Formidable Female Protagonists in Science Fiction Part 16



I prefer female protagonists and this series of posts is homage to some of the most formidable female main characters in science fiction novels or series. This is the last one I got material for at the moment but I am pretty sure there are some formidable female protagonists in a science fiction novel or series that need to be here. This is your last chance to add to my list before I have to close the list.

I added a list of all the characters so far at the end of this post. Please add more suggestions. 100 is a better number than 80.

  1. Paula Myo – Intrepid Investigator (Peter F. Hamilton)
  2. Sissy – High Priestess of Harmony (C. F. Bentley)
  3. Paula Mendoza – Unconventional Negotiator (Cecelia Holland)
  4. Casseia Majumdar – Scientific Revolutionary (Greg Bear)
  5. Dirisha Zuri – the Matadora (Steve Perry)

Paula Myo – Intrepid Investigator

Books: Pandora’s Star (2004), Judas Unchained (2005)
Series: Commonwealth Saga
Author: Peter F. Hamilton
Genre: Space opera
Publisher: MacMillan UK, Del Rey, Pan

Paula Myo is only one of the characters in the Commonwealth saga. She is a famous investigator that realizes the Starflyer is real and a threat to humanity. It was a few years since I read these books and they are huge, not as huge as his Night’s Dawn trilogy but big enough. Good interesting space opera with multiple main characters.

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Sissy – High Priestess of Harmony

Books: Harmony (2008), Enigma (2009)
Series: Harmony
Author: C. F. Bentley (Irene Radford)
Genre: Military Science Fiction | Fantasy
Publisher: Daw

I just finished reading Harmony an liked it a lot; it is a mixture of military science fiction, space opera and romance. Sissy is born with the mark of all seven casts. Normally that would make here an outcast to be killed but she hides the marks with the help of her family. Their planet Harmony is becoming unstable and a catastrophic earthquake threatens to destroy the capital. But Sissy finds out she has the power to divert the power of the quake and save the city. The High Priestess is killed and the surviving High Priest sees an opportunity in using this young uneducated girl with real powers to strengthening his position on the ruling council. Thing is that Sissy have other ideas.

There is a lovely love story in there to you can check out my review.

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Paula Mendoza – Unconventional Negotiator

Books: Floating Wolds (1976)
Author: Cecelia Holland
Genre: Feminist Science Fiction
Publisher: Knopf, Gollancz, Pocket, Sphere, VGSF.

New to me both of them. According to Wikipedia “This novel is notable for its sexual content, its feminist theme, and its literary quality—all comparable to the mid-70s work of Joanna Russ and Ursula K. Le Guin.” that sounds like something I would like to read. This also goes on my to-read list.

When an aggressive race of mutants from Uranus and Saturn launch pirate raids on ships from Mars, the task of negotiating peace falls to the resourceful and unpredictable Paula Mendoza.

Though highly skeptical of her “anarchist” government, gutsy Paula Mendoza rises from the ranks of the unemployed Earthish to become its peace negotiator in the escalating war between the Middle Planets and the Gas Planets in this latest by Cecelia Holland (The Pillar of the Sky), whom the Chicago Tribune has compared to Arthur C. Clarke and Ursula Le Guin. Paula’s methods (which include sleeping with the enemy) are innovative, to say the least, and they land her in troubled waters in the startling and epic Floating Worlds

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Casseia Majumdar – Scientific Revolutionary

Books: Moving Mars (1993)
Series: Queen of Angels book 3
Author: Greg Bear
Genre: Coming of Age | Revolution
Publisher: Tor, Legend, Orb, The Easton Press, Brilliance Audio

This is a coming of age story about Casseia Majumdar at the backdrop of the brewing revolution. Sounds like a good book I have to read soon.

Mars is a colonial world governed by corporate interests on Earth. The citizens of Mars are hardworking, brave, and intelligent, but held back by their lack of access to the best education, and the desire of Earthly powers to keep the best inventions for themselves. The young Martians – the second and third generation born on Mars – have little loyalty to the Earth, and strong belief that their planet can be independent. The revolution begins slowly, but matures to its inevitable conclusion.

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Dirisha Zuri – The Matadora

Books: Matadora (1986)
Series: Matador
Author: Steve Perry
Genre: Military Science Fiction
Publisher: Ace , Sphere

Matadora is new to me while Steve Perry is not, I read Target Earth before and it was quite enjoyable. This book is part of a longer series all covering the Matador’s revolution.

On some worlds, the name of Khadaji is a prayer for resistance fighters…

Khadaji… master warrior, martyr, legend. The one-man resistance to the Confed on Greaves. Known as “The Man Who Never Missed,” he only let himself be taken when he’d done what he’d set out to do. With his death, Khadaji became the inspiration and idol of students of martial arts everhwere.

Matador Villa… the training center for the best fighters in the galaxy, disciples of the great Khadaji. A rigorous program of political tactics and psychological warfare, physical discipline and martial force. A mysterious school on the planet Renault… its ultimate motives unknown.

Dirisha Zuri… a dangerous drifter, a dark-skinned beauty, Khadaji’s colleague. A ronin, whose expertise in body control and knowledge of the fighting arts drew the attention of Matador Villa. The school wanted her talents… and the galaxy desperately needed her deadly skills.

Matadora The legend of the Man Who Never Missed becomes the incredible mission of a single woman… The Matadora.

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List

Miss anyone?

Read part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 56 | 789 | 1011121314 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | index | afterword

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  • Ken Houghton

    Where’s Laura Webster of Bruce Sterling’s Islands in the Net?

  • Theresa M. Moore

    Antonia Bellero, heroine in “Destiny’s Forge”, an SF/vampire fusion novel set in the 23rd century by Theresa M. Moore, as book 1 in the series Children of The Dragon.

  • Ken Houghton

    Where’s Laura Webster of Bruce Sterling’s Islands in the Net?

  • ove

    thanks ken

  • ove

    thanks ken

  • Theresa M. Moore

    Antonia Bellero, heroine in “Destiny’s Forge”, an SF/vampire fusion novel set in the 23rd century by Theresa M. Moore, as book 1 in the series Children of The Dragon.

  • MM

    I don’t know if you do YA as well as adult, but I’d consider Katniss from Hunger Games in there.

  • MM

    I don’t know if you do YA as well as adult, but I’d consider Katniss from Hunger Games in there.

  • MM

    PS And Rachel Berenson from Animorphs.

    I’d love to add characters like Buffy and Faith, but I know sci-fi and fantasy aren’t the same.

  • MM

    PS And Rachel Berenson from Animorphs.

    I’d love to add characters like Buffy and Faith, but I know sci-fi and fantasy aren’t the same.

  • John Williford

    What about Jo Clayton’s Skeen (from “Skeen’s Leap”, “Skeen’s Return”, and “Skeen’s Search”)?

  • John Williford

    What about Jo Clayton’s Skeen (from “Skeen’s Leap”, “Skeen’s Return”, and “Skeen’s Search”)?

  • Laurel Lyon

    Maya and Nadia in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy.

  • Laurel Lyon

    Maya and Nadia in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy.

  • Tamrhynn

    Here are a few from my bookshelves:

    Lessa – Dragon Riders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey;
    Rowan – The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein;
    Rissa – Risa and Tregare (The Rissa Kerguelen Saga) by FM Busby;
    Dion – Wolfwalker by Tara K Harper;
    Friday – Friday by Robert Heinlein;
    Pricilla Delacroiz y Mendoza – Conflict of Honors by Steve Miller and Sharon Lee;
    Kris Longknife – Mutineer etc… by Mike Shepherd

    Will you be making a list of all the fine strong female characters in Fantasy as well?

  • Tamrhynn

    Here are a few from my bookshelves:

    Lessa – Dragon Riders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey;
    Rowan – The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein;
    Rissa – Risa and Tregare (The Rissa Kerguelen Saga) by FM Busby;
    Dion – Wolfwalker by Tara K Harper;
    Friday – Friday by Robert Heinlein;
    Pricilla Delacroiz y Mendoza – Conflict of Honors by Steve Miller and Sharon Lee;
    Kris Longknife – Mutineer etc… by Mike Shepherd

    Will you be making a list of all the fine strong female characters in Fantasy as well?

  • Barbara Z.

    She-Lord Green Tamryn from Dara Joy’s Ritual of Proof

  • Linda Carson

    Festina Ramos from James Alan Gardner’s League of Peoples books, especially _Expendable_.

  • Barbara Z.

    She-Lord Green Tamryn from Dara Joy’s Ritual of Proof

  • Linda Carson

    Festina Ramos from James Alan Gardner’s League of Peoples books, especially _Expendable_.

  • ove

    Wow, thanks for all the comments,

    Theresa: Thanks I’ll look into her

    MM:Thanks, YA is ok, but i am doing another series on female protagonists on scifi TV so I excluded them. I’ll check out Animorphs but I suspect thats fantasy?

    John: Thanks I’ll check out Jo

    Laura: Thanks I’ll check out the Mars series, got them here on a shelf.

    Tamrhyn: Thanks, some are on the list you know, I’ll check out the others.

    Barbara: Thanks, I’ll check her out.

    Linda: Thanks but Festina is already on the list in but there is a mistake with the linking, i am going to fix now. Lucky I discovered it.

  • ove

    Wow, thanks for all the comments,

    Theresa: Thanks I’ll look into her

    MM:Thanks, YA is ok, but i am doing another series on female protagonists on scifi TV so I excluded them. I’ll check out Animorphs but I suspect thats fantasy?

    John: Thanks I’ll check out Jo

    Laura: Thanks I’ll check out the Mars series, got them here on a shelf.

    Tamrhyn: Thanks, some are on the list you know, I’ll check out the others.

    Barbara: Thanks, I’ll check her out.

    Linda: Thanks but Festina is already on the list in but there is a mistake with the linking, i am going to fix now. Lucky I discovered it.

  • MJR

    Just found this blog, love it! What about Lila Black in Justina Robson’s Quantum Gravity Series.

  • MJR

    Just found this blog, love it! What about Lila Black in Justina Robson’s Quantum Gravity Series.

  • ove

    Thanks MRJ, I am going to check her out. I think I have enough for 2-3 more posts now. That is wonderful.

  • ove

    Thanks MRJ, I am going to check her out. I think I have enough for 2-3 more posts now. That is wonderful.

  • Thanks for doing this series. I enjoyed it–makes me want to re-read the adventures of my favorite heroines (I think you touched on all of them), and look into some series I haven’t read.

  • Thanks for doing this series. I enjoyed it–makes me want to re-read the adventures of my favorite heroines (I think you touched on all of them), and look into some series I haven’t read.

  • Anna Lui

    Lauren Olamina from Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents!

  • Anna Lui

    Lauren Olamina from Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents!

  • ove

    Hi Laura and Anna,

    Laura: Making the list made me a huge want-to read list.I love your Ariane Kedros novels, Pathfinder (Roc, July 2010) was a great read.

    Anna: Thanks, i’ll check her out.

  • ove

    Hi Laura and Anna,

    Laura: Making the list made me a huge want-to read list.I love your Ariane Kedros novels, Pathfinder (Roc, July 2010) was a great read.

    Anna: Thanks, i’ll check her out.

  • Alex Reutter

    Fun list.

    I second Lauren Olamina. Dana, Lilith, and Anyanwu from Butler’s Kindred, Lilith’s Brood trilogy, and Patternist series, respectively, are also great.

    Jackal Segura from Kelley Eskridge’s Solitaire, Lore Van de Oest from Nicola Griffiths’ Slow River, and Meg Murry from a Wrinkle in Time may also worth consideration.

  • Alex Reutter

    Fun list.

    I second Lauren Olamina. Dana, Lilith, and Anyanwu from Butler’s Kindred, Lilith’s Brood trilogy, and Patternist series, respectively, are also great.

    Jackal Segura from Kelley Eskridge’s Solitaire, Lore Van de Oest from Nicola Griffiths’ Slow River, and Meg Murry from a Wrinkle in Time may also worth consideration.

  • Neat list! It’d be easier to parse / check if you included novel titles.

    Lt. Nicole Shea of Chris Claremont’s _First Flight!_ is a neat character:

    http://www.amazon.com/First-Flight-Chris-Claremont/dp/0441235840

    If steampunk is an acceptable genre and graphic novels are okay, Agatha Heterodyne of Girl Genius fame:

    http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/

    Surprised to not find the eponymous _Podkayne of Mars_ by Robert Heinlein

    Friday isn’t a cyborg, but a genetically-engineered human (only remotely non-human modification is the small courier pouch behind her belly button)

  • Neat list! It’d be easier to parse / check if you included novel titles.

    Lt. Nicole Shea of Chris Claremont’s _First Flight!_ is a neat character:

    http://www.amazon.com/First-Flight-Chris-Claremont/dp/0441235840

    If steampunk is an acceptable genre and graphic novels are okay, Agatha Heterodyne of Girl Genius fame:

    http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/

    Surprised to not find the eponymous _Podkayne of Mars_ by Robert Heinlein

    Friday isn’t a cyborg, but a genetically-engineered human (only remotely non-human modification is the small courier pouch behind her belly button)

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  • Nakedwerewolf

    Where’s Aviendha, Egwene, Elaine, and Moiraine from Wheel of Time? I think all four either started out or developed into very strong characters.