Science fiction is often said to be best when the story is character-driven. That must mean there are some pretty cool characters in sf/f. So, who are your favorites?

Maybe it’s Rick Deckard from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. Or maybe you prefer the hardboiled attitude of Marîd Audran from George Alec Effinger’s When Gravity Fails. Maybe you like the heroic nature of John Carter from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars books or the time traveler from H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine?

Your favorite character could be alien, like Pip the minidrag from Alan Dean Foster’s Humanx Commonwealth books or the Kzin Speaker-to-Animals from Larry Niven’s Ringworld.

The character doesn’t even have to be biological! How about HAL 9000 (from 2001: A Space Odyssey), Marvin the Paranoid Android (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams) or R. Daneel Olivaw (Isaac Asimov’s Caves of Steel and other robot novels)?

Don’t forget, bad Guys make great characters too! Maybe Baron Vladimir Harkonnen from Frank Herbert’s Dune or Quinn Dexter from Peter F. Hamilton’s Night’s Dawn trilogy?

Some rules:

  1. You must name characters originating from a book or short story. No media tie-ins, please. And no comics/graphic novels – that’s a whole other ball of wax. A follow on post will address TV/film.
  2. Cite the character and the source, including author.
  3. Must be a single character, no groups or species. Sorry, you cannot pick the sandworms from Dune.)
  4. Name as many single characters as you’d like.

If you need help, wikipedia has a handy inventory of characters from written science fiction as well as a list of sf/f detectives.

Your turn! Who are your favorite literary science fiction characters?

Filed under: Books

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