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Melinda Snodgrass on optimism in science fiction

One of my earliest loves and the series that prompted my eternal love for the science fiction genre was Star Trek: The Next Generation. It was hopeful while exploring deep philosophical questions. I was absolutely thrilled to speak to Melinda Snodgrass, who wrote some of my favourite episodes of the series (‘Measure of a Man’ and ‘The High Ground’) for this week’s episode. Not only a talented screenwriter, Melinda is also a novelist, short story writer and editor, as well as taking part in competitive dressage! Currently, Melinda is busy with her Imperials series, the second novel of which is published on July 4th. She is also working on the television adaptation of Wild Cards, a series she co-edits with George R. R. Martin.

I talk to Melinda about what made her fall in love with the science fiction genre, the difficulties of writing for different mediums, being a screenwriter, gender tropes, military science fiction, and more. We discover a mutual love of optimistic science fiction. Melinda argues that science fiction is a great place to explore difficult issues because it is a ‘safe place’, but that writing optimistically is more difficult than imagining a depressing and dystopian view of what’s possible. And when it comes to including more women in science fiction, Melinda asks writers to create characters that are more than just ‘men with boobs’, something I think all BtGS listeners can get on board with.

Texts discussed in this episode include:

  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
  • A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • Have Space Suit – Will Travel by Robert Heinlein
  • Star Trek: The Original Series
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Tomorrowland
  • Wild Cards edited by George R. R. Martin and Melinda Snodgrass
  • Jessica Jones
  • Legends of Tomorrow
  • Supergirl
  • Forbidden Planet
  • Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin
  • Rogue One
  • Max Gladstone (author)
  • Arrival

 

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