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Letter: Heroines of colour

From Ms Gill Alderman

Sir: I would like to correct the impression, which will soon become a legend if not challenged, that Nichelle Nichols's character Saturna will be the "very first coloured sci-fi heroine" (Outside Edge, 10 February). There are large numbers of coloured principal female characters or heroines in SF - for example Ian Watson's "milk chocolate" Martine (The Flies of Memory, 1990), Gwyneth Jones's mystery girl whose "dusky olive complexion didn't... absolutely rule our many nationalities" (White Queen, 1991), my M'untal, "her naked back a smooth strait of brown flesh" (The Archivist, 1989). But the palm must go to Colin Greenland's "ordinary milky coffee" Tabitha Jute, pilot of the starship Alice Liddell, spirited heroine of Take Back Plenty (1990) and the forthcoming Seasons of Plenty.

Yours sincerely,

Gill Alderman

Cobh, Co Cork