Formidable Female Protagonist in Science Fiction – My Unread

One of my objectives with Formidable Female Protagonists in Science Fiction was to expand my to-read list with more awesome female protagonists. A little more than one third of the list is new to me characters and books and I have collected them here. I will use the list for future reading and make updates to the original list as I review them.

I have made a preliminary ranking. This is my arbitrary how-much-I-want-to read about that character. My criteria has not been overly scientific. I based it on how much I think I will enjoy the reading and how interesting the character seems to be. I think I picked those inside my comfort zone first. I like space opera and military science fiction. I also like coming-of-age, learning-the-world kind of themes.

I would love your input. Is there someone I should move up in priority? Please tell me why and I might be convinced to read it earlier.

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Already Ordered

I am a bit impulsive at times and order stuff on a whim like these two. I do hope they are all that I think.

* have arrived

My To-Read List

I want to make a short comment on my motivations for the top picks.

The Mockinjay is series that have been getting a lot of positive buzz. It is a coming-of-age story which I also like. The story about a young girl taking her brother’s place in a gladiator game and becoming a front figure for a revolution against oppression has appeal to me.

Vernor Vinge is enough of a recommendation for me. I have not read so many books by him yet but I like what I have read and would like to read more. There are a few others of his books I am planing to read first. There is an omnibus version of A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky coming out this month from Gollancz I plan to read first. Tatja Grim sounds like another kind of story I like to read, a journey-of-discovery. Mensa level barbarian meets futuristic society and learns to read.

I have a whole bunch of Larry Niven books on my reading list starting with the Fleet of Worlds sequence. I want to go back and finish the Ring world books after that so Teela Brown is sure to come up there.

  1. Katniss Everdeen- The Mockingjay (Suzanne Collins) Read Oct 2010
  2. Tatja Grim – Mensa-level Barbarian (Vernor Vinge)
  3. Teela Brown – Born Lucky (Larry Niven)
  4. Jani Kilian – Alien Hybrid (Kristine Smith)
  5. Catherine Li – Human Construct (Chris Moriarty)
  6. Rowan – Steerswoman (Rosemary Kirstein)
  7. Parrish Plessis – Postapocalyptic Bodyguard (Marianne de Pierres)
  8. Thursday Next – Literary Operative (Jasper Fforde)
  9. Pricilla Delacroiz y Mendoza – Exiled Spacer (Steve Miller & Sharon Lee)
  10. Cassandra Kresnov – Disillusioned Super-Soldier (Joel Shepherd)
  11. Ariane Emory – I Made Me (C. J. Cherryh)
  12. Dana- Vessel of Understanding (Octavia Butler)
  13. Sharrow – Symbol of a Solar System (Ian M. Banks)
  14. Dirisha Zuri – the Matadora (Steve Perry)
  15. Jean “Jeanie” Pelham Roker – Collector of Grey Hairs (Charles Sheffield)
  16. Anyanwu – Two Immortals (Octavia Butler)
  17. Lore Van de Oest – Playing Spanner’s Game (Nicola Griffith)
  18. Skeen – Gate Rooner (Jo Clayton)
  19. Deadpan Allie – Pathosfinder (Pat Cadigan)
  20. Rissa Kerguelen – Underground Poster Child (F. M. Busby)
  21. Festina Ramos – Expendable (James Alan Gardner)
  22. Captain Reverdy Jian – Sceptic Pilot (Melissa Scott)
  23. Cirroco Jones – Captain & Wizard (John Varley)
  24. Laura Webster – Improve the World (Bruce Sterling)
  25. Ruby Kubick – Agoraphobic Salvage Artist (Laura J. Mixon)
  26. Marquelle Green Tamryn – She-Lord (Dara Joy)
  27. Casseia Majumdar – Scientific Revolutionary (Greg Bear)
  28. Imelda – Scientific Detective (Ella Mack)
  29. Paula Mendoza – Unconventional Negotiator (Cecelia Holland)
  30. Rebel Elizabeth Mudlark – Mind Recording (Michael Swanwick)
  31. Hazel D’Ark – Rebel Pirate (Simon R. Green)
  32. Lauren Olamina – Feeler of Pain (Octavia Butler)
  33. Cherijo Grey Veil – Stardoc (S. L. Viehl)
  34. Annie ‘Mama’ Jason Masmajean – Ecological Troubleshooter (Janet Kagan)
  35. Margaret “Meg” Murry O’Keefe – Time traveler (Madeleine L’Engle)
  36. Dion – Wolfwalker (Tara K. Harper)
  37. Cassandra Blaine – Cyber Star (Wilhelmina Baird)
  38. Sarah – Cyborized Gun-for-hire (Walter Jon Williams)
  39. Nicole Shea – Not so perfect Hero (Chris Claremont)
  40. Nausicaä – Ecological Princess (Hayao Miyazaki)
  41. Darwi ‘Dar’ Odrade – Sea Child (Frank Herbert)
  42. Rachel Berenson – The War Goddess (K. A. Applegate)

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  • Duke Briscoe

    I highly recommend “Glory Season” by David Brin. The main characters are twin sisters just entering adulthood. They live on an isolated planet whose founders re-engineered the nature of human sexes so that women are the great majority of the population and relatively rarely interact with men. A fun read and a great exploration of some ideas about gender and society.