs, and I heard them calling, ‘We hear Charlie’s employed himself a lady. The place’s the woman?’” Snodgrass says. “And so they all got here and checked out me in my workplace like I used to be a creature in a zoo. It was very weird.”

Take heed to the entire interview with Melinda Snodgrass in Episode 370 of Geek’s Information to the Galaxy (above). And take a look at some highlights from the dialogue beneath.

Melinda Snodgrass on her father:

“My dad was simply improbable, he was the middle of my life. I cherished him a lot, and he gave me each alternative—to review opera in Europe, to journey horses, once I was 16 he sat me down and stated, ‘We’re opening a checking account and it’s a must to handle it,’ and on and on. On the time of his dying he was managing a small pure gasoline and oil firm, and now I really handle the corporate. I took it over in 2002, and I’ve been working it ever since. So I’ve this sense of historical past with being the inheritor obvious—or the heiress obvious—to a enterprise. … It’s bizarre although, as a result of at occasions my dad would slip. I had a half-brother, who was an amazing deal older than I used to be, and pa would generally say, ‘My different son, John.’ After which individuals like Senator Montoya, who was having lunch with us that day, was laughing and saying, ‘Wait a minute, what’s she?’”

Melinda Snodgrass on Roger Zelazny:

“Roger and I grew to become very shut within the closing two years of his life. He joined our gaming group, he would come and have dinner at our home many, many evenings. He was simply essentially the most charming, form particular person I’ve ever identified. … After I had simply began writing, this literary agent that I had—who was additionally Victor Milan‘s and Bob Vardeman‘s agent—we had been all at this dinner, on the native science fiction conference, and he or she stated, ‘You need to change your title.’ And Roger instantly stated, ‘No. No she doesn’t.’ He stated, ‘Take a look at my title. Although I’m on the underside shelf in each bookstore, no one forgets my title.’ And he turned to me and he stated, ‘Don’t you alter your title, as a result of no one will ever overlook that title.’ And I stored it.”

Melinda Snodgrass on the Jean Cocteau Cinema:

“[George R.R. Martin] has turned it into most likely the most effective science fiction unbiased bookstore within the Southwest. As a result of along with the little movie show, there’s a bar—they’ve a liquor license—after which there’s concessions, and he has artists are available in and cling their artwork for a couple of weeks, so that you get to see numerous Santa Fe artists, and he has all of our books. And after they’re not doing motion pictures, he’ll have occasions. Connie Willis will come down, and I’ll interview her, after which she’ll do a signing afterward. … So you possibly can go in and purchase some books, and have a White Walker Cocktail whilst you’re there, watch an unbiased film, and when George is on the town you’ll usually discover him there, ensconced in his armchair by the fireside, within the evenings, to go to with individuals.”

Melinda Snodgrass on Star Wars: Episode V—The Empire Strikes Back:

“I used to be on this legislation workplace, and I hated it. I’d get into work within the morning, shut my door, cry for about quarter-hour, after which get management of myself and get on with work. … [Victor Milan and I] went to see The Empire Strikes Again, and we acquired to the scene with Yoda and Luke, and Luke says, ‘I’ll strive,’ and Yoda says, ‘Do or don’t. There isn’t any strive.’ And for some motive it was like a thunderbolt for me, and I used to be like, ‘I can spend the remainder of my life on this legislation agency, and in a couple of years perhaps I’ll have the massive workplace and I’ll be terrorizing some younger affiliate the way in which I’m being terrorized, or I can attempt to chart my very own life. ‘Do or don’t, there isn’t any strive.’ So I walked into the workplace the following morning, I typed off a letter of resignation, I packed up my vegetation and my diplomas, I laid it on my boss’s desk, and I walked out.”


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