Last year, Sci-Fi/Fantasy author Jim C. Hines decided he was fed up with the way women were depicted on the covers of books. He wanted to comment on it, but he also wanted to do so in a playful way that would catch people’s attention. So naturally, he decided to imitate the poses himself. What he got out of it was back pain—and a strong response from readers who either agreed with his sentiment or enjoyed the photos.
Rather than leave it at that, Jim C. Hines wanted to push the envelope a bit further. Next, he had his wife take photos of him posing again—but this time the males on covers. What he discovered was that males typically hold the position of dominance over a woman if they are both present—and if they are not, they still hold a “macho” pose. No strange contortions, no residual back pain for Hines at the end of the shoot.
In December, Jim C. Hines also decided to host a charity drive to raise money for Aicardi Syndrome. Aicardi Syndrome is a rare but vicious genetic disorder that can cause brain malformations, delays in development, seizures and more. Life expectancy is between 8 and 16 years old. Jim C. Hines has friends whose children suffer from Aicardi Syndrome—including one whose daughter recently passed away due to complications of it.
Hines told readers that in exchange for donations, he’d duplicate more book covers—at their request. If he raised his goal of $5,000 or more, he promised he’d gather together four other authors to duplicate the cover of Young Flandry at ConFusion: John Scalzi, Pat Rothfuss, Charles Stross, and Mary Robinette Kowal.
Needless to say, Hines met his goal and kept his promise. He raised a total of $15,405 for the Aicardi Syndrome Foundation, which funds research for treatment and helps family members of those afflicted stay connected with researchers. At the end of the day, Hines did some great work to be proud of. Not only did he bring the spotlight to sexist book covers and the portrayal of female characters, but he also raised a pretty penny to help in the fight against Aicardi Syndrome.