Sunday, February 16, 2014

C.J. Cherryh Morgaine

C.J. Cherryh's science fiction and fantasy work was relatively new in the early 1980s and I read a lot of it. She was also willing to come to conventions, even small ones, to promote her books so I got to meet and talk with her. One of my favorites of her characters was "Morgaine," a female hero in a series of books in which ancient technology resembles magic. Morgaine was an early attempt to create a female character who was not a sexy babe who needed rescuing. Cherryh portrayed Morgaine as a knightly figure and competent warrior whose male companion, who is the story's narrator, both feared and obeyed her. Their relationship is "platonic" until late in the series, when they finally fall for each other. Morgaine, like so many other female characters in science fiction, has unusual coloring (in this case, white hair and silver-gray eyes) which is always a sign that she is at least partly related to an ancient super-race. Also note that I gave Morgaine a nice 1980s "big hair" Farrah Fawcett Majors style job.

This picture is unusual for my sketchbook pieces because it is painted in opaque acrylic, as if I were doing a painting on illustration board. It worked out fairly well in a tiny size. These Morgaine books are still on my dust-covered bookshelf and might be worth another read 30 years later.

Morgaine is acrylic on sketchbook page, 5" x 2 1/4", September 1981.

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