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The Very Best Teen Heroes in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Illustration for article titled The Very Best Teen Heroes in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Some of our favorite heroes are teenagers. Unlike the adults, they aren't afraid to question authority — partly because they're too young to have been compromised by it. They can see problems and solutions in the world around them. And for these young adults, every journey is a quest. That's why teens are among the greatest heroes in science fiction and fantasy novels, which often deal with the quest to change the world. Who are your favorite teenage heroes?

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Illustration of YT from Snow Crash by RubenDevela.

I asked this question on Twitter a couple of weeks ago and was overwhelmed by the response. There were the obvious choices, like John Connor from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Katniss from The Hunger Games. Plus Buffy, Hermione from the Harry Potter series, and Peter Parker.

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But a lot of people love teens in books the best. YT, the skatepunk from Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, was an obvious choice, as were Tally from Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series and Will from Cory Doctorow's Little Brother and Homeland. And then there were the nostalgia picks, like Alanna from Song of the Lioness, Taran from Lloyd Alexander's Prydain series, Meg Murry from A Wrinkle in Time, and the teens from the scary Tripods series by John Christopher.

Plus, in comics, there are the Runaways; and recently the juvenile offenders on Misfits won our hearts.

And there are many more. What are your picks, and why?

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DISCUSSION

James Whitbrook

I will once again show my Persona-fanboyism and say the Investigation Team from Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (It's not really sci-fi or typically fantasy, but you can't stop me!). Nothing's cooler than a bunch of Rural Japanese teenagers balancing a busy school life with investigating serial murders that happen to take place in a deadly alt-world fed by the judgmental thoughts of humankind hidden inside TVs... right?