Choose Your New World Frontierswoman


This week’s challenge: You’ve set sail (on a sailing ship or a spaceship, take your pick) to a Brave New World (which, oddly enough, always seems to resemble the US east cost or an amalgamation of Australia and New Zealand, ‘cos don’t y’all know they’re the same country) and you need (at least) three women that you know will get straight into cultivating this strange new land. Who do you choose?

My picks:

1. Jenny Taggart/Broome/Hawley from Vivien Stuart’s The Australians series. Wrongly convicted of theft and sent to the penal colony Botany Bay/Sydney on the first fleet, she doesn’t cry that she’s innocent (she is) or that she doesn’t belong there (she doesn’t), she just gets on with growing food and raising animals for the fledgling colony to survive off.

2. Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind for similar reasons. She’s lost the life of luxury she was raised to expect, but she knows that crying about it will achieve nothing but wasting time that could be spent growing crops and raising animals so they can eat.

3. Tayla from Stargate: Atlantis. Because we all need a native to the area who knows their way around.

Your picks?


  1. Anna M says

    Ayla-from Jean Auel’s books-a survivor in any setting.
    Xena-in case we need a fighter.
    Amanda from the Highlander series-she has been around a lot and knows her way in many places.

  2. Red says

    Xena- because she’s both a warrior and a survivor. She’ll do what needs to be done.

    Gabrielle- Has medical skills and is a story teller. Was also raised in a farming community. Knows how to forage and live off the land.

    And, some of you may hate me for this…

    Miss Utah 2007 Sergeant Jill Stevens- competed in the Miss America pageant back in 2008 and was one of the 16 Finalists. That was the year they did something different. They had all the girls together in one house and had them do various physical challenges and she. Was. AWESOME.

    I actually found an article on her here.

    Off-topic, but I seriously wish they would do that again with the Miss America pageant. It was great to see these women interact as PEOPLE and not just be ‘dolls’.

  3. says

    Another vote for Ayla, because she knows how to hunt, kill, and then gut/dress an animal. And make knives from flint (that are apparently sharper than metal knives – cut through elephant hides like butter). And all the other stuff I just think I ought to know, but never got around to trying. (Lazy city girl that I am.)

  4. SunlessNick says

    Shazza, from Pitch Black. I know I’ve picked her before in similar columns, but a prospector and mechanic tough enough to take on the film’s memetic badass. What’s not to like?

    Rose Red from the Fables series. She spends a long run of it with (what struck me as) crippling depression. But she’s an organiser of an extremely fractious and diverse community – far more than the one Snow White runs – and can turn from cajole to bribe to reason to threat on a dime as the situation demands.

    Miss Hinchliffe, from Agatha Christie’s A Murder is Announced. Organisers are all very well, but someone has to do the farming, and if she’s tough as nails, all the better.

    I second the call for a “fight the colonists” post.

  5. SunlessNick says

    (Appended: Lots of people would have to do the farming, but someone would have to be there who starts off good at it instead of having to learn).

  6. Gabriella says


    Yeah, that’s why I chose Jenny. The English government notoriously chose convicts willy-nilly, regardless of any practical experience at starting a colony from scratch, so people like Jenny (while fictional) were very much in the minority who had any practical farming experience, and yet there were plenty of others who recognised that they had to farm or starve and were willing to work hard so long as they had her instructions to follow.

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