My Favorite Nasty Women of Sci-Fi

The Women’s March yesterday saw hundreds of thousands of people turn out to show solidarity in the face of The Toupee’d Cheeto’s election. It was mind-blowing, and something that made me grin ear to ear. I couldn’t do the March, but what I could do is point out that there are fantastic women everywhere, and science fiction is definitely no exception.  From books for beginning chapter readers to kick-butt older ladies, there are nasty women (or women in training) all throughout the genre. These are my personal favorite females of sci-fi (so you’re not going to see some names you were probably expecting to see.)

My Favorite Nasty Women of Sci-Fi

1&2. Kaylee and Zoe from Firefly – Betcha thought I was going to go with River, didn’t you? No. While River and Inara are all fantastic characters, Kaylee earns her place on this list because she’s a mechanic who can fix almost anything and still loves her floofy dresses. While River fits into the crazy woman role completely, and Inara is the resident femme-fatale, Kaylee is Kaylee. She’s unfiltered, sometimes inappropriate, not afraid to express herself, intelligent (if a bit gullible) and basically perfect. She’s brave, honest, and gorgeous. Zoe is fierce, confident, dependable, and someone you want on your side in a fight. And she still has a man that she loves, and one that she respects.Book cover for Franny K Stein for Nasty Women post

3. Franny K. Stein from the samed named series – Franny K. Stein is fine with her mad-scientist self. She doesn’t understand normal, doesn’t want to be normal, and loves what she does. Even when her parents try to make her conform, she just shrugs it off and goes back to doing what she wants to do. She’s brilliant, slightly crazy, and absolutely fierce. You know this little girl is going to grow up to be part of the Nasty Women.

4&5. Donna Noble and River Song from Dr. Who – I’ll be honest, I don’t particularly like Donna. Her voice gets on my nerves, and she was no Rose. However, when just considering her objectively? Donna was a great character. She was whiny, scared, and not exactly the brightest bulb and she saved the world! Let me put it another way: She was a perfectly average girl with a loud mouth, and she saved the flipping world.  And River Song? Always feminine, always fierce. She’s the type of lady you don’t ever want to piss off. These are the kind of Nasty Women you want on your side.

6. Georgia Mason from Mira Grant’s (pen name for Seanan McGuire) Feed series. Georgia takes no crap, deals no crap, and demands the same of people around her. Even when she’s sitting on the opportunity of a lifetime, she’s one of those nasty women who will always do the right thing. Even if it means she gives her life in the process.Movie Cover for Stargate SG-1 - Nasty Women Post

7. Max from The Chronicles of St. Marys – A self-described ‘small ginger sack’, Madeline Maxwell definitely has her daft moments, but she’s brilliant, has a huge heart, and a quick tongue. She’s basically fearless (albeit she does have a hefty dose of common sense) and she’s a gorgeous

8. Sam Carter from Stargate SG:1 – Sam is pretty much perfect in my mind. She’s got a ridiculous IQ, an explorer’s heart, and she’s the only girl on a team that’s exploring the universe and fighting against an enemy that could wipe out the earth. But she’s neither rude nor crude. She’ll lay your butt out flat if she needs to, but she’s got no urge to prove she’s got balls.Movie poster for Resident Evil The Final Chapter - Nasty Women Post

9. Lina from the City of Ember – Lina and her friend Doon find themselves in over their heads quick in this dystopian sci-fi novel for middle graders. She has no special powers, no uncanny skills. All she can do is try her best, seek help where possible, and do the right thing. She’s no Hermione Granger, but she’s still an awesome little girl.

10. Alice from Resident Evil – Yes, I know it’s another zombie series on a sci-fi list, but it counts! After all, Alice gained her abilities via a genetically-engineered virus bonding with her own cells.  She was already a (fully human) woman on a mission before she ended up in the Hive, and later being injected with the T-virus. It was a game changer for Alice and everyone around her. Though I can’t say I’m a huge fan of later movies, I still love watching the first one and watching her kick butt in it. Alice could have gone crazy. She could have lost her humanity and turned into a monster that was gorgeous on the outside. She didn’t and that counts for so much.

 

Fellow Fan Favorites:

S.A. Barton (sabarton.com): Ripley from Alien, Juliette from the Wool series, or Emika from The Wind Up Girl.

D.L. Richardson (dlrichardson.com): Captain Janeway is pretty awesome.

Michael Hicks (michaelpatrickhicks.com) : Ripley! Aeryn Sun from Farscape is up there. Also, Sarah Conner!

GracieKat13: Tex from Red Versus Blue!

12 thoughts on “My Favorite Nasty Women of Sci-Fi

  1. Donna Noble!! Almost as good as Donna Waffles :p But I love seeing a witty redhead on the list! Okay, I’ll admit it, she’s my favorite companion…
    Sam Carter, that brings back memories!!

  2. I also forgot Dr. Grey, Carolina and Vanessa Kimball from Red vs. Blue.

    I was going to mention the awesome ass-kickers of RWBY but I wasn’t sure if they would be Sci-Fi or Fantasy. Either way, they’re awesome!

  3. Three more females not to cross:

    1.Djan Seriy Anaplian from Iain M. Banks’s “Matter.” Unwanted daughter of a petty king, Anaplian becomes a spy working for an organization that changes the future of entire planets. An uncomfortably cynical idealist.

    2.Jody from Christopher Moore’s “Bloodsucking Fiends” and its two sequels. She’s young, she’s crude, and she just got turned into a vampire. But the scene where she walks down a nighttime street and realizes that she feels no fear for the first time doing something like that is precious.

    3. Lisa Ross from Paul Cornell’s “London Falling” and its (eventually two) sequels. Initially the least of her police team, a desk officer, Ross knows there’s a bitter price to be paid if you deal in magic . . . and she’s willing to pay it.

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