*Once upon a time Frank’s blog was one of the things that kept me from bursting from the (glass fronted) political closet brandishing an AK-47. Now that I’m out in the open and everything, imagine my surprise when I found Frank was writing novels. In science fiction and everything. Give him a warm Hunnish welcome, and go buy his book. The alternative is too horrible to contemplate. – SAH*
Inclusive of Psychopaths – Frank J. Fleming
What makes good science fiction? Is it a fast-paced story? Interesting characters? Unpredictable twists and turns?
Unfortunately, I had those outdated ideas in mind when I wrote my first novel, Superego. But as we all know, the true purpose of science fiction now is inclusiveness. Entertainment is okay, I guess, but what we really need to focus on is making sure everyone feels cared for and included and that no one feels weird, no matter how weird they are.
This is difficult for me as a white, heterosexual, cisgender male. I’m basically committing a hate crime just by existing. I’m not even sure that in this day and age I should be allowed to write science fiction. Still, I decided to examine my novel to determine how inclusive it is.
I first used the Bechdel Test, as that’s a nice objective measure. I ran into a problem right away, though, because Superego is written in the first-person perspective of a male character. It’s like I didn’t even try. Still, there are a number of named female characters in the story, and a few times they do speak to each other. Most of the time, they’re talking about the main (male) character, but I did locate a short conversation between two women about one getting the other a chair.
Boom! Passed the Bechdel Test. It’s a very feminist novel.
But does anyone care about women anymore? It’s kind of passé to combat gender bias. Plus, are genders even real? Aren’t they just a social construct or something? Then again, if that’s true, I’m not sure where babies come from… but we’re not talking about science; we’re talking about tolerance.
Anyway, instead of being inclusive of a group everyone already knows to include, it’s best to find a brand new identity no one even thought of tolerating yet. I mean, there are things people wouldn’t even think to care about now that you’ll be worse than Hitler not to care deeply about next year. And these days if you’re the first one who recognizes a new need for tolerance and inclusiveness, you’re treated just like a scientist who’s made a world-changing discovery… back when people cared about that sort of thing.
Well, that is where Superego wins out, because it highlights a group no one has even thought to tolerate yet: psychopaths. In most fiction, the psychopathic hitman is stereotyped as the bad guy, but my progressive novel makes him the protagonist. That’s because I want all the psychopaths out there to know that I understand and sympathize with them and am against all the psychopath hate they see in other novels.
Of course, many don’t share my sympathies. For instance, look at all the Social Justice Warriors out there with their ostentatious displays of how much they care for people — how do they think that makes a psychopath, someone who is incapable of caring, feel? It’s really insensitive, but those scumbags with their empathy privilege never give a second thought to psychopaths.
But not me. I care about psychopaths and their feelings (or lack there of). Does that make me a superior person? Yes. Do I look down on everyone who doesn’t share these enlightened views of inclusiveness? Absolutely. Does this make me feel good about myself? Well, let’s just say I’m typing this with one hand while using the other to pat myself on the back.
Man, it’s really enjoyable being more considerate and tolerant than everyone else. Writing science fiction is fun!