I’ve been talking a lot about various science fiction books and authors I’ve read and loved, so I thought I would delve into a few of the characters I’ve met over the years who’ve left a lasting impression on me.
Let’s start with the novel, Serpent’s Reach, by C. J. Cherryh. A book I read back in 1980, which had a huge impact on me. Not just because a number of strong female characters in it, but because I could identify with the main protagonist who was about my age at the time. Both of us had, inadvertently, been dropped in at the deep end and left to sink or swim. Although it’s true, I wasn’t on a far flung distant world, nor being chased by an unseen enemy, but I was battling my own demons at the time.
So when I discovered Raen a Sul hant Meth-maren, the sole survivor of her family—murdered by a rival clan in what was an attempted coup—I felt an affinity with her struggle for survival and the need for revenge. I don’t know what it was about this particular character, and the set of circumstances, but I found a certain solace in Raen’s journey. Maybe it was the fact, despite everything she went through and endured, she never gave up hope. And, in the end, she bested them all. Okay, maybe she had a little help from the Majat—an insectoid race with a hive-mind consciousness—my other favourite thing about this book. Moral of the story: Don’t mess with a sentient race who are all but immortal.
For more info about the book and characters, check out: Serpent’s Reach.