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02 June 2009 @ 05:48 pm
Programming Inspiration  
Hi, everyone!

I’ve been pondering my programming submissions. The submissions deadline has been extended to June 7, in case you haven’t heard, so if you’re on the fence or if there’s a topic you’d like to discuss, please do put together a proposal! Everyone’s welcome to submit, whether you have a PhD in Literature or Women’s Studies, are a woman working in publishing, or like me, you only have degrees that are utterly useless in this field, but you’re a huge fan of women fantasy writers and women fantasy characters.

Anyway! I have been pondering my programming submissions, which are bouncing around in my head like pinballs, and I thought maybe we could all use a little inspiration and celebration.

So do tell me, please, who are your favorite female fantasy characters and why do you love them so much?

Here are some of mine:

Keladry, from Tammy Piece’s Protector of the Small quartet: Kel is the first openly female knight in over a hundred years, and she trains and achieves her knighthood despite ongoing bullying and undermining from others in her life. Also, her mom is a badass and her queen is a badass and every time I read her conversation with Alanna after Kel’s achieved her, ahem, distaff shield, I have a little cry.

Ellen, from Cinda Williams Chima’s Warrior Heir, et al: I can’t really tell you why Ellen is a badass without giving away huge plot points, but Ellen is a complete badass. If you’ve read the books, I bet you know what I mean!

The White Witch, from C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: Yeah, I know C. S. Lewis had serious women issues (“Battles are ugly when women fight,” indeed), but from his women issues sprung one of the most terrifying, powerful villains in fantasy literature.

Alice, from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: I don’t know that Carroll thought he was telling anything other than a cute adventure story, but Alice has always been one of my favorite heroines because she finds herself having an adventure, and uses her wits to stand on her own two feet and navigate Wonderland (all that eating and drinking of unknown substances aside!).

Meg, from Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time: Okay, okay, Wrinkle is more sci-fi than fantasy, but it was the first book I read as a child that had a “difficult” heroine and praised her for being “difficult.” Meg, I ♥ you!

And yours?

I'm shiny, Captain.: willow -by ladydewinterlessthanpie on June 4th, 2009 05:01 pm (UTC)
Clary Goodwin, from Terrier and Bloodhound. This isn't her story of finding herself or whatever; Clary already knows just who she is, and she's perfectly comfortable with herself, a tough cop and a happily married woman without having to choose one or the other. I love that she's the scary one compared to her much more physically imposing partner, and she keeps the crime off the streets mostly by knowing which battles are worth fighting and when it's better to look the other way. She's such a good role model, both in the story and for the reader.

Annabeth Chase, the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. It's not her story, but Annabeth often saves the day with her brains, and she chooses to fight with a knife instead of a sword even though it's harder because of [spoiler]. Plus, she wants to be an architect. How cool is that?

Morgaine. Okay, I hate hate hated The Mists of Avalon, but if it had just focused on Morgaine's story, I might have liked it. She was kind of badass, taking off on her own all the time, refusing to marry, and generally trying to save her world from the idiocy of the menfolk. I like Morgaine.

Willow Rosenberg. No way could Buffy have saved the world so many times without Willow's help. I loved how she grew into herself without ever changing her geeky awesome ways.

Granny Weatherwax and Susan Sto Helit, from Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. I can't say why Granny is so fantastic without giving away the plots of several books, but I think DEATH is a little bit afraid of her and so she wins. And Susan is the best nanny ever, because she knows there really are monsters under the bed but she just isn't going to take any crap from them.

Also, though already mentioned, Luna Lovegood and Katsa and 355. ♥
Negotiation Barbiepraetorianguard on June 4th, 2009 05:07 pm (UTC)
When are you going to cave to my constant whining and do a roundtable on sidekicks? When? ♥
I'm shiny, Captain.: letter from bad horse is hardcorelessthanpie on June 4th, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC)
I was just going to ask when I ever give into your whining, but since the answer is "almost always", I guess I won't bother except to say: um, now, maybe?
Negotiation Barbiepraetorianguard on June 4th, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC)
:P But all these awesome sidekick/supporting girls that you love: Clary, Hermione, Annabeth (though I'm totally a Thalia girl, surprise). And girls as sidekicks (especially girls as sidekicks to boys) deserves discussion.

Deserves, I tell you! *shakes fist at sky*

Speaking of Thalia, there's an awesome warrior girl. The shield of doom, the lightning bolts, the [spoiler]. She's awesome. Thank you, Rick Riorden.
I'm shiny, Captain.lessthanpie on June 4th, 2009 07:05 pm (UTC)
I think there's an interesting dynamic in both girls as sidekicks to boys and boys as sidekicks to girls (Xander!).

Thalia IS an awesome warrior. Riordan did a good job with the girls in what could have been just a story about a boy. Besides Annabeth and Thalia, there's Artemis and Athena and Rachel and Percy's mom (Her story is really interesting, though it's so much in the background.), and I kind of loved the meaning of "The Last Olympian". That was unexpected.
delightfully mediocre: matildanotasecretagent on June 4th, 2009 11:24 pm (UTC)
I can't believe I forgot Willow! Good choice. She's an amazing example of someone, like you say, growing into herself. So much better than forgetting who one's self is!

It's been way too long since I've read any Discworld, but Granny Weatherwax is an excellent choice. ♥
auror fanny pants: Alanna Lioness Rampent by innerslytherinmagic_at_mungos on June 7th, 2009 03:07 pm (UTC)
Clary is indeed made of win. I love her so much!