The Mary Sue Race Test

You've probably encountered a race or species of Mary Sues before: They've conquered racism, sexism, and every other -ism out there. They have amazing psychic powers. They have no wars and they live in perfect harmony with nature. Their religion is practically magic and its truthfulness is readily apparent to anyone who bothers to take a look. Sometimes they'll induct a lucky few into their ranks by actual physical transformation. And they're quite fond making it clear how much those miserable, pathetic humans (or heathens, depending) suck.

When you have a fantasy or science fiction race like this, at best they'll come off as too good to be true, and at worst condescending and patronizing or as blatant mouthpieces and/or pure wish fulfilment to the author. (This is not to say that wish fulfilment is inherently bad; just when it gets to the point that it damages the credibility or the quality of the story.)

So, if you're concerned that your science fiction or fantasy race might be a little... off, run 'em through here. The scoring system is based on SF races in popular fiction that people have found to be obnoxious or implausible vs. ones that are generally well-taken and liked.

  1. Are they typically stronger/faster/generally more able-bodied than other races/sapient species?
    1. So much that even the weakest member of their race is stronger/faster/more able than most other races/sapient species?
  2. Are most or all of them notably attractive by human standards?
    1. Are most or all of them on par with or even more attractive than the most attractive humans?
  3. Are they typically more intelligent than other races/sapient species?
  4. Do they typically have amazing mental/psychic/magic powers that most other races/sapient species lack?
  5. Are all or most of their senses superior to the senses of most other races/sapient species?
  6. Is their sex better than the sex of most other races/sapient species?
  7. Is their art/music typically better than that of other races/sapient species?
  8. Is their spirituality and/or morality presented as superior to that of most other races/sapient species?
  9. Have they moved beyond superstitious/irrational behavior/beliefs found in most other races/sapient species?
  10. Are they completely or mostly free of what we consider human vices, ie, greed, selfishness, racism, sexism, etc?
  11. Do they have little to no trouble with food and/or material shortage compared to most other races/sapient species?
  12. Do they exist in perfect harmony with nature/their homeland?
  13. Are they so technologically and/or magically superior that they have virtually no rivals, yet never use their advantages to oppress others or misuse them in any way?
  14. Do they have a better government and justice system than most other races/sapient species?
  15. Do they uphold and honor all of the same values as you?
  16. Are they impervious to things that would severely harm or kill most other races/sapient species in the story?
  17. Are their pregnancies shorter than nine months and/or births painless?
  18. Do their offspring develop and mature faster than that of a human?
  19. Do they have an extremely long lifespan?
    1. Are they immortal?
  20. Are they virtually always great parents?
  21. Do relationships rarely (if ever) end in broken hearts and/or bitter feelings, either because the love lasts forever, or because of a "free love" system in which jealousy virtually doesn't exist?
  22. When members of this race take a stance on a particular issue, are their opinions typically or always right?
  23. Do they point out the shortcomings of other sapient species/races, but no-one ever points out their shortcomings or is justified in doing so?
  24. Does anyone become a member of their race/species during the course of the story, and is happier that way?
    1. And/or adopt all of their values and ideals, and is happier for it?
  25. Does a convert denounce xir previous lifestyle as barbaric or wrong in front of xir former people/race/peers?
    1. And convince xir former people/race/peers that xir new life is the correct choice?
  26. Do you want to become a member of their race/species?
  27. Do you think everyone ought to want to become a member of their race/species, or at least adopt their ideals?

Your total is:

1-6 Points
Definitely not a Sue race.

7-10 Points
Probably not a Sue race.

11+ Points
Most likely a Sue race.

Pages you may find helpful in developing fantasy/science fiction races, cultures, and species:
Fantasy & Science Fiction Creature Development Questions
Country-Development Questions
Tips to Create Better & More Believable Fantasy & Science Fiction Species
Basic Tips To Create More Believable Sci-Fi & Fantasy Religions & Belief Systems
Tips & Ideas To Write More Believable Masquerades (for races/species that live under the noses of humans)