Formidable Female Protagonists in Science Fiction Part 23

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 are this week’s.

  1. Nual – Angel Assassin (Jaine Fenn)
  2. Cassandra Kresnov – Disillusioned Super-Soldier (Joel Shepherd)
  3. Lilith Lyapo – Brood Mother (Octavia Butler)
  4. Tatja Grim – Mensa-level Barbarian (Vernor Vinge)
  5. Jani Kilian – Alien Hybrid (Kristine Smith)

Nual – Angel Assassin

Books: Principles of Angels (2008), Guardians of Paradise (2010)
Series: Hidden Empire/Sidhe
Author: Jaine Fenn
Genre: Space Opera
Publisher: Gollancz

Nual is the object of an assassination attempt in Principles of Angels and she joins the crusade against her own people the Sidhe in Guardians of Paradise. The hidden Empire Series is one of my favorite series by an amazing author. Please read my review of Guardians of Paradise first. The notes on Principles of Angels is more just that, notes.


Cassandra Kresnov – Disillusioned Super-Soldier

Books: Crossover (2001), Breakaway (2003), Killswitch (2004)
Series: Cassandra Kresnov
Author: Joel Shepherd
Genre: Military Science Fiction
Publishers: HarperCollins, Pyr

This is one I want to try. By the look of the covers it doesn’t look like she will succeed at becoming a civilian.

It follow the adventures of Cassandra Kresnov, an artificially created super-soldier who becomes disillusioned with the policies and actions of her country, the League. She defects to the city of Tanusha, on the planet of Callay in the Federation, the League’s rival nation, and attempts to live as a civilian software expert.


Books: Dawn (1987), Adulthood Rites (1988), Imago (1989)
Omnibus: Xenogenesis (1989) [O/1-3], Lilith’s Brood (2000) [O/1,2,3]
Series: Xenogenesis/Lilith’s Brood
Author: Octavia E. Butler
Genre: First Contact | Feminist Science Fiction
Publisher: Warner Books, Guild America, Gollancz,

Lilith and Octavia are both new to me. Only the first book seems to have Lilith as protagonist

Lilith’s Brood introduces the alien species, known as Oankali, who come in three sexes – male, female and ooloi, a sex that mixes and manipulates the genetic material produced by the other two. The series also draws upon elements of the myth of Lilith, the first wife of Adam.

Lilith’s Brood (formerly the Xenogenesis trilogy) refers to a collection of three novels. The central characters are Lilith and her genetically altered children. Lilith, along with the few other surviving humans, are saved by extraterrestrials, the Oankali, after a “handful of people [a military group] tried to commit humanicide,” leading to a missile war that destroyed much of Earth. The Oankali have a third gender, the ooloi, who have the ability to manipulate genetics, plus the ability of sexually seductive neural-stimulating and consciousness-sharing powers. All of these abilities allow them to unify the other two genders in their species, as well as unifying their species with others that they encounter. The Oankali are biological traders, driven to share genes with other intelligent species, changing both parties.


Tatja Grim – Mensa Barbarian

Book: Grimm’s World (1969)
Author: Vernor Vinge
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Berkley Medallion, Hamlyn, Baen, Pan, Tor

A mensa-level “barbarian” who goes from rags-to-riches on a planet recently discovered by Earth.

Tatja Grimm grew up among stone-age primitives, but she always knew that she was destined for something greater. When she starts working on the fabulous barge that circles her world publishing magazines, she begins to discover how very much she never knew. Exposed to new technology, to reading, to people who have experienced the wider world, she finds wonder in all of it. Rising through the ranks she proves far more special than anyone could have known. Before she is done, the world will know that her intelligence is matched only by her insatiable appetite for more, which makes conquering her world less an end than a beginning . . . .Unavailable for more than fifteen years, this exciting science fiction adventure is filled with colorful action and the unique ideas that have made Vinge one of the acknowledged masters of the field, and will delight his many fans.


Jani Kilian – Alien Hybrid

Books: Code of Conduct (1999), Rules of Conflict (2000), Law of Survival (2001), Contact Imminent (2003), Endgame (2007)
Omnibus: Rules of Survival: The Chronicles of Jani Kilian (2007) [O/1-3], Endgame: The Chronicles of Jani Kilian (2007) [O/4-5]
Series: Jani Kilian
Author: Kristine Smith
Genre: Military Science Fiction
Publisher: Eos, Science Fiction Book Club

This also sound exactly like  something I would like to read. In fact I am getting a bit excited about it even.

Code of Conduct

Smith’s tightly plotted SF thriller debut is an aceAsure to appeal to readers who appreciate well-drawn characters and sophisticated milieus. An ex-soldier and Commonwealth diplomatic liaison, Jani Kilian has spent the last 18 years working as a paper-pusher under assumed names, trying to stay ahead of her past. As a trusted member of a human diplomatic team once sent to establish relations with the alien idomeni, Jani and her team were caught in the middle when her commanding officer took sides in an idomeni civil war. Presumed dead during the conflict, Jani was captured and patched up with experimental idomeni augmentation in a secret and highly illegal idomeni/human research project. She’s been on the run ever since she escapedAuntil her old lover, Evan van Reuter, now Commonwealth Interior Minister, tracks her down to ask for her help investigating his wife’s mysterious death. Now, without giving away her own identity, Jani must take on a dangerous task of finding the answers to questions someone wants to keep secret. Complicating matters, the information she uncovers stirs up memories of her own traumatic past. Smith balances a taut mystery with vivid characters and a complex, ever-evolving plot a feat more experienced authors don’t always achieve.

Rules of Conflict

For eighteen years, Captain Jani Kilian has been hiding from her bloody past. Now she faces trial for what she once did, what she knows now, and what she has become.

Eighteen years ago, she was saved by a radical-and illegal-medical procedure that added alien genetic material to her own. But her hybrid body is breaking down. And so is everything else.

Relations between the human and alien idomeni races are deteriorating as rapidly as Jani Kilian’s augmentation. And Jani’s reemergence has caused old wounds to reopen and new wounds to form. Perhaps it’s time for a damaged soldier to stop fighting; to let the desperate architects of a vast and devouring conspiracy keep the truth well hidden; to let the universe and everyone in it go straight to Hell.

Perhaps not…

Law of Survival

A human-idomeni hybrid with a very bad reputation, former Captain Jani Kilian is out of hiding and officially a civilian. But peace is not an option. Suddenly an important player in the Commonwealth’s delicate dealings with the alien idomeni, Jani has inadvertently incurred the wrath of top powers in politics, finance, diplomacy, and crime. Her war is not yet over, just moving to a higher plane. There’s no truth to the timeworn adage that old soldiers never die; they do . . . and sometimes badly. Jani Kilian’s come back to a new world that’s not brave but definitely in peril. And “kill or be killed” is her only real choice . . . because now only one law remains.

Contact Imminent

Former captain Jani Kilian is a genetically altered human-idomeni hybrid who acts as a bridge of communication between two fiercely incompatible races. With intergalactic civil war looming large — with renegades in the Service secretly plotting extermination — Jani Kilian is being pulled once more into perilous space. Because a horrific act of terror is about to ignite a long-feared conflict between human and alien . . . and the key to the survival or destruction of human civilization is waiting for her somewhere on the edge of the universe.


Ever since contact was first made between humans and the alien idomeni, tensions between the two races have been frequent and bloody. As the first genetically altered human-idomeni hybrid, former Captain Jani Kilian serves as a lightning rod for the anger, outrage, and hatreds of both sides. And now the ex-soldier finds herself in the unwanted role of diplomat—serving the interests of her hybrid enclave, Thalassa, the only place in the universe that welcomes renegade humans, hybrids, and aliens alike.

But the all-powerful Commonwealth intends to bring Thalassa to its knees, and the time for diplomacy is at an end. With death surrounding her, Jani Kilian must return to where her nightmare began and once again take on her most powerful persona: warrior. For as the game approaches its inevitable conclusion, she knows only two options remain: victory . . . or extermination.


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