It's an unfortunate truth that sympathetic characters make for more popular fiction. Many -- maybe even most -- readers wish to be able to identify with a story's protagonist. I say "unfortunate" because it seems to me that some of the most interesting fiction features characters that are complex but not necessarily likable. I wouldn't want to be best friends with Raskolnikov, Scarlett O'Hara, Genly Ai, or Severus Snape. But I'm
Some of these thoughts were prompted by today's arrival in the mail of the December ASIMOV'S, which includes my story "The Rules." Neither Arthur Carmody nor Glenn Tartell are likable. Ah, well.