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04/05/2004 Entry: "Favorite SF Military Heroine? - Poll"

Barrayar

After having Kristine Smith's Jani Kilian books recommended for a few years, I thought I'd skim through one--the third one is what I had on hand. I wasn't sucked in by the story, but that Lucien, whoa--he was riveting. He reminded me somewhat of Michael from the La Femme Nikita TV series, in that he's hot, coldly deadly (Lucien is an amoral sociopath, if I skimmed correctly), perhaps playing lots of different sides in order to secretly protect the heroine, and whose motives are unknowable and suspect--but whom you want to believe is motivated by mad love for the kick-ass heroine; he's capable of killing for her and dying for her. Plus he's charming and a younger man to boot. If this affair between Jani and Lucien was more prominent in the series, I'd be reading them all right now instead of creating this poll. :-)

Anyway, enough drooling. Skimming through LAW OF SURVIVAL, my mind turned to warrior heroines, which led to this poll question. If you'd like, please use the comments field to explain why you like one over another or to suggest other heroines.

Who is your favorite far-future military/-istic heroine from among this list? Creator name is in parentheses.
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Soz Valdoria (Catherine Asaro) 188 26%
Cordelia Naismith (Lois McMaster Bujold) 199 28%
Miri Robertson (Sharon Lee & Steve Miller) 177 25%
Paksenarrion (Elizabeth Moon) 8 1%
Catherine Li (Chris Moriarty) 6 1%
Jani Kilian (Kristine Smith) 44 6%
Honor Harrington (David Weber) 79 11%
Heris Serrano (Elizabeth Moon) 15 2%
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Total votes: 716
Start date: 04/05/04
End date: 04/15/04

Replies: 22 Comments

Ok, By what logic is Paksennarion a far-future heroine? She's a godblessed paladin for Girds sake!With sword and shield and and a horsie and everything. Only sword that may qualify you for far-future heroine is Changeling, and Morgaine ain't on the list.

Posted by Nordhus @ 04/06/2004 12:43 PM ET


Oops. I've never read Elizabeth Moon's books. (Can you tell?) I'll remove Paksennarion! If you guys have suggestions for other heroines, I'll save them up for a future poll.

Posted by Preeti @ 04/06/2004 01:17 PM ET


Oi! Don't just remove Elizabeth Moon out of hand...She has other heroines, you know...Heris Serrano! Now that's a bad chick!

Posted by Anne @ 04/06/2004 02:38 PM ET


Thanks for the tip; I've added Heris Serrano. She's going to have a tough time catching up to the others, though. (Where are all these votes coming from??)

Posted by Preeti @ 04/06/2004 02:54 PM ET


Hello--a reader alerted me to the poll. Nice to see that Jani (or was it Lucien?) inspired something--sorry that LAW wasn't a fave.

Glad you liked Lucien, though. He does seem to have built a following.

Take care--

Kristine Smith

Posted by Kris @ 04/06/2004 03:02 PM ET


For what it's worth, LAW OF SURVIVAL grabbed me enough that I bought CONTACT IMMINENT at the bookstore yesterday. (Okay, so it was mainly to find out what happens next with Lucien. But Jani's cool, too!)

Posted by Preeti @ 04/06/2004 03:15 PM ET


May I humbly suggest you consider Jade Darcy in any future polls? She's only appeared in 2 books so far (JADE DARCY AND THE AFFAIR OF HONOR and JADE DARCY AND THE ZEN PIRATES) by Mary Mason and me--and those were originally published more than a decade ago (though they're now back in print-on-demand). More books will be forthcoming. From the fan mail I receive, she has a pretty devoted following.

Posted by Stephen Goldin @ 04/06/2004 06:39 PM ET


Where are the votes coming from? Well, Steve Miller posted the link to the poll in at least one place on Usenet, and I passed it on over to a couple of places on sff.net, so lots of people were directed to the site.

Posted by Katy @ 04/06/2004 11:24 PM ET


First, Sharon lists this site as a friend on Eagles Over The Kennebec (Live Journal). In effect you posted the poll there. I mentioned it in a discussion on rec.art.sf.composition. Elizabeth Moon is talking about it in her group on sff.net as is Christine Smith. A high interest relaxapoll at a time when people are really tired of bad news. ...

Posted by Steve @ 04/07/2004 09:22 AM ET


Thanks for the notice on the Jade Darcy books, Stephen. I'll have to pull out my years-old copies of the books and actually *read* them instead of only enjoying the cover art and the cool titles.

Posted by Preeti @ 04/07/2004 12:05 PM ET


A-ha! Thanks, Katy and Steve. Considering our polls normally get 60 votes in the course of a week, I was taken aback by the response.

Also, I just remembered Tanya Huff's Torin Kerr. I'll save her up for another time as well.

Posted by Preeti @ 04/07/2004 12:15 PM ET


Cordelia Naismith is perhaps my best-beloved heroine; she never loses sight of the honorable course of action. And of course her son Miles is out of this world!
How about the intrepid Sergeant Torin Kerr in Tanya Huff's Valor's Choice, and The Better Part of Valor?

Posted by Molly @ 04/07/2004 10:43 PM ET


If another Moon Hero should replace Paksenarrion I would take Sassinak over Heris Serrano any day. (Sassinak and Generation Warriors co-written by Moon and McCaffrey.)

And for brilliant, conflicted and cold blooded killer I would nominate Caroline Sula (or more correctly Caroline, Lady Sula) from Walter Jon Williams latest books The Praxis and The Sundering.

(And perhaps we could have favorite Fantasy Military Heroine in a future poll?)

Posted by Ole @ 04/08/2004 03:22 PM ET


But who would be the entrants in such a poll? Fantasy military heroines must not be my thing because I'm drawing a blank.

Posted by Preeti @ 04/09/2004 03:22 PM ET


Much as I dearly love Miri in the Liaden series... and though I am a devoted reader of anything Sharon and Steve put out... I had to go with Honor Harrington. She is... the awe-inspiring captain... People work for her. They die for her. She's not selfish, or concieted... doesn't ever get an inflated head... keeps her cool when she needs to, and displays a chilling source of anger when she needs to. Some one you never want to mess with... but you'd also never have a problem inviting over to dinner.

And, I admit, I'm a sucker for Treecats. "Hey, I thought he didn't like celery... so why does he always have a stalk of the stuff on him?" "For Stinker, of course."

Honor never backs down from her duty. Duty to her country, friends, and herself. She'll do whatever it takes. But she won't do anything horrible to some one unless there is -no- other way to do it.

I don't know... I can go on and on about her... I guess Honor is just... everything I wish I could be.

Posted by Pod 77 @ 04/10/2004 03:39 AM ET


What about Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil from S.L. Viehl's Stardoc series? (Okay, she's technically not military, but she does kick butt when needed--then patches up her enemies.)

Posted by Melanie @ 04/10/2004 01:37 PM ET


How 'bout Esmay Suizma? (Moon)

Posted by chrisw @ 04/10/2004 05:34 PM ET


I'm surprised that none of CJ Cherryh's soldiers and warriors are on this list
Bet Yeager from Rimrunners is great example of what a veteran nco would be;
and while Honor is valiant i'd give the edge to Cpt. Signy Mallory of the Norway who is much more devious then Lucien;
and then there's Morgaine for the fantasy list.
probably have to leave chanur of the list since they're just merchants

Posted by thom @ 04/12/2004 04:40 AM ET


Cherryh: Morgaine is ostensibly far-future as well (very far, by now!) Militaristic might be debatable -- warrior, but not "in a chain of command", apart from her Gate-closing compulsion. There's also Pyanfar for a non-human candidate, although again militaristic is debatable -- she's a trader.

Posted by Damien @ 04/12/2004 07:23 PM ET


fantasy military heroines...
you're right, it's a lot easier to list thief/adventurer types, isn't it?
briggs, _Dragon Blood_, Tisala
moon, Paksennarion (of course!)
If MZB's Darkover counts as a fantasy world, check there (although there is a planetary landfall early, and starships later, the Ages of Chaos are very fantasy-feel...and the Renunciates are often military)
Baen had a whole 'chicks in chainmail' mostly comedy short story summer reading series, with stuff by Moon, Turtledove, etc.

I am soooo tempted to nominate Gillian Bradshaw's latest, _Render Unto Caesar_, which has an ex-gladiatrix turned bodyguard (and a romance!) but it doesn't have enough supernatural elements to count as fantasy. sigh.
hambly, _Ladies of Mandrigyn_, starhawk.
I'm sure I'm missing something from Cherryh, Brust, maybe Huff too.

Posted by megd @ 04/13/2004 09:16 AM ET


What a tough call! I guess being from s military family I'd vote for Honor,liking her personality *and* her honor, and I too like treecats. But Herais Serrano & Cordelia Naismith both have lots of class also, and on another day I might vote for them.

Posted by PaperFrog @ 04/13/2004 04:00 PM ET


Wow. It's pretty much a three-way tie between Cordelia, Soz, and Miri, who all deservedly have a ton of dedicated fans. But I think you'll agree that every heroine included in the poll is cool; each was included because she's given one or more of us hours of reading pleasure.

Thank you all for voting and your comments and suggestions. If you have any additional feedback on this or future polls--positive or negative--you can post here for a few more days, before this entry moves into the archives, or email me.

Posted by Preeti @ 04/16/2004 12:38 AM ET



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