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100 sci fi women #46: Cord

I am currently re-reading Intervention which reminded me of a character I wanted to capture from another Neal Stephenson novel. So we are still on the literary characters for the moment folks.

Cord Anathem Neal Stephenson

Cord may not have the gift for pure mathematics that her half brother Fraa Erasmus does, but she is smart, talented and practical. Cord’s work as an artisan, as someone who can make and repair parts of the clock which is central to the lives of the Concent. Her skills and abilities make the monks dependent on her and people like her. She is also a pioneer within her own society; as she points out, she is the only woman in the artisan workshop where she works, and facing difficulties and discrimination because of that. She is bold and adventurous and willing to take risks. She is loyal to her sib, and she is important in helping to achieve the things he needs to achieve. She is strong in the face of fear, willing to be the one who opens an unknown spaceship. She is also never without her tools.  Her personality, wit and defiance make her an engaging and wonderful character, a practical, capable woman who makes things work.

Cord drew a wrench from the thing she was wearing, which seemed more harness than garment, as its chief purpose was to secure tools to her body, She released three vises put the wrench back in its ordained pocket, threw back her shoulders, bent her knees, made her spine long, raised her hands, and clasped them around two prongs of this thing she had made. It came up off the table. She carried it down off the machine as if it was a cat rescued from a tree…

For a feminist discussion of Anathem, see here at Feminist SF.

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