Tag Archives: Scifi Month

My Favourite Scifi Heroines

This month I’m participating in the Scifi Month challenge that was created by the bloggers at One More. Click on the link in that last sentence for more information or to sign up yourself.

There is still time to pick a few of their prompts and join in if you’re interested.

Today’s prompt was pretty self explanatory: kickass heroines. Here are a few of my many favourite heroines from various science fiction universes.  It was tricky to keep this post to a manageable length. I could have easily written a full post about every single character on this list.

Not everything on this list has been turned into a TV show or film yet. (Here’s looking at you, Feed and Wild Seed.) Whenever possible, I provided a photo of the character in question, but there are a few book covers as well.

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in the film poster for The Hunger Games. She is shooting an arrow straight ahead of her at whoever is looking at the poster.  

Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. 

Why She’s Admirable: She volunteered to take her sister’s place in The Hunger Games despite knowing that only one of the twenty four contestants will survive each year. There were many other things she did in this series that make me look up to her, but her willingness to die in her sibling’s place in the beginning of book one endeared her to me forever.

Book cover for Feed by Mira Grant. Image on it is of an Internet signal painted in blood (or red paint) on a concrete wall.

Georgia Mason from Feed by Mira Grant 

Why She’s Admirable: Going out to wander around in a world filled with zombies is the last thing I’d do in a zombiepocalypse. The fact that this character did that so regularly impressed me. Her work as a blogger only made me look up to her more.

Zoe Saldana as Nyota Uhugra from Star Trek: Into Darkness

Nyota Uhura from Star Trek and Star Trek: Into Darkness

Why She’s Admirable: While I can find something to like about nearly any character from the rebooted Star Trek universe, Uhura is the cream of the crop. She was a highly intelligent linguist. More importantly, she had common sense. This is something that every spaceship crew member needs a copious amount of in order to have any hope of survival.

Gina Torres as Zoe Washburne from Firefly. She's standing by a chair in this photo.

Zoe Washburne from Firefly 

Why She’s Admirable: Nothing stands between her and her goals in life. From fighting for freedom in a war that couldn’t be won to falling in love to making a new life for herself over and over again, Zoe knows how to get back up and try again.

Dana Scully from The X-Files 

Why She’s Admirable: She never stopped searching for scientific explanations for the bizarre things that she and her partner discovered during their many investigations. There’s something to be said for being that tenacious!

Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler book cover. Image on cover is of woman holding a glowing root.

Anyanwu from Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler

Why She’s Admirable: What’s not to admire about a demigod who used her powers to make the lives of ordinary people better? Not only that, but she did so quietly and behind the scenes without expecting any sort of reward for it. This was a very different approach to having powers than certain other characters in this universe had, and it made me appreciate how careful she was about using her abilities.

Plot Twists I Didn’t See Coming

Scifi Month banner. Shows #ScifiMonth hashtag and two planets in background.This month I’m participating in the Scifi Month challenge that was created by the bloggers at One More. Click on the link in that last sentence for more information or to sign up yourself. There is still time to pick a few of their prompts and join in if you’re interested.

Today’s prompt was “What can possibly go wrong.” The notes for it mentioned plot twists, so that’s the approach I’m taking with this post. 

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I wasn’t very good at predicting how plots would turn out when I was younger. While this is something I’ve gotten better at over time, there were still some notable moments when I didn’t figure what was going to happen ahead of time despite all of the hints the storytellers threw my way.

Let’s see if I can talk about these films without giving away spoilers. I know most of this stuff came out years ago, but I’d rather let other people discover the plot twists for themselves.

The Sixth Sense film poster. It has five numbers on it. Numbers 1 through 5 are illuminnated and named the five sense. Number 6 on the post shows the outline of a child. No sense is named there. The Sixth Sense (1999) 

The protagonist of this film was a child psychologist named Malcolm whose newest client, Haley, was struggling to open up to him.

There was something strange going on in Haley’s life, but all the boy will say about it is that he sees dead people.

It was up to Malcolm to find out what Haley means by that and why he was so reluctant to go into detail about what’s bothering him.

The foreshadowing was incredibly well done, and there were a lot of hints about what was happening with these characters. I have no idea how I missed the twist in this film the first time I watched it!

Film poster for The Others. Image shows Nicole Kidman holding a glass lamp and staring off into the corner with a fearful expression on her face. The Others (2001)

This is one of my all-time favourite ghost movies. It’s set in 1945 and follows a young mother, Grace, who was raising two special needs children on her own in a large, isolated mansion while her husband was off fighting in World War II.

The children’s health problems made it dangerous for them to be exposed to any form of natural light, so Grace had her hands full looking after them and protecting them from harm. Grace hired a few local people to help her keep the house and grounds running smoothly.

The interesting thing about her new hires was that they dressed like they lived in the late 1800s and seemed to know a lot about her home. There were strange things happening in the house that made Grace’s children wonder if it was haunted. She scoffed at that notion, but her employees had other notions about it.

Once again, this film gave plenty of hints about what was really going on in Grace’s life. I loved the ending, but I also should have seen it coming in advance.

Moon (2009)

Moon film poster. Image on it is of an astronaut wearing a spacesuit and holding his helmet. Unlike the other films in this list, this one didn’t have any paranormal themes.

Sam, the protagonist, was an astronaut who had signed up to spend three years alone mining helium-3, a new source of fuel, on the far side of the moon. He chose this isolated job in order to make money to support his pregnant wife.

A couple of weeks before his term ended, there was an accident. When Sam went out to investigate it, he found something that should have never been possible: another living human being.

That plot twist was the least surprising of them all in this film. I only wish I could discuss the rest without giving away spoilers!

While I did figure out one of the plot twists ahead of time, there were so many more that I didn’t see coming. This is the sort of film I recommend to everyone from hardcore science fiction fans to people who brand new to this genre and hesitant to give it a try. It truly had something for everyone.

What plot twists in films, books, or TV shows did you never see coming?

Dystopian Novels Everyone Should Read

 

Over the course of the next few weeks I will be participating occassionally in the Scifi Month challenge that was created by the bloggers at One More.

Click on the link in that last sentence for more information or to sign up yourself. There is still time to pick a few of their prompts and join in if you’re interested.

Today’s prompt was Future Imperfect. That is we’re supposed to pick something related to dystopian or utopian stories. Therefore, I’ll be talking about some dystopias that everyone who enjoys science fiction should read.

The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin book cover. Photo shows a mountain and some scrub brush.

The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin

Why everyone should read it: What could be more frightening than living in a world that was forever altered every time a specific person had a vivid dream? I don’t know about all of you, but my nightmares would be pretty scary if they came true.

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell book cover. Image is of an eye peering down a hole.

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Why everyone should read it: I try to avoid politics on this site, but this book’s message about totalitarianism is just as relevant now as it was when it was first published.

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham book cover.

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham

Why everyone should read it: If you don’t fear nuclear war yet, this book might make you change your mind about it. The plot is set generations after a nuclear war. Radiation continues to kill people, though, and society’s response to it has changed all sorts of things about the ways in which people live.

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood book cover. Image is of a woman's face and a flower.

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Why everyone should read it: Bioengineering is fascinating. The other interesting thing about this book is how few characters it had. Nearly every human on earth had died from a plague when the events of it happened. Many of the animals and plants that humans had tweaked in some way were still alive, so it was like getting to know humanity without meeting many people at all.

The Book of Dave by Will Self book cover. Image on cover is of an etching of a car.

The Book of Dave by Will Self

Why everyone should read it: It’s set five hundred years from now and has amazing plot twists. I first read it at a time in my life when I wasn’t very happy for reasons that seemed almost impossible to fix. Reading about what the future might be like – as dark as that future was –  somehow made me feel better. This book also had some thought-provoking things to say about how we interpret old texts and why it’s so important to take the cultures they came from into context before deciding to base our lives around them.

The Gate to Women's Country by Sheri S. Tepper book cover. Image is of top of a building, a woman standing in profile, and a full moon.

The Gate to Women’s Country by Sheri S. Tepper

Why everyone should read it: One of the reasons why I take long breaks from the dystopian genre has to do with how poorly women are treated in most of them and how strong the assumption is that all women will have awful lives in that setting. This Feminist spin to the genre was a breathe of fresh air.