Sunday, September 29, 2013

The ten best science fiction stories where humans are the villains

At io9 Emily Stamm and Charlie Jane Anders came up with a list of the ten best science fiction stories where humans are the villains, including:
The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin

This novel explores the relationship between the natives of the planet Athshe and the humans from Earth who are attempting to colonize the planet and exploit its natural resources. The Terrans enslave the small, green, furry natives and treat them more like animals than people, despite their proven intelligence and advanced social structures.

We see the Terrans primarily from two points of view, Captain Davidson and Raj Lyubov. Davidson is a small minded, violent man who begins the war after he rapes and kills an important Athshean’s wife. Lyubov is an anthropologist, and one of the few Terrans who take the time to understand the Athsheans.

Through Davidson and Lyubov’s interactions with other Terrans we see the selfish, violent nature of the humans on the planet. They refer to the Athsheans by the slur “creechies” while trying to hide their mistreatment of them from other humanoid races. When Lyubov protests one man tells him, “You know the people you’re studying are going to get plowed under, and probably wiped out. It’s the way things are. It’s human nature, and you must know you can’t change that.”
Read about another novel on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue