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100 women of sci fi #76: River Tam

Reading this reminded me there was one Firefly woman we hadn’t covered yet…

River Tam

River is both fragile and powerful, vulnerable and kick-arse. She is intellectually brilliant, but brain damaged. The government of the Alliance attempted to turn her into a weapon, and in so doing both damaged her possibly irreperably, but also made her capable of extraordinary feats. She inspires great love and commitment in her brother and, despite her unusual nature, the affection of those around her. Her damaged state sometimes lets her see the world more clearly, to question things that other take for granted and to see what make happen. To see her find joy in the vastness of space as she clings to the outside of a spaceship, hiding from those who wish to harm her further, inspires hope. When she really needs it, she finds her strength and her power and can destroy the enemies around her. River is brave but scared, a character who you hope for, but you know ultimately, can probably take care of herself.

River: So we’ll integrate non-progressional evolution theory with God’s creation of Eden. Eleven inherent metaphoric parallels already there. Eleven. Important number. Prime number. One goes into the house of eleven eleven times, but always comes out one. Noah’s ark is a problem.
Book: Really?
River Tam: We’ll have to call it early quantum state phenomenon. Only way to fit 5000 species of mammal on the same boat.

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