Formidable Female Protagonists in Science Fiction Part 21

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.

Last week was a cool One Hundred, but I am still taking suggestions, there is a list of the ones taken at the Index page. I added two new ones all by myself from new books I read this week.

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. Angelina and Morgaine are old friends and Karen and Elke newer ones. Hazel is the new to me one this time which I hope to rectify soon.

1. Elke – Fireinthehole (Michael Z. Williamson)
2. Lt. Karen Juniper – Professional Soldier (Eric Johnson)
3. Hazel D’Ark – Rebel Pirate (Simon R. Green)
4. Angelina diGriz – Lovely Ex-Psycho (Harry Harrison)
5. Morgaine – Destroyer of Gates (C. J. Cherryh)

Elke – Fireinthehole

Books: Better to Beg Forgiveness… (2007), Do Unto Others (2010)
Series: Freehold bodyguards (my designation)
Universe: Freehold
Author: Michael Z. Williamson
Genre: Military Science Fiction
Publisher: Baen

I just finished Do Unto Others and it was another entertaining Freehold novel. Elke is a colorful mercenary bodyguard with a love for explosions. My review is forthcoming. You can read my notes on the first book Better to beg Forgivness …. Below is a description of the last book.

The Prescot family were miners. At one time, they were contracted to develop technology for a mineral rich but uninhabitable system. Gradually, all the investors shied away. Then the Prescots broke through with the technology needed to exploit entire planets, and incidentally develop domed playgrounds for the perversely rich, including indoor ski slopes and cable cars over megavolcanos, casinos and rides. This created the economic problem of being the richest people in the universe, having more money than most governments and effectively unlimited resources. Money is a small blessing when enemies are quite willing to spend billions for the chance at trillions. Bryan Prescot and his daughter might as well have targets painted on their backs for the thugs, kidnappers, and assassins their competitors would throw at them. Bodyguards were necessary – highly trained bodyguards who could be bought once and be utterly loyal no matter the circumstances. Caron Prescot has only six bodyguards against an army, but she has two aces in the hole: The miners are on her side, and Elke, Ripple Creek’s psychotic demolition expert, has a nuke. The problem with Elke having a nuke is that Elke WILL use it!


Lt. Karen Juniper – Professional Soldier

Book: A New Hope (2010)
Series: 2/4 Cavalry book 1
Universe: Hammer Slammer (David Drake)
Author: Eric Johnson
Genre: Military Science Fiction
Publisher: Amazon kindle

I got this one from Eric himself and read it in one go the other day. A review is forthcoming.

Based off of David Drake’s Hammer’s Slammers Universe, this chronicles the unit while on contract on New Hope, a Brazilian colony. Lt. Karen Juniper leads A 2/4 Cav through an insurgency campaign through short stories. Some mature content, 18+ only. Note it is slow at the beginning but gets better towards the end. It’s a different take on warfare based on real and some other experiences.


Hazel D’Ark – Rebel Pirate

Books: Deathstalker (1995), Deathstalker Rebellion (1996), Deathstalker War (1997), Deathstalker Honor (1998), Deathstalker Destiny (1999)
Series: Deathstalker
Universe: Mistworld
Author: Simon R. Green
Genre: Space Opera
Publisher: Roc, Gollancz, Vista

This is a female new to me and so is Simon. Hazel and Ruby Journey has been recommended to me and I think I have to check out this series. It got an evil decadent Empire lead by the ‘Iron Bitch’, clones and psionics. What more can a reader ask for?

A once pirate and clonelegger, Hazel met Owen in Virimonde when her escape pod crash-landed. She saved his life, and the two quickly became inseparable. She has a quick temper and even quicker wit, and always holds a special place in her heart for Owen. She has many shady contacts on Mistworld, which come in handy during the early phases of the rebellion. She was forced into the rebellion, but proved vital in the overthrow of Lionstone. The recipient of the strangest abilities of any of the Madness Maze enhances, the ability to summon people from other timelines, Hazel is occasionally accompanied by alternate versions of herself.


Angelina diGriz – Lovely ‘Ex’-Psycho

Books: The Stainless Steel Rat for President (1982)
Series: The Stainless Steel Rat
Author:  Harry Harrison
Genre: Humorous Science Fiction
Publisher: Nelson Doubleday, Bantam, Sphere, Severn House

I love Harry Harrison and the Stainless Steel rat series. Angelina is the Alpha and Omega of the series. She is a criminal mastermind much like the Rat, only less ethical and more willing to kill. As the Rat’s first case for the Special Corps, he tracks Angelina down and ends up falling in love with her. After her capture, she undergoes psycho surgery (not to be mistaken for “psychic surgery”) to remove her homicidal tendencies and joins the Corps; during that time she begins a relationship with the Rat that ends with them marrying in the last trimester of her pregnancy. She later assists on many of the Rat’s adventures. While she is no longer a heartless killer, her suppressed tendencies occasionally come out, especially when she sees another woman in close proximity to her husband.

The Stainless Steel Rat and Angelina enjoy a belated honeymoon on a planet run by a dictator who rigs elections to get into office, so they set the Rat up as a candidate instead. Very much a satire on banana republic politics and a parody of adventures set in Latin America.


Morgaine- Destroyer of Gates

Books: Gate of Ivrel (1976), Well of Shiuan (1978), Fires of Azeroth (1979), Exile’s Gate (1988)
Omnibus: The Morgaine Saga (1-3, 2000)
Series:  Morgaine
Universe: Union Alliance
Author: C. J. Cherryh
Genre: Science Fantasy
Publisher: Daw, Orbit, Mandarin

I bought Exile’s Gate ages ago. I remember I liked it but I have been waiting on a continuation ever since. And now I studied the three previous books, I think it’s time for one of the Omnibus versions.

Morgaine is on a century long quest to destroy a network of gates threatening the causality of the universe. From the beginning they were a task force of one hundred sent out by the Union Science Bureau. There was attrition as time passed and treachery before the novels start leaving her the sole survivor. She has a kick-ass sword named Changeling that she uses to destroy the gates and there is a cool ancient race destroyed by the gates.

Trivia: Gate of Irvel is C. H. Cherryh’s first published novel. The third book takes place on Azeroth a name that makes me think of World of Warcraft. Is there any real connection? I had no idea C. S. Lewis also used the name for a deity in The Horse and His Boy (1954).

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