Do I pass the test?

Most authors have heard about the Bechdel Test for a story:

1. It has to have at least two women in it,
2. who talk to each other,
3. about something besides a man.

The test does not speak to the quality of the work, nor is it a method of measuring how feminist something is. It merely look at gender bias.

So I threw it at my own books.

Midnight at SPanish Gardens’? It has a love story between two women. Yeah, they talk to one another about stuff. Lots of stuff. Pass.

SpanishGardensCover
The Jin-shei books – “The Secrets of Jin-shei” and “Embers of Heaven” – pass so obviously that there is little point in dwelling on it. In Jin-shei, you have eight living female protagonists and one female ghost, so of course they are going to talk to each other about all sorts of things. That’s what the whole BOOK is about. And the Embers protagonist is female and she interacts with several other women. They are Bechdel Test poster children, really.

The YA stuff? The young woman protagonist in the Worldweavers series talks CONSTANTLY to other women, ranging from her own best friend, to a seriously zooty auntie with whom she discusses everything and straight on to a female deity, and a couple of literal stars who assume female personalities and with whom conversations happen. So yeah. Pass.

The Changer books – “The Hidden Queen” and “Changer of Days“? Hell yes. My protagonist is a female character and she has a strong female mentor or three in this story, and it stands to reason that there are conversations that don’t revolve solely around the male of the species.

I think I”m doing okay.

Anyone who wants to find out more about my books, – or pick up a copy or two – feel free to click the ‘All my books, the novels’ link on the home page (or go HERE.) And, btw, if you buy or read any of my books, reviews — good or bad, one liners or treatises — are always appreciated

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Russian Library hires stray cat as Assistant Librarian

A children’s library in the Russian city Novorossiysk just brought in a new employee: a cat by the name of Kuzma.

Assistant librarianHis job description? Entertaining children, participating in theatrical performances, and greeting visitors on the steps of the library. His salary and benefits? Thirty packets of food a month plus bonus in the form of additional treats and scratches behind the ears. Not a bad deal in this fragile industry.

Librarian cat

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The Science Fictioning of Fantasy and Vice Versa

I think reports of our world’s science fictionality have been exaggerated, Max Gladstone says at SF Signal.

Yes, we have rockets and digital watches, but the way we have these things is very different from the way old-school science fiction expected us to have them, Gladstone says. One hallmark of old-school SF is that characters tend to know how stuff works. Stuck on a barren world and hunted by a vicious lizard-man? Build a rudimentary shotgun out of diamonds, charcoal, saltpeter, and bamboo.

Old-school fantasy, by contrast, is a genre of the unknowable. Magic in Tolkien’s works is big and vast and ancient. No one tries to hack the One Ring…or build a new one!

Fantasy or SF?

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Which professions have the most psychopaths? And which the fewest?

KnifeOkay, okay. Most psychopaths don’t have a knife behind their back. (Thinkstock)

Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by shallow emotions, stress tolerance, lacking empathy, coldheartedness, lacking guilt, egocentricity, superficial character, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, impulsivity, and antisocial behaviors such as parasitic lifestyle and criminality.

Psychopaths

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12-year-old ‘suffragette’ fires back at NC gov

“‘I am not a prop!‘, a 12-year-old North Carolina girl fired back at Gov. Pat McCrory,” David Edwards reported at Raw Story. The governor had called her a ‘prop’ because she had accused him of voter suppression.

Not a propEarlier this year, Madison Kimrey gained attention for protesting outside the Governor’s Executive Mansion in opposition to the sweeping new law that requires a government ID to vote, cuts the number of early voting days and takes away the right of pre-registration for 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds.

‘I am not a prop’

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Alma Alexander

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