Post by J. Clarke Post by James Nicoll
Post by Andrew McDowell Post by Lynn McGuire Post by email@example.com Post by Lynn McGuire
I predict that the next article will be "Five SFF Novels Featuring Women
Who Don't Give Up Easily".
"All the Birds in the Sky" by Charlie Jane Anders maybe?
I was thinking Honor Harrington, Mercy Thompson, Anita Blake, and Jane
Yellowrock. And Nimue Alban.
Honor Harrington is excellent in many ways, including as a Naval
officer. She _is_ involved in the introduction of new technologies - two
stage missiles and technologies based around them - which has
consequences played out over a longer term than a single novel. But I do
not see her as demonstrating really exceptional persistence, which is
why I thought of her but did not include her in my list. To some extent
her training and experience fits her more for springing into decisive
action at a moment's notice.
Honor Harrington had a downright disturbing tendency to win every fight
but at the cost of horrendous casualties and damage to her ship
Well, sure. That's what his readers crave. My son calls milsf,
particularly Weber, spaceship porn.
Note that Weber recognized this tendency and had an in-story nickname
for her, "The Salamander" because she emerges mostly intact from the
most horrendous conflagrations.
The term does not originate with Weber, and the focus is more on bravery - perhaps on being found at the hottest part of the fire - rather than on any guarantee of survival there. I am not sure that I have re-found the use I first encountered, but a scurrilous poem by Swift at http://www.online-literature.com/swift/poems-of-swift/13/ at least provides a definition (for the scurrility, see the full text at the link)
So men have got, from bird and brute,
Names that would best their nature suit.
The Lion, Eagle, Fox, and Boar,
Were heroes' titles heretofore,
Bestow'd as hi'roglyphics fit
To show their valour, strength, or wit:
For what is understood by fame,
Besides the getting of a name?
But, e'er since men invented guns,
A diff'rent way their fancy runs:
To paint a hero, we inquire
For something that will conquer fire.
Would you describe Turenne or Trump?
Think of a bucket or a pump.
Are these too low?--then find out grander,
Call my LORD CUTTS a Salamander.