Sarah Guan

@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 · 2d

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.
#MSWL #SFF

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · 2d

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 · 2d

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.
#MSWL #SFF

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · 2d

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.
#SFF #MSWL

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · 2d

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.)
#SFF #MSWL

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · 2d

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 · 2d

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 · 2d

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 · 2d

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.
#MSWL

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · 2d

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 · 2d

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

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · 10 Nov 2017

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan

Also, there are multiple narratives in any conflict. Whose story are you telling—and why? Is it the most interesting version of this war? Give me postwar occupation, colonialism-in-the-name-of-peace, refugees/displacement, war crimes trials, &c. #MSWL #SFF twitter.com/mary_c_moore/s…

Replying to @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

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · 10 Nov 2017

Mary C. Moore @Mary_C_Moore

@Sarah_Guan pic.twitter.com/gejqD56win

Replying to @Sarah_Guan

Also, there are multiple narratives in any conflict. Whose story are you telling—and why? Is it the most interesting version of this war? Give me postwar occupation, colonialism-in-the-name-of-peace, refugees/displacement, war crimes trials, &c. #MSWL #SFF twitter.com/mary_c_moore/s…

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · 10 Nov 2017

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan

My #VeteransDay #MSWL: we see a LOT of war in #SFF. I get it—fate of empires, epic battles—exciting stuff. But what about the aftermath? What happens when the veterans come home? Give me counseling centers, VA hospitals, retraining for civilian jobs, running for local office, &c.

Replying to @Sarah_Guan

On a less individual scale—how does a nation shift from wartime to peacetime governance? Citizens will forgive a shocking amount of tyranny in the face of a clear foreign threat. Is the administration willing to give up those powers when the war ends? If not—what then? #MSWL #SFF