Come on now. I was just reading this 7 Deadly Questions interview with Joanna Penn and while talking (or writing, I suppose) about kick-ass female protagonists, she mentions a book by Brad Thor called The Athena Project. All I can say is, it’s a good thing I published Episode 1 of the Valkyrie Project only 6 days after Thor’s release date for The Athena Project, because I will be the first to admit that the premises sound very similar. Although mine is clearly speculative near future fiction while Brad’s takes place in a contemporary setting.
Another key difference is that the first 4 episodes of The Valkyrie Project are currently available in all electronic formats for free on Smashwords, while Mr. Thor’s book will set you back $14.99 for an electronic version (though the hardcover version is somehow available from 3rd party sellers starting at only $5.82). The Athena Project is also available at The Chicago Public Library, which is probably where I’ll get it from because I’m not a fan of hardcover books (especially owning and storing them) and there is no way I’m going to pay $14.99 for an ebook.
And it looks like another key difference is that The Athena Project is being made into a movie. Since it sounds like a book I would probably like, it sounds like a movie I would like as well. I’m all about kick ass female protagonists: Buffy in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Sydney in Alias, Kate in LOST, Sarah Connor and Cameron in The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Echo in The Dollhouse, Olivia in Fringe, Kate in Castle, even Nikita in Nikita. Also, from that list that I was able to come up with off the top of my head, it appears that I’m not the only one who likes a strong female presence in their sci-fi (or detective or spy comedramas). Also, it should be obvious from that list why I am writing an episodic sci-fi serial with a female protagonist. In fact, if Facebook still allowed free form text in their Favorites section, I could probably just put: Episodic Sci-fi Serials with Female Protagonists as my top favorite thing.
Final key difference (for now), Athena was the Goddess of War (among other things, of course, but mostly war) who sprung forth from Zeus’s head while the Valkyries decide who will die in battle and then select from among those who die the ones that will join Odin in Valhalla to prepare for Ragnarok (sort of making them eternal warriors, which is kind of awesome). I will be interested to see if Thor’s book uses the Athena aspect at all or if it just comes as a name for strong females that the government though sounded cool when they named the project. The Valkyries in The Valkyrie Project take on tasks that at least resemble those of their Norse predecessors, and I am trying to make the correlation as strong as possible within the context of the story.