Oct 292010
 

This is my first post since I finished the ordered part of this series. I pay homage to some of the greatest most formidable female protagonists in science fiction because I like to read about them. With these it is 130 adorable ladies and I have a few more lined up I will write about as soon as I get five to fill a post.

I am open to suggestions on protagonists to write about but check characters or authors first.

The index page contains all the authors and characters but you have to give me until later to find these there. There is also a timeline with the characters sorted by decade. You can also peek at my list of unread females and an afterword to the first 125 with my personal top lists.

  1. Zoheret – Seedling (Pamela Sargent)
  2. Eva Forge – Last Paladin (Tim Akers)
  3. Leal Hieronyma Maspeth - Unraveler of Truth (Karl Schroeder)
  4. Kristin Bjornsen – Freedom Champion (Anne McCaffrey)
  5. Neela Cord – Caretaker (Dani Kollin & Eytan Kollin)


Zoheret – Seedling

Book: Earthseed (1983)
Series: Seed
Author: Pamela Sargent
Genre: Young Adult | Generation Ship | Coming-of-Age
Publisher: Tor

This is a wonderful YA about Zoheret, born in an artificial womb, raised by Ship and who has to learn the hard way what it is to be human. This is part of the Seed series and Earthseed is book one. Book two Farseed has a different protagonist even if Zoheret features in it as an adult. Book three Seed Seeker is released November 9 in the US, no release date in the UK so far.

Deep within its core, Ship carries the seed of humankind. Sent into space to fulfil the final destiny of the human race, all of Earth’s brightest hopes are in the genetic material stored aboard Ship. Now, over a century later, Ship has created Zoheret and her shipmates from its genetic banks. It has found a home for its children on an uninhabited, earth like planet, but its passengers are not ready to leave – what do they really know of living on a hostile, open surface, alone and unaided by the living machine that has been mother, father, and teacher for all their lives? To prepare them, Ship devises a “survival test.” Suddenly, instincts that have been latent for over one hundred years take over. Zoheret watches friends become strangers – strangers and enemies. Can Zoheret and her companions overcome the biggest obstacle to the survival of the human race-themselves?

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Eva Forge – Last Paladin

Books: The Horns of Ruin (2010)
Author: Tim Akers
Genre: Steampunk | New Weird | Noir | Noird
Publisher: Pyr

Eva Forge sounds like a wonderful character and thanks to Blogger Mad Hatter I can even offer an interview with her. Tim is new to me, this will be the first I read by him. You might want to read Mad Hatters interview with Eva or his review. I have to wait until after the official release next week to get it.

Eva Forge is the last Paladin of the God of War Morgan. The problem is he is long dead from his brother’s hands Amon. This leaves only the last brother immortal Alexander as the last living god in charge of the city of Ash and its surrounding areas. As Paladin Eva is entrusted with the security and protection of the Cult of Morgan and its followers. Not an easy thing for just one person, but with sword and magicked gun she soldiers on with loose lips and a hothead attitude. While on a mission to take the leader of her order somewhere and back some craziness with zombies of a sort goes down and she must track down one of her own.

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Leal Hieronyma Maspeth - Unraveler of Truth

Books: The Sunless Countries
Series: Virga
Author: Karl Schroeder
Genre: Post-Singularity Steampunk
Publisher: Tor

Leal is a somewhat unlikely hero. The novel explores collaboration with the enemy, research and adventures among air nomads in the sunless countries and unravels truths about the wonderful Virga world that Karl Schroeder has created. The last remnants of humanity lives in a gigantic sphere filled with air and an artificial sun in the middle with a beacon that keeps technology out. People lives in rotating colonies and travels in airships. The whole series is wonderful and I will soon start a little review series with all four of them. Leal is a scientist in a city that is about to turn its back towards it at a point their whole world is threatened.

In an ocean of weightless air where sunlight has never been seen, only the running lights of the city of Pacquaea glitter in the dark. One woman, Leal Hieronyma Maspeth, history tutor and dreamer, lives and dreams of love among the gas lit streets and cafes. And somewhere in the abyss of wind and twisted cloud through which Pacquaea eternally falls, a great voice has begun speaking. As its cold words reach even to the city walls – and as outlying towns and travellers’ ships start to mysteriously disappear – only Leal has the courage to try to understand the message thundering from the distance. Even the city’s most famous and exotic visitor, the sun lighter and hero named Hayden Griffin, refuses to turn aside from his commission to build a new sun for a foreign nation. He will not become the hero that Leal knows the city needs; so in the end, it is up to her to listen, and ultimately reply, to the worldwasp.

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Kristin Bjornsen – Freedom Champion

Books: Freedom’s Landing (1995), Freedom’s Choice (1996), Freedom’s Challenge (1998), Freedom’s Ransom (2002)
Series: Catteni
Author: Anne McCaffrey
Genre: Space Opera
Publisher: Ace, Corgi, Bantam UK, Bantam, Putnam

It was a while I read these. Kristin is a strong woman with an interesting sex life if I remember correctly. The Catteni keep humans as slaves. Kristin escapes but helps an injured Catteni revealing her fugitive status. The relationship between Kristin and Zainal, a renegade Catteni is central to this story about liberation
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Neela Cord – Caretaker

Books: The Unincorporated Man (2009), The Unincorporated War (2010), The Unincorporated Woman (Summer 2011)
Series: The Unincorporated Man
Authors: Dani Kollin & Eytan Kollin
Genre: Space Opera
Publisher: Tor

Dr Neela Harper is caretaker of the first unincorporated man to be unfrozen and in book one they try to overcome the obstacles in the way of their relationship. It is also a great book with a big idea. I am currently reading The Unincorporated War. A review will follow shortly.

In a world in which humans themselves have become incorporated and most people no longer own a majority of themselves, one man – owned by no one and owning no one – dares to fight those who’d enslave him. Exiled and hunted, Justin Cord must now lead a revolution in order to birth a nation.

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indexauthorscharacterstimelineunread | afterword

Oct 082010
 

I like reading science fiction about female protagonists that was why I started this series. It was also neat to have something to wrap up the work week with. I love other kinds of science fiction too, but a series do have to have a subject. It is the first major project I have undertaken as a blogger and I have learned a lot.

There are a lot of interesting formidable female main characters in science fiction. The competent bitch, the wide eyed wonder girl, the relentless huntress, the freed slave, the uncaring scientist, the damaged warrior, the sharpshooting bookworm and many more variations are among my favorites. Which ‘types’ do you like? The only type I do have problem with is the typical ‘damsel in distress’ types that are competent like hell everywhere else and then a guy comes around and they can’t do anything and needs saving. I have come across that in some ‘romance’ scifi and that is one of the reasons I avoid that genre in general. I love a good love story though so if you have any good suggestions I am all ears. I like colorful characters and I don’t mind one or another Competent-man kind of woman (some of you will hate that sentence; know I did it on purpose). A good friendly banter or a bitchy attitude hiding a heart is also enjoyable. Revenge or rightful fury has been a driving force of some of my favorites too. I am addicted to wow moments, characters or stories that surprise is the reason I read science fiction, that and the gadgets.

A character or a story is not complete without a plausible world around them but this post is about characters so I won’t dive into that now.

So what have I learned? I have learned that even making a simple series like this take a lot of time, doing research, finding covers and reading blurbs and reviews on characters I have not read myself. This series is a bit like me as a blogger. It tries different things and ways to tell the message. Friends of good copy can probably write a book about all the misses I have made. Some weeks I had both time and inspiration to write and other times it was a rush cut and paste job late on Thursday night. I would love feedback from my readers. Did you try any of the suggested books? What did you think about it? Any part of the series that you found interesting hated or loved? And most important of all, do you have any protagonists to add?

I would like to thank everyone at reddit-scifi and all the visitors here for their suggestions. Without you I would not have passed one hundred much less 125 formidable females. I would also like to thank everyone that helped spread the word on twitter, facebook and on the web. All the kind words helped. I was especially delighted by the mention in Genreville. That was a nice boost for my ego.

I will continue to add to the list when I have five for a full post or I might add them one at a time, I haven’t decided.

As promised I have provided my ‘top list’ as well as some of my top favorite types. Who is on your top list?

Type of heroines

Steampunk Woman

  1. Jezibeth ‘Jez’ Kyte – Half-Mane (Chris Wooding)
  2. Briar Wilkes – Persistent Mother (Cherie Priest)
  3. Venera Fanning – Queen of Candesce (Karl Schroeder)

Space Opera Queens

  1. Mearana - The Harper (Michael Flynn)
  2. Rydra Wong – Poet Captain (Samuel R. Delany)

Military Leaders

  1. Honor Harrington – The Salamander (David Weber)
  2. Heris Serrano – Civilian Warrior (Elizabeth Moon)
  3. Tobin Kerr – Leading From Below (Tanya Huff)
  4. Kris Longknife – Princess & Officer (Mike Shepherd)

First Contacts

  1. Ofelia Fulfarres - Nest Guardian (Elizabeth Moon)
  2. Nimisha Boynton-Rondymnse – First Family Castaway (Anne McCaffrey)

Alien POV:s

  1. Pyanfar Chanur – Alien Trader (C. J. Cherryh)
  2. Acorna – Unicorn Girl (Anne McCaffrey, Margaret Ball, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough)

Post-humans

  1. Freya Nakamachi-47 – Soulful Machine (Charles Stross)
  2. Ilia Volyova – Triumvir Ultra (Alastair Reynolds)

Best Pilots

  1. Dakota Merrick – Machine Head (Gary Gibson)
  2. Ariane Kedros – Killer of Worlds (Laura E. Reeve)
  3. Priscilla ‘Hutch’ Hutchins – Starship Pilot (Jack McDevitt)
  4. Jenny Casey – Cyborg Pilot (Elizabeth Bear)

Enhanced Ladies

  1. Nimue Alban – Mind of a Dead Starship Captain (David Weber)
  2. Helva – The Ship Who Sang (Anne McCaffrey)
  3. Jenny Casey – Cyborg Pilot (Elizabeth Bear)

Eco Warrior

  1. Shan Frankland – Immortal Diplomat (Karen Traviss)

Starship Captains

  1. Bella Lind – Icon at the End of Time (Alastair Reynolds)
  2. Signy Mallory- Bloody-minded Commander (C. J. Cherryh)

Best Young Adults

  1. Zoe Boutin Perry – Teenager & Holy Icon (John Scalzi)
  2. Caitlin Decter – Best Friend of the Web (Robert J. Sawyer)
  3. Sparta – Venus Prime (Paul Preuss)

Coming of Age Legends

  1. Nell – Mouse Queen (Neal Stephenson)
  2. Sweetness Octave Glorious Honey-Bun Asiim Engineer 12th (Ian Mcdonald)
  3. Lessa – Dragon Rider of Pern (Anne McCaffrey)

Agents

  1. Cally O’Neal – Secret Assassin (John Ringo)
  2. Morgan Roche – Agent of Change (Sean Williams & Shane Dix)
  3. Paula Myo – Intrepid Investigator (Peter F. Hamilton)

Romantic Adventurers

  1. Sarah – Skinned Quester (Anne McCaffrey)
  2. Cordelia Naismith – Free Your Mind (Lois McMaster Bujold)
  3. Sauscony ‘Soz’ Valdoria –  Empath Commando (Catherine Asaro)

Time Dilated Ladies

  1. Bella Lind – Icon at the End of Time (Alastair Reynolds)
  2. Sassinak – Older Than Her Mother (Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Moon & Jody Lynn Nye) – ok frozen in time

Trade & Business women

  1. Nimisha Boynton-Rondymnse – First Family Castaway (Anne McCaffrey)
  2. Kylara Vatta – Fixing The Family (Elizabeth Moon)

Steamy Adults

  1. Friday Jones – the Sometimes Single Cyborg (Robert A. Heinlein)
  2. Gloria VanDeen – Glorious Bureaucrat (C. J. Ryan)
  3. An – Transcending Egghead (Emily Devenport)

Banter Queens

  1. Tobin Kerr – Leading From Below (Tanya Huff)
  2. Cally O’Neal – Secret Assassin (John Ringo)

Dare Devils

  1. Athena Hera Sinastra – Intrepid Rebel (Sarah A. Hoyt)
  2. Y.T. – Yours Truly (Neal Stephenson)
  3. Boss – Safety First (Diving into the Wreck – Kristien Kathryn Rusch

Master Mind

  1. Moon – Clone Goddess (Joan D. Vinge)

Psionic Heroes

  1. Nual – Angel Assassin (Jaine Fenn)
  2. Sira di Sarc – Welcome Stranger (Julie E. Czerneda)
  3. Angharad Gwyn – the Rowan (Anne McCaffrey)

Intrepid Explorers

  1. Nimisha Boynton-Rondymnse – First Family Castaway (Anne McCaffrey)
  2. Priscilla ‘Hutch’ Hutchins – Starship Pilot (Jack McDevitt)
  3. Nicole des Jardins Wakefield – Stowaway to the Stars (Arthur C. Clarke & Gentry Lee)

Unlucky Ladies

  1. Sassinak – Older Than Her Mother (Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Moon & Jody Lynn Nye)
  2. Elizabeth “Bet” Yeager – Stranded Veteran (C. J. Cherryh)
  3. Ellen Ripley – Kick-ass Mother (Alan Dean Foster)

Most Troubled Childhood

  1. Adele Mundy – Sharpshooting Librarian (David Drake)

Cyberpunk Madonnas

  1. Molly Millions – The Original Razor Girl (William Gibson)
  2. Claire Haskel – Super Razor (David J. Williams)
  3. Y.T. – Yours Truly (Neal Stephenson)

Best Sidekicks

  1. Alicia DeVries – Cadre and Fury (David Weber) – a Fury and a starship
  2. Kris Longknife – Princess & Officer (Mike Shepherd) – a bitchy computer
  3. Honor Harrington – The Salamander (David Weber) – a telepathic treecat

Most Interesting Unread Females

  1. Katniss Everdeen- The Mockingjay (Suzanne Collins)
  2. Tatja Grim – Mensa-level Barbarian (Vernor Vinge)
  3. Teela Brown – Born Lucky (Larry Niven)

Best Series

  1. Honor Harrington – Honor Harrington – The Salamander (David Weber)
  2. Safehold – Nimue Alban – Mind of a Dead Starship Captain (David Weber)
  3. Familias Regnant – Heris Serrano – Civilian Warrior (Elizabeth Moon) and Esmay Suiza – Landsbride Officer (Elizabeth Moon)
  4. Hidden Empire - Nual – Angel Assassin (Jaine Fenn)
  5. Kris Longknife – Kris Longknife – Princess & Officer (Mike Shepherd)
  6. Aldenata/Posleen – Cally O’Neal – Secret Assassin (John Ringo)

My Top Protagonists

  1. Ofelia Fulfarres - Nest Guardian (Elizabeth Moon)
  2. Sarah – Skinned Quester (Anne McCaffrey)
  3. Molly Millions – The Original Razor Girl (William Gibson)
  4. Honor Harrington – The Salamander (David Weber)
  5. Nual – Angel Assassin (Jaine Fenn)
  6. Alicia DeVries – Cadre and Fury (David Weber)
  7. Kris Longknife – Princess & Officer (Mike Shepherd)
  8. Athena Hera Sinastra – Intrepid Rebel (Sarah A. Hoyt)
  9. Adele Mundy – Sharpshooting Librarian (David Drake)
  10. Cally O’Neal – Secret Assassin (John Ringo)

That was all for today folks. See index for a list of all 125 entries.

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Oct 082010
 

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.

Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22232425 |
index | authors | characters | timeline | unread | afterword

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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Oct 082010
 

I think we can learn something from how protagonists change over time. That’s why I have divided the ones in this series into decades. This is my analysis.

Themes in science fiction change over time and follows or sometimes precedes the society around us. Early female protagonists in science fiction are often written in reaction to the male dominance in the field. One should probably also note that the preconception is that SF is read by teenage boys with raging hormones thus the sexy female protagonist.  I don’t know the actual numbers but research show that more women read than men which might explain the success of the urban fantasy genre that has grown out of ‘chick lit’ romance. It might also explain the rising popularity of the steampunk genre even if I think there is more to it than that. Most literary things happens as a reaction to real worlds events or movements; equal rights struggles, wars, terrorism, jihad, global warming, internet, social media etc. I think in parts steampunk is a reaction to the clean, chromed, rectangular, functionalistic and technological society of today. Beauty, curves and brass are the new black.

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2010

The new decade is still young but Steampunk is on the rise.

2000

The noughties is the decade of the war against terrorism and social media. Romance moves into Urban fantasy which becomes a major genre.  Ecology becomes a theme in many novels. The feminist themes have almost disappeared.

1990

This is the decade of the Internet revolution. Cyber punk heroines and military leaders are big this decade. Cyber punk is easily explained and the military leaders is probably due to authors coming out of the US military with experiences from the fights in the Middle East.

1980

The eighties was a decade of economic progress and elitism. The decade of the Yuppies. Female protagonists become more complex and at the same time more spread inside the different sub genres of science fiction.

AIDS put a plug in the sexual revolution for most authors but not Heinlein.

Romantic science fiction enter the scene? (Cordelia)

Some of the heroes here is in my opinion just like men (Nicole, Ripley). Ripley is awesome but to most parts it is her doing things like any male hero would.

1970

The seventies is the decade of the Gasoline Crisis in my recollection. Feminist fight for equality might also have been a large part of the seventies. I remember that my mother started to work something my dad was not totally happy with at first. The protagonists here are leaders which is new.

1960

The sixties are the decade of the Hippies, the Vietnam war, sexual revolution and women’s liberation. Anne McCaffrey wrote Restoree, which is her debut novel, in anger that there was no female protagonists in science fiction. Is this the decade women stopped being the damsels in distress?

1950

The list have no female protagonists first published during the fifties? Is there none? Isn’t this the period of the pulp novels? They usually have females on the cover and a guy with a ray gun.

1940

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Oct 022010
 

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.

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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).

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… 

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.

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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.

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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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