At WorldCon in Montreal (2009), there was a panel discussing the question of why we rarely/never see middle aged women as the protagonists/heroines in any science fiction – let alone in the military subgenre. At least I think that was the discussion. I had the session marked as one I wanted to attend because until then I’d never considered the question, but circumstances got in the way of my attendance (if you’ve ever been to a WorldCon, they sometimes schedule the best panels all at once!).
Confession: I have no idea how rare middle aged women are in science fiction. But I do know that off the top of my head, I can’t think of any mom heroines except for Sarah Connor.
In 2011 I wrote a novelette that has a middle aged mother as the heroine, because I figured I’d try to start filling that gap even though I’m a middle aged father who hasn’t a clue what it’s like to be a woman. The novellette has gone largely unnoticed. So it was time to post about it here since there has been much discussion about the lack of women in military SF. Besides, I think it’s gauche to cry out from someone else’s blog and say “wait a minute, I write with women as main characters in my military SF! Buy my story/book at Amazon!” but since this is my blog, I can do whatever the hell I want. In fact, book II of the Subterrene series is an all woman cast – almost – so I look forward to future discussions and reviews, assuming bloggers choose to include the book as a data point in women-relevant topics.
Anyway, here’s the link to “The Legionnaires” – a novelette that examines what would motivate a middle aged mother to join the French Foreign Legion, an institution that as of today, does not allow women to serve.