One constant that is almost always guaranteed to pull me into a book is a kick-a.. heroine. I love the portrayal of remarkable women in fiction. And to be a kick-a.. girl you don't have to be totally together all the time; in fact I find that the girls who figure things out as they go are much more interesting. Yeah, the messier the better! Remember tortured Temple in the Reapers are the Angels? (A book by Alden Bell that I gave a nod to in an earlier post). T-T rocks as a kick-a.. heroine! Because even as she can't give herself a break, she is still a force of good in the dystopian world that she inhabits.
So it probably won't surprise you to find that I have found a few new heroines to write about.
N.K. Jemisin's first novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, might never have been written if she had listened to the advice of others, and not entered into the seemingly male-dominated scifi/fantasy genre (according to a Kelly Link interview.) But now we have Yeine Darr, deemed barbarian and outcast by the court city of Sky. Yeine, daughter first, who is still grieving the loss of her mother, granddaughter second to a cold and calculating King who would make her his pawn.Yeine who quickly falls in with the childlike god Sieh, eventually ignites the passions of the brooding and dangerously mysterious nightlord Nahadoth, and then proves divisive to the rest of the gods. I nominate Yeine as an up-and-comer in the kick-a.. heroine category, and it appears that I am not alone in this nod because Ms. Jemisin received the 2011 Locus Award for Best First Novel! Hoorah! I am looking forward to reading great fictions by N.K. Jemisin.
Next on my reading list is Girls Kick Butt, a collection of short fiction from a variety of different female scifi/fantasy authors filled with kick-a.. characters. I like collections of this kind, centered around genre and theme: it is a really great way to get introduced to new writers, ones that you haven't read before, along with seeing what the oldies but goodies are up to these days.
Take Jenna Black's protagonist exorcist Morgan Kingsley, in Nine-Tenths of the Law, reluctant to take on a paying client who may want to terminate her own daughter using the excuse that a demon has taken possession of her, as a powerplay. How might Morgan be kick-a.. heroine? Well as I see it, she pushes past the lure of fast cash to try to get to the truth of the matter, holding the desire for the highest good for all in her heart even if that reality seems to be orchestrated by a demon possessed teenager. And then there's Red in Elizabeth A. Vaugh's short story. Red rocks it as a fighter, a rebel with a cause, she is duty-bound to freeing all slaves, even the ones that walk on four feet. But that's enough of a spoiler.
Go on, read the rest of this collection with me and let me know what you think. Duane, our scifi/fantasy guru, told me that Jeanna Black's protagonist has walked the pages of fiction already, but I didn't know that. I am coming in with a beginner's mind and report to you in that way.