This conversation with Frasier Armitage might be my favorite one yet. I especially appreciated that he brought up the question of mother-relationships in what makes us human, and asked about the role of “exploration” in writing science fiction.

We like to tell the story of the intrepid explorer. We like to read about the fish out of water. Ceph’s cultural arrogance is made clear to her through the course of the story, but it’s also a position authors often assume when writing a world—especially in this genre of science fiction. First contact stories are mainly told from a settler cultural point-of-view, and those values and assumptions then implicitly come to represent “all mankind” in the narrative. But those manifest-destiny urges to boldly go and claim ownership on what’s found—which is so often described as simply “human nature” in those stories—are the behaviors of a minority demographic with outsized influence. Believing that these qualities are what makes someone human requires you to narrow your own point of view of who counts as human.

Rae Mariz

Read the whole interview here, and don’t miss the very perceptive review at the end!