Melinda Snodgrass obtained the idea for her science fiction novel The Higher Floor when she started out wondering about how dreadful human beings can be.

“I had a unexpected vision of this nine-foot-tall alien ant-like creature with mandibles and claws—just a hideous, horrifying creature,” Snodgrass states in Episode 370 of the Geek’s Manual to the Galaxy podcast. “And it was cowering in complete terror from a little human holding a device gun. And I obtained to wondering about humanity and our tendency to be genuinely signify, signify monsters.”

The novel usually takes position in a universe in which a human empire termed the Photo voltaic League has subjugated 5 alien species, who now dwell as servants and 2nd-course citizens. Snodgrass thinks this is a pretty plausible to start with get in touch with scenario.

“If we do invent a more quickly-than-mild drive, and go out into the universe, and fulfill other aliens, I am confident that the to start with matter we will do is kick the holy crap out of them,” she states. “So as an alternative of us often battling off the invading aliens, we are the invading aliens.”

She also thinks that any ethical progress human beings have created is considerably much more tenuous than persons comprehend, and that women’s legal rights could immediately vanish if childbearing became a precedence, as is the circumstance in the Photo voltaic League. “When you’re likely out into area and colonizing planets, if you transpire to conclude up on a planet that is not a goldilocks planet—a extremely Earth-like world—where there is a severe surroundings, the matter that becomes a treasured commodity is your capacity to maintain the inhabitants,” she states. “So above the ensuing yrs, gals slide back again into a considerably much more conventional purpose.”

All of that produces a good deal of conflict for her character Mercedes de Arango, one of the to start with gals to attend the Photo voltaic League’s elite military services academy. It’s a predicament Snodgrass can relate to, having when been the only feminine law firm at her law business.

“I practically had a bunch of male legal professionals from this huge business office building operate downstairs, and I heard them calling, ‘We hear Charlie’s hired himself a girl. Where’s the girl?’” Snodgrass states. “And they all arrived and seemed at me in my business office like I was a creature in a zoo. It was extremely bizarre.”

Hear to the full interview with Melinda Snodgrass in Episode 370 of Geek’s Manual to the Galaxy (over). And test out some highlights from the discussion beneath.

Melinda Snodgrass on her father:

“My father was just fantastic, he was the center of my lifetime. I loved him so considerably, and he gave me each and every opportunity—to review opera in Europe, to experience horses, when I was sixteen he sat me down and reported, ‘We’re opening a checking account and you have to control it,’ and on and on. At the time of his death he was running a little purely natural gasoline and oil organization, and now I truly control the organization. I took it above in 2002, and I’ve been functioning it at any time because. So I have this perception of historical past with being the heir apparent—or the heiress apparent—to a enterprise. … It is bizarre while, for the reason that at periods my father would slip. I had a 50 %-brother, who was a terrific offer more mature than I was, and father would from time to time say, ‘My other son, John.’ And then persons 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 became extremely shut in the ultimate two yrs of his lifetime. He joined our gaming team, he would arrive and have evening meal at our residence a lot of, a lot of evenings. He was just the most charming, kind human being I’ve at any time recognised. … When I had just started out producing, this literary agent that I had—who was also Victor Milan‘s and Bob Vardeman‘s agent—we were being all at this evening meal, at the community science fiction conference, and she reported, ‘You have to improve your identify.’ And Roger right away reported, ‘No. No she does not.’ He reported, ‘Look at my identify. Even while I’m on the base shelf in each and every bookstore, nobody forgets my identify.’ And he turned to me and he reported, ‘Don’t you improve your identify, for the reason that nobody will at any time overlook that identify.’ And I held it.”

Melinda Snodgrass on the Jean Cocteau Cinema:

“[George R.R. Martin] has turned it into most likely the very best science fiction unbiased bookstore in the Southwest. Due to the fact in addition to the little movie theater, there is a bar—they have a liquor license—and then there is concessions, and he has artists arrive in and cling their artwork for a couple weeks, so you get to see many Santa Fe artists, and he has all of our publications. And when they’re not performing films, he’ll have occasions. Connie Willis will arrive down, and I’ll interview her, and then she’ll do a signing afterward. … So you can go in and buy some publications, and have a White Walker Cocktail though you’re there, enjoy an unbiased movie, and when George is in town you’ll often find him there, ensconced in his armchair by the fireplace, in the evenings, to take a look at with persons.”

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

“I was in this law business office, and I hated it. I would get into work in the morning, shut my door, cry for about 15 minutes, and then get command of myself and get on with work. … [Victor Milan and I] went to see The Empire Strikes Again, and we obtained to the scene with Yoda and Luke, and Luke states, ‘I’ll consider,’ and Yoda states, ‘Do or do not. There is no consider.’ And for some rationale it was like a thunderbolt for me, and I was like, ‘I can commit the relaxation of my lifetime in this law business, and in a couple yrs maybe I’ll have the huge business office and I’ll be terrorizing some youthful affiliate the way I’m being terrorized, or I can consider to chart my have lifetime. ‘Do or do not, there is no consider.’ So I walked into the business office the future morning, I typed off a letter of resignation, I packed up my plants and my diplomas, I laid it on my boss’s desk, and I walked out.”

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