Satire - for Joe Be...
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Satire - for Joe Benet

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Kary English
Posts: 688
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Hi, all,

I'm bringing Joe's question about satire over here where I can answer it with my First Reader hat on.

Posted by: @joebenet

Heard your recent WotF podcast episode, Kary (polished, well done) where you and John briefly mentioned the downsides of writing real-world politics into our stories.

How does that apply to satire?

Sci-fi and fantasy are perfect realms for highlighting human inconsistencies and does not always have to be obvious or blatant. But does satire have automatic marks against the story, or can it pass a first read as easily as any other that checks the boxes? Does it depend on the obviousness of the satirical target, or the side of the aisle? Or is the story rejected outright because by definition the targeted idea will draw too many complaints by adherents?

Thanks for the insights!

Obvious satire of current political figures will be rejected, so no characters named Orack Pajama or Tronald Bump. Which side of the aisle doesn't matter.

For less obvious satire, the answer is it depends. We're looking for immersive stories that draw us into another world. When that world is this world, sometimes the story loses some of its speculative feel. We're also leery of stories that depict real world groups or skin colors as All Bad, especially when contrasted against an opposing group or skin color who are All Good.

I'm definitely a never say never person, but if you've submitted a well-written, speculative satire that got rejected, it's possible that 'too political' was part of the reason. That doesn't mean it's a bad story. It means it wasn't a good fit for WOTF as a market.

To be really clear, I'm not saying "No satire," or "No politics," but as with profanity and explicit sex, it's going to be a matter of degree and how it's handled.

Hope this helps,



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Posted : February 2, 2022 11:38 am
Posts: 1505
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Okay, now I know why my awesome story about President Thump, where he thumped everyone that opposed his ideas garnered an R.


Amon Strauss Tusk, aka Elon Musk also starred in that one. happysigh We live and learn.

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
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Posted : February 3, 2022 11:58 am