Friday, August 19, 2011
30 Days of Female Awesomeness:Day 13: Favourite Female Character In A Book
Sorry, folks. This challenge is getting annoying. Not because of the subject matter, but it just seems to go in circles. This may be my last entry on this subject, who knows? Anyway, I was trying to decide who my favorite literary female is, and a couple of characters leapt to mind. Nicole DesJardins from the Rendezvous with Rama sequels by Arthur C. Clark and Friday from the book of the same name by Robert Heinlein immediately began vying for my attention, but they are pretty much the same as most of the ladies I've mentioned already. Beautiful, heroic, strong, etc. So I tried thinking beyond this pattern and one character rose to the surface. Many of you know how fond I am of the Dune series, by Frank Herbert, and also by his son Brian. There is one character in those books who, to me, stands out above all the rest. No, it's not Chani, or Countess Fenring, or even Lady Jessica...it's The Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam. She is the first to suspect that Paul Atreides is the Kwisatz Haderach, as well as being truthsayer to the Padisha Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV, and she represents the Bene Gesserit sisterhood in the first two books Dune and Dune:Messiah. But in the prequels, penned by Brian Herbert and based on Frank Herbert's copious notes, it is seen that she is one of the main driving forces behind the events that shake a galactic empire to its foundations, and bring the status quo to its knees. I won't spoil, since I highly recommend the Brian Herbert/Kevin J. Anderson books, but she is far more than the silver-toothed crone depicted in that abominable David Lynch movie, or those laughable SyFy mini-series. She has a strength that borders on monomania, yet even she feels. Especially when she must commit atrocities in the name of furthering the Bene Gesserit breeding program. She is not a sympathetic character, nor a particularly likeable person, but her character is amazing in the depths of emotion and drive, and is the unnoticed linchpin of the entire Dune story. She is also one of the best written female characters I've ever read, since she is not there to be comic relief or a convenient sex toy...although there is a very interesting coupling that occurs between her and a prominent figure...but I say too much already. So if you're a Dune fan read the prequels and then tell me if I chose poorly. And if you haven't read Dune yet, let me know and I'll send you my copy. It's a book everyone with even a passing interest in Science Fiction should read.