TTT: Non-SF/F Characters Who Would Survive SF/F Worlds

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme by The Broke And The Bookish. Speculative fiction offers some pretty harsh worlds and quests. Which non SF/F characters do you think can make it in these worlds?


Wait, there’s fiction that isn’t speculative? O.O

Kidding… mostly.

  1. Lupita from Guadalupe Garcia McCall’s Under the Mesquite: Lupita has such a solid, sense of family and self that I think if she had her family, or had some means of communication with her family, she could survive and thrive on pretty much any journey. Even if she couldn’t reach her family for a while, she knows she has their love and they hers, which leaves her ready for anything. An adventure would just mean more chances to act and write, right?
  2. Maria Merian from Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Julie Paschkis: okay, so Maria was a real person, but she is also a character, since this extraordinarily lovely picturebook is about her. I suspect that if Maria Merian was transported to another world, she would begin cataloging the native flora and fauna, and questioning the assumptions and beliefs the characters in the new (speculative) world hold about the world around them, and she would back up her own ideas with meticulously noted observations and scientific drawings. Which she would make while on unthinkably bold adventures with her sister.
  3. Goewin, Telemakos, Athena, and Sofya Anbessa from Elizabeth Wein’s Lion Hunters series (Aksum/Camelot). They’re survivors, all of them, even little Athena. They’re survivors who use their wits, who trust relatively few people but who love deeply and trust absolutely where they do love. They’re bold and confident, and they come by these traits from their own dedication to learning everything they can, from their commitment or need to be (more than) competent in every skill they are taught, and from their past suffering. They are aware of the social, political, and economic currents around them (okay, except Athena – but that will come, just you wait!) and want more than *almost* anything to steer their own path in life, to have choice.
  4. Irene Adler from the mystery series by Carole Nelson Douglas. Irene Adler Norton can do just about anything she sets her mind to, particularly when she works in tandem with her best friend, Nell Huxleigh, her husband, Godfrey Norton, and that here-again-now-gone spy, Quentin Stanhope. (But really, Quentin is, though nice, peripheral; for Irene, Nell and Godfrey are where it’s at.)
  5. Cinderella from The Gospel Cinderella by Joyce Carol Thomas and illustrated by David Diaz. Cinderella sings her way to happiness in this beautiful picturebook. I suspect she could do the same no matter what realm she found herself in.


Uhm…. so, no fantasy and no sci-fi? :””(

Honestly, the few realistic fiction books that I read don’t feature very many characters that would survive magic or dystopia!

  1. Liesel from The Book Thief because she already survived one dystopia, why not any other? (except that that would be cruel!) (Does this even count as realistic if the narrator is death… bah!)
  2. Ponyboy from The Outsiders because, again, he already lives in a sort of dystopia – and, honestly, the most powerful lesson from that book was that life isn’t fair.
  3. Taylor from Melina Marchetta’s On the Jelicoe Road because if she can survive real life she can survive anything fantastical thrown at her.
  4. Harriet from Harriet the Spy because she is clever, deceitful and creative but, deep down there is compassion there too (very deep down…). I think she could be very well suited to a fantasy realm full of intrigue.
  5. Mary Katherine Blackwood from We Have Always Lived in the Castle this character is perfectly creepy, funny and realistic AND she already thinks she should have been born a werewolf. MKB is ready to tackle anything uncanny coming her way.


This is going to be difficult because I read mostly fantasy. But I’ll try. *clears throat*

  1. Feodora from The Wolf Wilder Katherine Rundell will kick ass in a fantasy world. She rode around on a wolf in the normal world (in her book) and led a ragtag child army to revolt against the army general terrorizing the countryside.
  2. Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong from Wells and Wong detective series by Robin Stevens. I think they’d acquit themselves marvelously in a sff world.
  3. Harriet Manners from The Geek Girl series by Holly Smale knows so many facts and has so much knowledge that I reckon she’d be okay in a SFF world as a scholar or a practitioner of textual magic.
  4. Kyoko from Skip Beat by Yoshiki Nakamura, She believes fairies are real and is a great aficionado for voodoo. She’d be thrilled to be in a sff world.
  5. Jacky Faber from the Bloody Jack series by L. A. Meyer. She’d be fine in a sff world. Heck, she’d thrive.


  1. Josh and Jordan from The Crossover by Kwame Alexander: They’d make it to the end and they’d flip off any and all racist tropes on the way.
  2. Cath from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: She’d be well-versed in the way stories flow, so she should be able to see dangerous plot-twists coming.
  3. Aya from Life in Yop City by Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie: She’s smart, quick, and brave! I believe in her!
  4. Kristin from None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio: She is smart and athletic and is incredibly kind– even when she doesn’t have to be– a trait that I feel often works out for heroines in fantasy novels. Besides, if all else fails, I know she can always outrun her troubles!
  5. Mia from The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot: I mean, her life is kind of a fairytale already but it’d be fun to see her be the chosen one in a real fantasy novel.