Sarah Guan


Works in the book trade (edits #scifi & #fantasy for @orbitbooks ). @Stanford alum, New Yorker, Earth citizen. I ❤️ history, theatre, and SCIENCE! #WNDB

New York

Orbit Books

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Mar 12

Lauren Spieller @laurenspieller

BIG #MSWL for Crossover/Adult SFF

I'm looking for a book that engages with the abuses perpetrated against indigenous people, in particular women, and the colonizer's legacy of violence and oppression.

Please spread the word. I need this book. The world needs this book.

Replying to @laurenspieller

YES. 100%. Would love to see a manuscript like this. #MSWL

Doesn’t need to be American, either. I know it’s an especially important conversation in our country right now—and to be clear, would LOVE this as a US-centric story—but this is a global issue.

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Mar 3

Stephanie Law @shadowscapes

"Of Kingfishers & Bones"
#fairytales #mythical #folklore #legend #kingfisher #bird #chinesefairytale #art #watercolorpainting #watercolor #painting

This painting is mindblowingly beautiful and gives me such Lady of Qiao Guo (岭南圣母) vibes, I can’t even. Somebody write me the #SFF book to go with this artwork, please! #MSWL

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Feb 19

Elders who contribute meaningfully, whose experience & wisdom are respected. Collective policymaking (even in monarchies).

Just because Western (esp. American) narratives default to youthful, heroic individualism doesn’t mean it’s the only way to build a protagonist.

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Feb 19

Domesticated species, architecture, etc. that make sense for the terrain/biome depicted. Even—or rather, especially—in #SFF, consistency in worldbuilding makes a story that much better.

Yes, I want more battle rhinoceroses. I admit it. #MSWL

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Feb 19

Addendum: anger that masquerades as love, as idealism. Characters who persuade themselves of the righteousness of their own cause, who rationalize extremism born of a seed of compelling truth—because that’s how it so often begins.

You know what I’m talking about.

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Feb 19

Different types of love & loyalty at war with each other, esp within the same person. Romantic love. Familial love. Love of country. Love for one’s people. Love for the downtrodden.

Love is stronger than hate, and opposing loves often make the most powerful conflicts.

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Feb 19

Beautifully choreographed fight scenes that advance plot, develop character, and worldbuild.

Yes, #BlackPanther has the advantages of a visual medium. It’s harder in prose fiction, but it can be done so, so well. (See @FondaJLee.)

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Feb 19

Accents, dialect, and non-English languages in English-language fiction, used in ways that enhance characterization and worldbuilding rather than othering or exoticizing the speaker. #SFF #MSWL

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Feb 19

White characters interacting with non-white societies at a disadvantage. Non-white civilizations that do not exist for the white gaze, that treat with outsiders on their own terms. #Wakanda, and hundreds more nations like it. #SFF #MSWL

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Feb 19

Postcolonialism 2.0: multifaceted conflicts that go beyond colonizer and colonized. Give me diaspora, give me infighting on all sides, give me vehement disagreement about a nation’s future that is borne of genuine patriotism and idealism. #SFF #MSWL #BlackPanther

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Feb 19

Economically realistic motives for colonialism & war. Vibranium is spot-on as an analogue for resources that drove (historical & current) conquest: oil, gold, tea, slaves, spices...

#SFF is full of war stories; give ‘em better reasons than righteousness & border conflicts.

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Feb 19

Female characters of all stripes with interior lives and motivations that don’t revolve around the male main character. Even if the male protagonist is supposed to save the world. #SFF #MSWL

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Feb 19

WOC in science who are brilliant, fearless, multifaceted, and celebrated for their contributions. (This last point is important.)

Shuri is the Disney Princess of my dreams. (I was a STEM kid; I have FEELS, ok?) #MSWL #SFF #BlackPanther

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · 7 Dec 2017

heidi heilig @heidiheilig

my soul is so full of hate these days. i wonder how many other people out there will point to Nov 2016 as their villain origin story.

We see so many fictional antagonists whose origin stories are some variation on: orphaned, abused, rejected, betrayed, brainwashed, or simply "got greedy." I'd love some nuanced villains who arise out of mass sociopolitical trauma. #SFF #MSWL

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · 10 Nov 2017

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan

War disproportionately/differently impacts different populations w/in the same society. Veterans vs civilians, but also: different socioecon groups, industries (wartime vs peacetime economies), urban vs rural, ethnic minorities—esp ones w/ historic ties to "the enemy." #MSWL #SFF

Replying to @Sarah_Guan

I see lots of books about kings, generals, &c.—the people who get to make decisions that shape a nation. But theirs aren't the only stories about war, nor always the most interesting—or necessary. (& history is full of great generals who became AWFUL peacetime leaders) #MSWL #SFF