Formidable Female Protagonists in Science Fiction Part 25

The regular every Friday part of this series has come to an end, though this delay was due to me being too busy to finish this article in time. I plan to write a little afterword next week and after that continue to add articles when I have five new protagonists to tell you about. I have some ideas on how to continue to promote my favorite reading subject I will tell you about next week.

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.

I am still taking suggestions, there is a list of the ones taken at the Index page. If you wonder about the order, It is random.

I would like to thank you all for your suggestions; I love new books to read especially about formidable female protagonists.

Here is this week’s list.

  1. Lauren Olamina – Feeler of Pain (Octavia Butler)
  2. Venera Fanning – Queen of Candesce (Karl Schroeder)
  3. Rachel Berenson – The War Goddess (K. A. Applegate)
  4. Lila Black – Half Machine (Justina Robson)
  5. Cherijo Grey Veil – Stardoc (S. L. Viehl)

Lauren Olamina – Feeler of Pain

Books: Parable of the Sower (1993), Parable of the Talents (1998
Series: Parable of Sower
Author: Octavia Butler
Genre: Feminist Science Fiction
Publisher: Four Walls Eight Windows, The Women’s Press, Aspect

Set in a dystopian future, Parable of the Sower centers on a young woman named Lauren Olamina who possesses what Butler dubbed hyperempathy – the ability to feel the perceived pain and other sensations of others – who develops a benign philosophical and religious system during her childhood in the remnants of a gated community in Los Angeles. Civil society is near collapse due to resource scarcity and poverty. When the community’s security is compromised, her home is destroyed and her family murdered. She travels north with some survivors to try to start a community where her religion, called Earthseed, can grow.


Venera Fanning – Queen of Candesce

Book: Queen of Candesce
Series: Virga
Author: Karl Schroeder
Genre: Hard Science Fiction
Publishers: Tor

I am reading the omnibus version at the moment and is impressed by the world building, not much have happend yet, just a sun blowing up and some sky bike antics.

It is Spyre where Venera Fanning lands, drifting through space since the end of Sun of Suns, and it Spyre where she comes into her own, going from penniless refugee to captive to plotter to general in a breathless adventure story that puts the whole world of Spyre at risk — and that gives us a glimpse into the superb worldbuilding that is Schroeder’s hallmark (don’t miss his ideas about AI-mediated “Emergent Democracy” to have your mind really bent).



Rachel Berenson – The War Goddess

Books: The Invasion (1996), The Visitor (1996), The Encounter (1996), The Message (1996), The Predator (1996), The Capture (1997), The Stranger (1997), The Alien (1997), The Secret (1997), The Android (1997), The Forgotten (1997), The Reaction (1997), The Change (1997), The Unknown (1998), The Escape (1998), The Warning (1998), The Underground (1998), The Decision (1998), The Departure (1998), The Discovery (1998), The Threat (1998), The Solution (1998), The Pretender (1998), The Suspicion (1998), The Extreme (1999), The Attack (1999), The Exposed (1999), The Experiment (1999), The Sickness (1999), The Reunion (1999), The Conspiracy (1999), The Separation (1999), The Illusion (1999), The Prophecy (1999), The Proposal (1999), The Mutation (1999), The Weakness (2000), The Arrival (2000), The Hidden (2000), The Other (2000), The Familiar (2000), The Journey (2000), The Test (2000), The Unexpected (2000), The Revelation (2000), The Deception (2000), The Resistance (2000), The Return (2000), The Diversion (2001), The Ultimate (2001), The Absolute (2001), The Sacrifice (2001), The Answer (2001), The Beginning (2001)
Series: Animorphs
Author: K. A. Applegate (most after #25 where written by various ghost writers)
Publishers: Scholastic

This looks like an interesting YA series made to TV, even with some toys put in. Maybe a bit too commercial for my like but it is quite a popular series so I thought it was worth a mention.


Lila Black – Half Machine

Books: Keeping It Real (2006), Selling Out (2007), Going Under (2008), Chasing the Dragon (2009), Down to the Bone (2010)
Series: Quantum Gravity
Author: Justina Robson
Genre: Science Fantasy | Alternative Reality
Publishers: Gollancz, Pyr

This is borderline and probably over the border supernatural, but I am allowing myself a few missteps in presenting representative Scifi protagonists to you. This looks like great fun to read so I have ordered the first book to check out if it’s anything for me. Different is good, eh. Here is the blurb for Keeping it Real.

The Quantum Bomb of 2015 changed everything. The fabric that kept the universe’s different dimensions apart was torn and now, six years later, the people of earth exist in uneasy company with the inhabitants of, amongst others, the elven, elemental and demonic realms. Magic is real and can be even more dangerous than technology. Elves are exotic, erotic, dangerous and really bored with the constant Lord of the Rings references. Elementals are a law unto themselves and demons are best left well to themselves. Special agent Lila Black used to be pretty but now she’s not so sure. Her body is now more than half restless carbon and metal alloy machinery. A machine shes barely in control of. It goes into combat mode, enough weapons for a small army springing from within itself, at the merest provocation. As for her heart . . . well ever since being drawn into a Game by the elven rockstar she’s been assigned to protect, she’s not even sure she can trust that anymore either.

And here is the latest book.

Lila Black faces her greatest challange yet as she takes herself, her dead lover and the AI in her head into death’s realm. The Quantum Gravity series, set in a world where our reality mixes with other dimensions that are the homes to Faeries, elementals and demons, is unique in modern SF – a series that is willing to incorporate legend, myth and magic while maintaining a rigorous approach to scientific and pyschological reality. And in Lila Black Justina Robson has created an enduringly strong yet quirkily human and flawed heroine.


Cherijo Grey Veil – Stardoc

Books: Stardoc (2000), Beyond Varallan (2000), Endurance (2001),4 Shockball (2001), Eternity Row (2002), Rebel Ice (2006),7 Plague of Memory (2007), Omega Games (2008), Crystal Healer (2009), Dream Called Time (2010)
Series: Stardoc
Author: S. L. Viehl (pseudonym for Sheila Lynn Kelly)
Genre: Romantic Science Fiction
Publisher: Roc

Cherijo Grey Veil and S. L. Viehl are both new to me. This is a bit outside my usual comfort zone with a bit more romance and it has ‘chicklit’ written all over it but it is good to test new things now and then. I checked the authors blog and noticed that the series has been concluded. This is the blurb for book one:

Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil leaves Earth and accepts a position as a physician at Kevarzanga-2’s FreeClinic. Her surgical skills are desperately needed on a hostile frontier world with over 200 sentient species–and her understanding of alien physiology is nothing short of miraculous. But the truth behind her expertise is a secret which, if discovered, could have disastrous consequences between human and alien relations..


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index | authors | characters | afterword