Choose Your Post-Apocalyptic Survivors

OK, so someone has dropped the ultimate nuclear weapon/imported killer aliens/unleashed a killer virus that makes everyone zombies. There are precious few of you left and you have to make your way to safety. Which three awesome women are in your group of survivors?

My pick:

Alice from the Resident Evil series. Especially since, with every movie, she becomes a bit more indestructible. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t be put out if Jill or Claire were there, which brings me to…

Anything Michelle Rodriguez has been in. I’d be happy with Rain from Resident Evil, Diana from Girlfight, Letty from that stupid car franchise, Trudy from Avatar. If this wasn’t about fictional characters, I’d take Rodriguez herself.

Selena from 28 Days Later.

Your picks?


  1. says

    Ripley from the Alien movies.

    Abigail Whistler from Blade Trinity, which I just saw last night. The movie was truly awful, but Jessica Beale made it better.

    Zinda Blake from DC Comics (specifically Birds of Prey). I need someone who can fly a plane if I’m going to get out of here alive.

  2. Cassandra Davis says

    Tris, from the Magic Circle- she’s got the sensibleness, the every-problem-can-be-approached-in-an-organized-fashion thing, and both scrying and elemental magic would be very useful, for everything from deflecting possibly radioactive rain, to finding drinking water.

    Raeshaldis, from Sisters of the Raven- another one I’ve been wanting to use for a while. Her world is going through a magical upheaval of enormous proportions, and she’s dealing, so she’d have that experience, and she’s also got magic, including healing knowledge.

    Kaylee, from Firefly- because we need both someone who’s actually cheerful, and someone with technical know-how, since I have none, and the other two are from pre-industrial societies.

  3. says

    Shotgun Suzie (a.k.a. “Oh Christ, it’s her, run!”), from the Nightside books by Simon R. Green. Almost everyone in the Nightside is some sort of magic, something not quite human or really not human at all. Suzie is pure mundane, who became one of the most feared beings in the Nightside because she’s not afraid of dying and she really likes blowing things up.

    Trillian, from Linnea Sinclair’s Finders Keepers. A cargo transporter who isn’t above breaking a few dozen petty regulations, like how civilians aren’t allowed to have military-grade weaponry. Knows how to shoot a rifle and hack a computer, but her real skill is her ability to make anything mechanical run on duct tape and a prayer. I think that’s probably the second most important skill in post-apocalypses, right after “killing things”.

    Claire Hanson, from Tanya Huff’s Keeper Chronicles. For her, preventing the Apocalypse is called “Tuesday”, and she visits alternate dimensions on a fairly regular basis, so I’m sure she’d be able to navigate the new world order just fine. Although she can hold her own in a fight, it’s not her first recourse. She’d be the intellectual of our bunch, reasoning out what the problem is and new ways we could dodge trouble and/or seek it out for experimentation.

    Strangely, none of my choices are from post-apocalyptic literature, even though I read a lot of it. ??? Of course, the limited sample I’m looking at skews towards male leads 2 to 1, so that might be why I didn’t come up with any women from the p-a genre.

    And I love Michelle Rodriguez! She did an interview about her characters and their less-than-stellar treatment, and said it was because writers don’t know how to handle a tough female character.

  4. Azzy says

    (I just realized I haven’t participated in one of these yet. This situation needs to be rectified immediately!)

    Jo Lupo from “Eureka” – definitely who I’d want watching my back in a post-apocalyptic dystopia. Between her military training and her stint in Eureka, she’s well-prepared to face down any freaky shit the new world can throw at us.

    Heather Lisinski from “Jericho” – she was actually criminally underused in the first season (her role is expanded in the second season, but it’s six episodes long, so I still felt she was cheated), probably because she had a skill set which overlapped other characters’, but from what we’ve seen of her, she’s definitely a good one to have around after the end. She’d have us covered for anything concerning science and mechanics.

    Tiffany Aching from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novel – egads, what wouldn’t a witch be good for? I admit, I could have chosen any one of them, and Nanny Ogg would have probably been leagues more entertaining, but I pick Tiffany because I just like her. She’s still learning, but I think she’d be good at keeping everyone together and in line.

  5. Ara says

    Nita from Diane Duane’s Young Wizardry series– she’s sensible, good at keeping her head, has been through all kinds of crazy stuff, and wizardry would be really useful in that situation, particularly that shield spell. (And that spell that removes all the membranes from between something’s cells probably would kill zombies!) Plus her wizardry affinity is growing things, which means she could probably help us produce food.

    Alanna from the Song of the Lioness books– because she knows actual fighting, with non-mechanical weaponry like swords and lances. It’s probably a lot easier to fashion a homemade lance than a homemade gun. And more magic never hurts.

    Ziva Davide from NCIS– because she knows everything from survival training to rigging bombs (and probably fortifying a position) to hand-to-hand combat to use of every type of weapon imaginable.

  6. The Other Anne says

    Debi already took one of mine, but repeats are fine, so:

    Abigail Whistler. Also, Jessica Biel. She got so good at archery for that movie that she demolished a 300k camera in a shot after they told her to shoot at the camera, and she said “are you sure?” and they were like, “yeah, go for it!” and then…FWIP!

    Onyesonwu from Who Fears Death.

    Illyria from Angel, assuming she didn’t start the thing herself. Or maybe even if she did, and I can just be, you know, spared or whatevs.

  7. SunlessNick says

    Katara from Avatar the Last Airbender. Shooting zombies and marauders is all very well, but sooner or later we’ll have to stop, get water, and grow food. And a girl who can control the water in clouds, in deep aquifers, and in plants will be invaluable. She’s no slouch in a fight either.

    Cheating slightly, because I’ve picked her before for much the same qualities, but Shazza from Pitch Black. Prospector and mechanic, able to fix and drive anything, and tough enough to hold her own against memetic badasses.

    And finally, Aeryn Sun for when mega-violence is required (and for the odd looks she and Shazza would constantly give each other).

    Oh: can I suggest “Staff your archaeological dig (with someone other than Lara Croft and Evy Carnahan)”?

  8. Maartje says

    My only problem with this one is that I most likely would be dead when the apocalypse hits on account of living below sea-level. Once the dykes start breaking I’m a gonner.
    But let’s look on the bright side: it might be zombies or alien viruses! 😀

    Pyanfar Chanur: She has a space-ship, is a very capable and in control captain who doesn’t push her crew or herself beyond their limits even in crisis. She’s a good tactician and has contacts with aliens who owe her. So we could escape to another planet if necesary.

    Marguerite Krux: I’ve mentioned her before (a couple of times) but I believe she could survive basically anything, (she may or may not be immortal at this point) is skilled in diplomacy and duplicity, strategy and using other people’s strengths and weaknesses.

    Alice from the tv show the Tribe. I used to watch it as a kid, wondering why after an adult apocalypse all the kids started using weird make-up. But anyway, after the tragic event, Alice continues her parent’s farm, taking in strays to help her tend it, keeps the gangs and thieves off her land and basically takes crap from nobody.

  9. says


    You’re right, Ziva is good at fortifying a position! In one episode, she and Tony get locked in a shipping container by bad guys and Ziva sets up a protective barrier, complete with holes to shoot out of.

  10. Anna M says

    Buffy Summers-I bet she would be handy in the Wasteland.
    Katniss Everdeen-survival is her thing.
    River Song from Doctor Who-is there anything she can’t do?

  11. M.C. says

    Katsa from Kristin Cashore’s Graceling. She’s the best fighter, can use any weapon, but is also able to kill anyone/anything using only her bare hands.

    Beverly Crusher from Star Trek. If we’re dealing with a zombie virus, she’d find an antidote. She’d also be very useful if any in our group got wounded.

    Violet Baudelaire from A Series of Unfortunate Events. She could hot-wire us a car or obtain some other getaway vehicle.

  12. Jolene_Germany says

    Private J. Vasquez from “Alien II”- she is just as tough as Ellen Ripley (or even tougher? ;))

  13. Gabriella says


    Nick, I don’t give a crap that you’ve chosen her before. I started this series because it was a way of compiling awesome women. If the same woman comes up several times? As a friend, a lover, a fighter, anything in between? BRING IT ON. I want her on my team, no matter how often you mention her.

  14. says

    Katniss Everdeen–whether we’re hunting zombies or dinner, her skill with the bow and with dressing dead things out for frying up would be really helpful.

    Nanny Ogg. _And_ the banjo. If nothing else, her playing would terrify any mutants into staying away.

    Seven of Nine. Her instant rapport with anything mechanical could easily come in very handy.

  15. Lika says


    Violet Baudelaire is a great choice! I’ll include her in my trio as well.

    Selena from 28 Days for sure.

    I know I’ve used her twice, but she’s really that good and did rock in a post-apocalyptic world – Agent 355.

  16. Nina says

    Kate Daniels from Ilona Andrews’ “Magic Bites” series – she’s tough, a fighter and a survivor, and technically she already lives in a post-apocalyptic world, so she has some practice.

    Granny Weatherwax from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld – speaking of tough…also, her headology would get us out of scrapes with other groups of survivors.

    And the spouse really wants me to list River Tam from Firefly, who of course is an excellent zombie killer and all around fighter and would be able to sense danger coming, so we might be able to avoid some fights.

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