Tweet of the Day: Writing Excuses 7.22: Microcasting
The sad truth is that folks don’t get along. They tend to hate on those of different skin color, sex, sexual identity, age, religion, nationality, wealth and even hair color. So it should come as no surprise that we see the same in speculative fiction. When the hate is to and from different mythological/fantastic/alien species, its called Fantastic Racism. What better way to drive a conflict (especially of the genocidal/end of times type) than with some old fashion hate.
Them smelly orcs deserve the sticky end of my spear, says I!
Often used as a metaphor it can lead to several problems such as:
- Hey! Watch where you drop that anvil! The moral of the story comes off as being extremely heavy handed.
- Strawman has a point: Turns out that your friendly neighborhood vampire just seduced and snacked on your brother. Yeah the one you thought was a nice girl.
- Space Jews: Yes, she is a drudic princess, don’t ya know! Except this time it ain’t funny, especially when you throw in the flamethrower.
Still, the allure of this trope remains strong. It builds conflict (or has conflict already built-in), give a credible flaw for a hero or serves to signal to the audience that “Here be the villains!” and just like in real life, it can be a minefield of pain.