Firstly, this is the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life. Only three?! From ALL fictional works?!!? My brain melted a little bit at the thought, and because of that, I reserve the right to change my answers in the future.* Also, this list should not necessarily be considered in any particular order! And I swear it is totally accidental that all of these women are a little bit (totally) sci-fi.
HERE WE GO:
1) Princess Leia Organa
Because Star Wars is how I roll, and Princess Leia never let anyone stand in her way. Not giant walking carpets, not the scoundrel of a love interest, and certainly not the EVIL EMPIRE she was fighting to bring down. I mean, I don't know about you, but I think she deserves first place for not even FLINCHING when she was brought before Darth Vader in ANH. She just raised her chin, put on a mask of disdain, and gave him what for. On top of that, she's a senator and a leader of the Rebel Alliance. Best Female Role Model Ever.
2) Cordelia Naismith
From Shards of Honor and the Vorkosigan books by Lois McMaster Bujold.
She never flinches either. Nor does she ever let a man draw lines in the sand. Cordelia is a woman of her word, no matter how much it costs her to keep it, and even though she is determined to see the best in the people around her, it doesn't make her any less ruthless in acting against her enemies. Somehow Cordelia embodies honor, compassion, and bad-assery in one AWESOME package, while still being a reluctant hero. A word to the wise: do not mess with her family and friends. You do not want to be on this woman's bad side.
If Cordelia and Princess Leia ever met, Chuck Norris and Mike Rowe would tremble.
3) Killashandra Ree
From The Crystal Singer Trilogy by Anne McCaffrey.
Killa knows what she wants and won't be stopped from getting it. What does she want? NOTHING LESS than to be NUMBER ONE. Sure, it's not exactly a heroic struggle against evil, but the determination to overcome all obstacles is still something to be admired. Threat to life and limb? No problem! Killa doesn't believe in giving anything less than 100% of herself to make it happen anyway. This woman is a force to be reckoned with, and no matter where she goes, or what she applies herself to, the people around her wind up dancing to her drumbeat in spite of themselves. I guess you could call her the ULTIMATE career woman.
So now that we've gone ahead and thrown down the gauntlet (and be sure to head over to Zak's blog to see his TOP PICKS)-- Who are YOUR favorite women in fiction?
*by future, I mean two seconds after I post this, when I realize whoever you named in the comments is ZOMGAWESOME too.