The New Sci-fi Archetype: Courier Girls

What is it about courier girls?

Odd synchronicity/confirmation bias as I read last night.  I finished Zero History and read issue #1 of Image’s new comic Nonplayer.  Both feature characters I hereby declare to be a sci-fi archetype:  the aforementioned Courier Girl.

Examples, you ask?  Fine.

Zero History: Fiona. London courier working for Bigend (kinda).    Young, attractive, cool, streetsmart, competent.  Motorcycles about town with ease in her deeply scratched yellow helmet.  Rides an unremarkable Kawasaki.

Nonplayer: Dana. Not sure yet where she lives.  A city.  Future.  Spends a lot of time playing an MMO.  Young, attractive, cool, streetsmart, competent.   Delivers tacos.  (Note:  this comic is gorgeous.  Go and buy it.)

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: Ramona Flowers. Amazon delivery staff in Toronto.   Young, attractive, cool, streetsmart, competent.  Vehicle of choice: Rollerblades.

Note the goggles.


But where did all start?  To my knowledge: Y.T. from Snow Crash. It all goes back to Y.T. (short for Yours Truly).   Kourier in post-fall Los Angeles.  Angrily independent, dangerous, smart, and did I say dangerous already?  Deals with a mafioso,  a hacker/swordfighter/Cosa Nostra pizza Deliverator, cops, creeps, and a very scary obsidian-knife-wielding Aleutian without batting an eye.  She rides a smart-wheeled skateboard down the highway, magnetically harpooning herself to the cars for speed.  She’s it, man.  Do.  Not.  Mess.

After running into four of these characters, I think I can safely say we’ve got an archetype.  Keep your eyes open for more — if you can catch up with one.

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