Friday, September 19, 2014

In Which I Gush Even More About Talented Sci-Fi Romance Heroines

With SOLIA'S MOON (Outer Settlement Agency #1) by Lyn Brittan and CONSPIRACY (THE IRON ADMIRAL #1) by Greta van der Rol now notched on my sci-fi romance belt, I can reflect yet again on how wonderful it is to read about smart, capable heroines. These ladies are the best!

I really enjoy reading about capable heroines in action. I won't reveal any spoilers except to say that in SOLIA'S MOON and CONSPIRACY, the hero and other characters are extremely dependent on the heroine's skills sets. It's always fun to see what kinds of abilities heroines have and more importantly--most importantly--that these skill sets are viewed as normal and expected by other characters within the text. Many thanks to authors of SFR who make their heroines so talented!

Whether a heroine's skills are based on real life ones or completely made up, it's fascinating to watch them in action. In SOLIA'S MOON, heroine Solia Calian is a "Lunar Physician," so medicine is her primary skill. But she knows other stuff, too, which rounds out her character. I make a point of that because it sometimes seems female characters are solely defined by one particular skill (or by one particular body part), whereas male characters usually come equipped with a whole set.

CONSPIRACY heroine Allysha Marten is a "Systems Engineer"--like, how awesomesauce is that? The text didn't delve into highly technical terms about her way with computers, but I had fun imagining the complicated procedures she employed. Brainy women like Allysha and Solia are part of what makes SFR special. As a reader, I get to revel in how cool they are as well as the important contributions they make to their respective missions.
Also of note: the skilled heroes don't outshine the heroines. To me, that's code for the dual nature of the story's heroic journey. That particular fantasy strongly engages me.

I discovered two articles that tied in to the idea of smart, capable heroines and want to share them:

At Spacefreighters Lounge, Pauline Baird Jones weighs in on the concept of "Top Gun" SFR.

The Most Feminist Moments in Sci-fi History (via The Cut) takes readers on a tour of groundbreaking and/or influential characters, women authors, and women in fandom (make sure to check out the section that mentions Sime~Gen author and fandom guru Jacqueline Lichtenberg!).

Where female characters with talent and agency are concerned, stories like SOLIA'S MOON and CONSPIRACY make me hopeful about the direction in which SFR is heading. Such characters are incredibly important and valid so I'm grateful my favorite genre delivers them on a regular basis.

Joyfully yours,