Formidable Female Protagonists in Science Fiction Part 13

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 weeks formidable females contains some new favorites like Mearana, Briar, Caitlin and some old.

  1. Mearana – The Harper (Michael Flynn)
  2. Sparta – Venus Prime (Paul Preuss)
  3. Briar Wilkes – Persistent Mother (Cherie Priest)
  4. Caitlin Decter – Best Friend of the Web (Robert J. Sawyer)
  5. Ilia Volyova – Triumvir Ultra (Alastair Reynolds)

Mearana – The Harper

Books: The January Dancer (2008), Up John River (2010)
Series: The January Dancer
Universe: Firestar
Author: Michael Flynn
Genre: Gaelic Space Opera
Publisher: Tor | Tantor Media

My reviews: The January Dancer | Up Jim River

In the beginning of the January Dancer a beautiful redheaded Harper walks into a bar in search for histories to sing. She approach the Scarred man that tells her the story of The January Dancer. In Up Jim River she and the scarred man goes looking for her disappeared mother. It reads like an epic gaelic saga with beautiful prose. I can recommend the audio version of The January Dancer it is just awesome, it blew my mind.


Sparta – Venus Prime

Books: Breaking Strain (1987), Maelstrom (1988), Hide & Seek (1989), The Medusa Encounter (1990), The Diamond Moon (1990), The Shining Ones (1991)
Series: Arthur’s C. Clark’s Venus Prime
Author: Paul Preuss
Genre: YA | Science Fiction
Publisher: Avon | Pan | iBooks

I remember these books from my youth. Sparta is a beautiful and mysterious woman with advanced abilities due to her bioengineering. But she don’t remember the last three years and tries to recover her past and save her future. Beautiful description and adventures on the planets of the solar system based on short stories by Aurthur C. Clark.


Briar Wilkes – Persistent Mother

Books: Boneshaker (2009)
Series: Clockwork Century
Author: Cherie Priest
Genre: Steampunk
Publisher: Tor

Briar Wilkes name used to be Briar Blue before her husband poisoned downtown Seattle with a gas that turned humans into Zombies with his infernal digging machine – The Boneshaker. Now her son is lost inside the walls erected to keep the gas out and she would do anything to save him. Much steampunk fun with airships and zombies.

A second book, Dreadnought in the same universe will be out in September 2010, but it has a different protagonist.


Caitlin Decter – Best Friend of the Web

Title: Wake (2009), Watch (2010), Wonder (2011)
Series: WWW
Author: Robert J. Sawyer
Genre: Science Fiction | First Contact | Emerging AI
Publisher: ACE | Gollancz

My reviews: Wake, Watch

Caitlin Decter is a feisty young blind girl that is quite ordinary besides being a mathematical genius and after an experimental treatment to make her see again she starts to see the world wide web. Out there in the web she encounters an emerging intelligence and befriends it.


Ilia Volyova – Triumvir Ultra

Books: Revelation Space (2000), Redemption Ark (2002)
Universe: Revalation Space
Author: Alastair Reynolds
Genre: Space Opera
Publisher: Gollancz | ACE | Tantor Media

Triumvir Ilia Volyova of Nostalgia for Infinity is an implant-free Ultra, and a major character in both Revelation Space and Redemption Ark. At the beginning of Revelation Space, Volyova is the keeper of the Cache Weapons. It is during her search for a means to control these weapons that she enlists Ana Khouri (who was planted in the role by the Mademoiselle), thus setting off a chain of events that continues throughout the novels. She maintains a long friendship with Captain Brannigan, a man melded with with his ship. When I am reading this I realize I have read these books a long time ago, it makes me want to go back and reread them.


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