Formidable Female Protagonists in Science Fiction Part 19

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 end.

I would like to thank you all for your suggestions; I love new books to read especially about formidable female protagonists. Here are this week’s

  1. Maria Isabella Boyd – Air Detective (Cherrie Priest)
  2. Podkayne ‘Poddy’ Fries – Modern Girl? (Robert Heinlein)
  3. Imelda – Scientific Detective (Ella Mack)
  4. Margaret “Meg” Murry O’Keefe – Time traveler (Madeleine L’Engle)
  5. Darwi ‘Dar’ Odrade – Sea Child (Frank Herbert)

Maria Isabella ‘Belle’ Boyd – Air Detective

Books: Clementine (2010)
Series: Clockwork Century 2 (or 1.5)
Author: Cherie Priest
Genre: Steampunk
Publisher: Subterrean Press

Maria or Bella Boyd used to be a Confederate Spy before she became a famous entertainer and abandoned by her former employer. As a last resort she takes employment at the Pinkerton detective agency and is immediately sent on a mission involving the airship Clementine we know from Boneshaker, a super weapon, conspiracy and heavily armed air pirates. Lovely book and an interesting character I would like to see more of. A review will be along shortly.


Podkayne ‘Poddy’ Fries – Modern Girl?

Books: Podkayne of Mars (1963)
Author: Robert A: Heinlein
Genre:  Classic Science Fiction
Publisher: Putnam, Goldmann, Berkley, NEL, Ace, Baen

Read Podkayne of Mars years ago to, I remember I enjoyed it but not much more, another one to the alarmingly high to-read pile.

Podkayne Fries, born and raised on Mars, has just one ambition: to earn her wings as a starship pilot and rise through the ranks to command deep-space explorations. The opportunity to travel aboard the Tricorn- on an interstellar journey to Venus and Earth in the company of her diplomat uncle-is a dream come true.

Poddy’s idea of diplomacy is keeping the peace with her troublesome brother, Clark, but she’s about to learn some things about war and peace. Because her uncle is the Ambassador from Mars to the Three Planets Conference, which makes him-and his niece and nephew-potential targets for any radicals looking to sabotage the negotiations between three worlds.


Imelda – Scientific Detective

Books: Scuzzworms
Author:  Ella Mack
Genre: Hard Science Fiction
Publisher: Third Millennium Publishing

New to me but you can read sfsite’s review here.

A science fiction detective novel for those who like science. And scientists.

“Maladaptation. This whole planet is a glorious example of maladaptation. No floods, no holocausts, just unchanging climate and benevolent conditions. The entire ecology down there is as fragile as a butterfly’s wings.” Becoming an exobiologist wasnt meant to be easy. Watching alien creatures squirming about in alien muck from the safe side of a video screen can become tedious after awhile, that is, unless youve got no place else to go. Then it becomes your lifes work, even if the scenery does get a bit, um, disgusting at times. Imelda isnt your average exobiologist, however, and Iago IV isnt your average planet. Iago IV has never heard of Darwin.


Margaret “Meg” Murry O’Keefe – Time traveler

Books: A Wrinkle in Time (1962), A Wind in the Door (1973), A Swiftly Tilting Planet (1978)
Omnibus: The Time Quartet (1-4, 2003)
Series: Meg Murry/Time Quartet part of the Kairos Series
Author: Madeleine L’Engle
Genre: YA Science FAntasy | Time Travel
Publisher: ‘Farrar, Straus and Giroux’, Dell, Puffin, Square Fish

This one is new to me but I wish I knew about it when my son was younger or even when I was young(er). She also appears in later books in the Kairos series that continues with her younger siblings and later with her children.

In book one Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg’s father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government. Then in book two with Meg Murry’s help, the dragons her six-year-old brother saw in the vegetable garden play an important part in his struggle between life and death. Then in book three the youngest of the Murry children must travel through time and space in a battle against an evil dictator who would destroy the entire universe.


Darwi ‘Dar’ Odrade – Sea Child

Books: Heretics of Dune (1984), Chapterhouse: Dune (1985)
Series: Dune
Author: Frank Herbert
Genre: Space Opera
Publisher: Gollancz, NEL, Putnam, Berkley, Ace

I read the books back in 1986 and don’t remember much but I put them on my to-read pile, my copies are pristine NEL prints.  This is mostly about the conflict between the Bene Gesserit and the Honored Matres.  Odrade is an elite Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother. The name “Odrade” is derived from the Atreides, whose bloodline she possesses thanks to the Bene Gesserit breeding program.



Thank you all for your suggestions, here is the list so far in case you want to suggest some more.

Miss anyone?

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