Big damn heroes. I like them, you like them (or at least…you should), and of all of the big damn heroes out there in the universe, Zoë Washburne of Firefly is one of my favorites. She is a fierce warrior, a ferocious lover, a loyal friend and soldier, and foxy as hell. I used to have recurring make out dreams with her and I am not even a little bit sorry about it. I wrote a post on how much I love her over on my pal’s super awesome blog Subversion/Subversión, so if you want to read, at length, about her greatness maybe you should go read that. But, in the meantime, let’s talk about the most important question of all time: what would Zoë read?
Lilith’s Brood by Octavia Butler: My mom bought me the first book in this trilogy, Dawn, when I was in high school and I was instantly obsessed. I think that Zoë would love Butler’s particular brand of science fiction and would relate to Lilith’s thirst for survival, both for herself and for the human race. Plus, I can see Zoë wanting to support writers of color and see herself represented in the fiction she reads, can’t you?
On Basilisk Station by David Weber: The first in the Honor Harrington series, I think Zoë would enjoy this military science fiction with a strong female lead. And, yes, this is another one that my mom bought for me when I was in high school. I remember vaguely enjoying it as a wretched teenager, but I also remember being kind of baffled by all the military techno-babble. Z.Washburne knows more about that shit than I do so it won’t phase her one bit.
Bad Girls: Sirens, Jezebels, Murderesses, and Other Female Villains by Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple: Call me sentimental, but I really like the idea of Zoë sharing this book with that child she never got to meet. Now excuse me while I go cry for one million years.
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry: Even though there sure as hell isn’t any room on board Serenity for a soaker tub, I can just imagine Zoë sinking into a bubble bath with this classic, Pulitzer-winning Western.
When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris: Even though Zoe is sooooooooooo serious most of the time, she does love to laugh, otherwise why would she have married Wash? I thought about all the comedic essayists whom I love and I kept coming back to David Sedaris because of how off and vaguely judge-y he is, and one of the things I love most about Zoe is her occasional and poorly disguised scorn for assholes. This is my favorite of his books, so I therefore proclaim it to be hers, too.
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozie Adiche: This is another of my favorite books in the world, and I really want to be bff with Zoe so I am making it hers, too. It’s a particularly sumptuous look at the devastation of colonialism and the way in which a family can be torn apart by war, and there’s a lot of sexy sex, and and and beautiful writing, and. Yes. She would love this, and I think she would relate to Kainene in particular.
What do you see Zoë reading?