The Best Female Literary Characters in Speculative Fiction

My daughter turned three this past week. I love reading stories to her and watching her eyes light up. Maybe she'll grow up with my love for imaginative tales of wonder. Speculative fiction from fairy tales to modern fantasy and futuristic science fiction is loaded with excellent characters to inspire her. Here are some of the best female protagonists in the genre.

For this blog entry, I only considered fictional literary characters in sci-fi and fantasy, so no Laura Ingalls from Little House, no Scarlett from Gone with the Wind, no comic book characters like Wonder Woman, no movie characters like Trinity from The Matrix or Princess Leia from Star Wars. All clear? Great, here we go...

Alice - Lewis Carroll's little heroine travels down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass to Wonderland. Her precocious wit and bravery, her inquisitive nature makes her a rival of any adventurer.

Carrie - Stephen King has invented a number of excellent women characters, but the best is probably this troubled telekinetic high school student done wrong.

Daenerys Targaryen - It's so tough to pick the best character in George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones since there are so many, but I have to select this dragon allied heiress to the Seven Kingdoms.

Dorothy Gale - We never would have had the iconic movie character played famously by Judy Garland if L. Frank Baum hadn't created her first on the printed page. Her adventures in Oz are legendary.

Eowyn - In a saga full of male hobbits, wizards, dwarves, and elves, one of the most memorable characters is a noble lady.

Hermione Granger - J.K. Rowling's greatest character might be Harry Potter, but his buddy Hermione is still one of the most iconic heroes ever imagined.

Katniss Everdeen - As soon as Suzanne Collins published her Hunger Games novels, her lead character struck a nerve, etching her place in the annals of awesome entertainment.

Mina Harker - Who can forget this haunted, tragic heroine from Bram Stoker's Dracula?

Renie Sulaweyo - I'm still hoping Hollywood decides to adapt Tad Williams' Otherworld books so I can see this heroic lady come to life on the screen.

Susan Calvin - Isaac Asimov's Robot tales were spectacular, and his brilliant scientist was one of best parts of the story.

Wendy Darling - One of the greatest stories ever told, Peter Pan wouldn't be the same without Wendy.

There are so many others -- Meg Murray in A Wrinkle in Time, Susie Salmon in The Lovely Bones, Molly Millions in Neuromancer, Mellodee in The Diamond Age, I could go on and on.  Do you have a favorite?  Let me know.