Yes, finally, another edition of Tough Broads: Broads in Space. We're back with more space opera, more action, and more women who don't do what they're told. Wit and good characterization are the order of the day. Grab these books now, because they're on their way to becoming modern classics of science fiction.
In K.B. Wagers' Beyond the Empire, gunrunner-turned-empress Hail is back, and she's ready for the endgame with Wilson, the man sworn to obliterate her family and nation. Of course, it would be nice to know who he is, and get the Saxons from invading further under their unhinged ruler. Good thing Hail has loyal underlings and underworld contacts as she demonstrates what made her a respected figure in organized crime. More action, more intrigue, and more fun abound in the conclusion to this trilogy.
Breq is an "ancillary," or cyborg carrying a spaceship's AI in Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. Her mission is to correct an unjust universe, in part by battling the immortal that rules her people, the Radch. Fans of westerns may recognize the plot, but the author has much to say about the construction of gender, if you like to think about your entertainment. Leckie sets things up with economy, and this unconventional space opera commences quickly with plenty of blows exchanged.
Sirantha Jax is the protagonist in Grimspace by the prolific Ann Aguirre. The title refers to a form of reality that makes space travel much shorter and can only be controlled by "jumpers" like Jax who are born with that special ability. Accused of murder, Jax is offered a way out, but it means working against her former bosses to wrest jumping away from the government. Characters are well-developed in this bleak, yet romantic, tale.
Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach is the story of Deviana Morris, an ambitious mercenary who gets more than even she bargained for as part of the crew of the Glorious Fool. Fans of Firefly will particularly enjoy this tale full of alien slavers and predators in hijacked spaceships. Only one thing can distract Morris from her career and high-powered armor, and that's the ship's cook, who is more than he seems. Fast-paced and plot-driven, there are still plenty of memorable characters in this high-octane ride.
Have more tales of women of steel? Tell us about them in the comments.