— written by guys. I got interested and looked through my library this morning, and here’s the top five list I came up with:
BJ in THE MAGIC AND THE HEALING by Nick O’Donohoe. Which is the first book of a trilogy by the way. I learned about the difference between writing a smart character and writing a character that everyone says is smart from this book. BJ is extremely perceptive and puts things together that I as the reader didn’t even notice, and that’s so different from the sort of book where everyone swoons over how smart and determined and spirited she is, when there’s no actual evidence of that at all from the story.
Candice Smith-Foster from EMERGENCE by David Palmer. This is a brilliant post-apocalyptic epistolary novel features a young girl and her faithful hyacinth macaw; it’s a shame Palmer only wrote a couple of books.
Nile Etland from THE DEMON BREED by James Schmitz. This is a very clever, very short novel published in 1968. Talk about showing a character be clever. I bet you didn’t know that Lois McMaster Bujold named her character Ekaterin Nile Vorkosigan after Schnitz’s character, but that’s what I’ve heard! I can believe it because Nile is pretty fabulous.
Cirocco Jones in the TITAN / WIZARD / DEMON trilogy by John Varley. There’s a complicated, flawed, realistic, kick-ass female protagonist from before the era when everyone started talking about the need for “strong female protagonists.” (TITAN was published in 1979.) This is a glorious, complicated SF epic — with centaurs and angels and stuff thrown in. I’ve read it at least half a dozen times. In fact, now that I’ve pulled TITAN off my shelves, I sort of want to re-read the whole trilogy again.
Tiffany Aching in that set of novels by Terry Pratchett — THE WEE FREE MEN, A HAT MADE OF SKY, WINTERSMITH, and I SHALL WEAR MIDNIGHT. I’ve listened to all but the last one, and they are fabulous, of course, as you’d expect.
Who would you pick for a list of female protagonists written by male authors?