Formidable Female Protagonists in Science Fiction Part 7

This week’s Formidable Female Protagonists contains Ariane Kedros, Chanur, Priscilla Hutchins and Kylara Vatta all favorite characters. It has been fun researching the list, I pick up new books to read all the time. 35 down and 36 more protagonists to go. The females are carefully selected by me, their names written on paper, folded and put in one of two bowls, one for new-to-me and one for read-by-me. I then select four read and one new-to-me and write about them. I am open to suggestions for more females to include.

Here is the list, read about them below.

  1. Ariane Kedros – Killer of Worlds (Laura E. Reeve)
  2. Pyanfar Chanur – Alien Trader (C. J. Cherryh)
  3. Priscilla ‘Hutch’ Hutchins – Starship Pilot (Jack McDevitt)
  4. Kylara Vatta – Fixing The Family (Elizabeth Moon)
  5. Cirroco Jones – Captain & Wizard (John Varley)

Ariane Kedros – Killer of Worlds

Book: Peacekeeper (2008), Vigilante (2009), Pathfinder (July 2010)
Series: Major Ariane Kedros
Author: Laura E. Reeve
Publisher: ROC Penguin Group
Genre: Military Science Fiction

Major Ariana Kedros, killer of worlds, is a resourceful and guilt ridden heroine. Her adventures takes place in an universe called Minoan Space. Read more about it on AncestralStars – Laura E. Reeve’s homepage.


Meet major ariane kedros—daring pilot, decorated soldier, war criminal.

Fifteen years ago, Ariane Kedros piloted a ship on a mission that obliterated an entire solar system. Branded a war criminal, she was given a new identity and a new life in order to protect her from retribution.

But now, twelve of Ariane’s wartime colleagues are dead— assassinated by someone who has uncovered their true identities. And her superiors in the Autonomist army have placed her directly in the assassin’s line of fire on a peacekeeping mission that will decide the fate of all humanity…


Amidst an uneasy peace between the Autonomists and the Terrans, Major Ariane Kedros and her partner, Matthew Journey, have discovered alien ruins on a remote planet-ruins that bear evidence to an ancient and highly advanced technology. But their discovery has drawn the interest of high stakes players from every corner of the universe-including that of the rogue leader of a fringe Terran sect. Ari must find a way to stop him, before they all become ancient history…


Reserve Major Ariane Kedros needs a shot at redemption— and the mysterious aliens known as the Minoans need an extraordinary human pilot with a rejuv-stimulated metabolism like Ariane for a dangerous expedition to a distant solar system. But there’s a catch. the minoans have to implant their technology in Ariane’s body, and it might not be removable. Ariane is willing, but as she begins the perilous journey, there is an old enemy hiding within the exploration team who is determined to see them fail…

Pyanfar Chanur – Alien Pilot

Books: The Pride of Chanur (1981), Chanur’s Venture (1984), The Kif Strike Back (1985), CHanur’s Homecoming (1986), Chanur’s Legacy (1992)
Omnibus: The Chanur Saga (2000, book 1-3), Chanur’s Endgame (2007, book 4-5)
Series: The Chanur Novels, The Chanur’e Venture Trilogy (2-4)
Author: C. J. Cherryh
Publisher: DAW
Genre: Science Fiction

This is one of the most believable alien point of view stories I have read so far. The only sad thing about it is that we don’t get to see more of the humans. At least my racial ego would like to be seen from outside. But I guess that the humans in the Alliance-Union universe are not so nice. How is it that C.J. Cherryh can make really likable Aliens but most of her humans are not, unless they grow up among aliens?

The series is set in the same Alliance-Union universe of Downbelow Station, but in a region of space in the opposite direction from Earth as the Alliance and Union. It is occupied by a number of spacefaring civilizations bound by a set of trade treaties into a so-called Compact. The Compact is not a political organization, and has no government; it regulates only the open trade and accessibility of space stations to all civilizations, leaving them to resolve their conflicts and politics between themselves.

Priscilla ‘Hutch’ Hutchins – Starship Pilot

Books: The Engines of God (1994), Deepsix (1984), Chindi (2002), Omega (2003), Odyssey (2006), Cauldron (2007)
Series: Academy Series
Authors: Jack McDevitt
Publisher: ACE
Genre: Science Fiction | First Contact

Priscilla is a reluctant hero, but she does what is necessary. She has to struggle with administration that doesn’t support proper funding wanting to do it on the cheap (NASA anyone?).

With The Engines of God, McDevitt introduced the idea of a universe that was once teeming with intelligent life, but contains only their abandoned artifacts by the time humans arrive on the scene. Although it was initially written as a standalone novel, the main character of The Engines of God, pilot Priscilla Hutchins, has since appeared in five more books. The mystery surrounding the destructive “Omega Clouds” (which are introduced in The Engines of God) is left unexplored until Omega.

McDevitt’s novels frequently raise questions which he does not attempt to answer. He prefers to leave ambiguities to puzzle and intrigue his readers: “Some things are best left to the reader’s very able imagination.”

Kylara Vatta – Fixing the Family

Books: Trading in Danger (2003), Marque and Reprisal/Moving Target (2004), Engaging the Enemy (2006), Command Decision (2007), Victory Condition (2008)
Series: Vatta’s War
Author: Elizabeth Moon
Publisher: Del Ray | Orbit
Grene: Space Opera| Military Science Fiction

Another great military science fiction about a young girl kicked out of the Academy and given her own ship that have to take on a galactic conspiracy. Liked the series but the fifth volume felt a bit weak.

The books follow the adventures of Kylara Vatta, a young member of the Vatta family, which runs the interstellar shipping corporation Vatta Enterprises. She had sought a life outside the family business by enrolling in the Slotter Key Spaceforce Academy, but she is forced to resign in her final year and assigned to captain an old trading ship for the corporation. Her military training is put to good use, however, during the crises she faces, first as a ship captain in dangerous situations, and later as the representative of a family under attack.

The first book, Trading in Danger, is narrowly focused on Ky and the local crisis in which she becomes involved. The perspective expands in the later books as connections between piracy and ansible attacks on the one hand and Vatta Enterprises and InterStellar Communications Corporation (ISC) on the other are revealed.

Cirroco Jones – Captain & Wizard

Books: Titan (1979), Wizard (1980), Demon (1984)
Series: The Gaean Trilogy
Author: John Varley
Publisher: Berkley/Putnam | Penguin
Grenre: First Contact | Science Fantasy | Mystic Fiction

Captain Cirroco Jones is new to me, the story sounds interesting so I will put it on my to-read list.

The Gaea Trilogy consists of three science fiction novels by John Varley. The stories tell of humanity’s encounter with a living being in the shape of a 1,300 km diameter space habitat, inhabited by many different species, most notably Titanides, in orbit around the planet Saturn.


When Cirrocco Jones, captain of the spaceship Ringmaster, and his crew are captured by Gaea, a planet-sized creature that orbits around Saturn, they find themselves inside a bizarre world inhabited by centaurs, harpies, and constantly shifting environments.


Human explorers have entered the sprawling mind of the alien Gaea. Now they must fight her will. For she is much too powerful. And definitely insane.


The satellite-sized alien Gaea has gone completely insane. She has transformed her love of old movies into monstrous realities. She is Marilyn Monroe. She is King Kong. And now she must be destroyed.

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