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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Power Grid

10 Great Fictional Female Hackers


Allow Us To Explain

Allow Us To Explain

The secretly female computer whiz is such a common trope these days that I’ve almost come to expect it. Oooh, there’s this super 1337 hacker who the whole male cast is in awe of, but they have no idea who they are and they need their help. Then, unexpectedly, the first time they meet, that hacker is totally a hot chick. Shocking!

“I, uh, I thought you’d be…” stammers the main character.

“Taller?” says the hacker chick, as the movie’s creators sit smugly thinking they’ve pulled one over on a gender normative audience.

“GET ON WITH IT,” yells the audience, “THIS HAPPENS IN EVERY MOVIE.”

Then, about half the time, there is sexual tension. But as tired as the reveal is, we have to admit that the trope itself has given us some of our favorite characters in movies, TV, and literature; obviously nerdy, intelligent girls who kick ass and sometimes get boys. It also goes hand in hand with our favorite anachronistic tech-films, but we’ll get to that.

This grid is dedicated to the runners up, Mouse (from Reboot, not The Matrix), and Willow.


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  • http://twitter.com/wulfmojo Wulfy

    Trinity stole my heart. Mac was a rebound crush.

  • http://twitter.com/JaneNX01 Miss Jane

    I read the first two Otherland books, but got distracted with something else and didn’t finish the series. I should pick them up again…

  • http://twitter.com/dunsany dunsany

    Hey, where’s Heidi, Geek Girl Detective?  http://www.planetheidi.com/

  • Anonymous

    Great List and i especially agree with Kate Libby.

  • Bri H

    What about Claudia from Warehouse 13? I love her!

  • Ayan Lang

    Otherland is AMAZING. I re-read the series about once a year. I don’t know why it isn’t more widely recognized, because it has slam-dunk technique as well as compelling characters and a labyrinthine plot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kim-Dudek-Villasenor/1521515749 Kim Dudek Villasenor

    Aww…Penelope Garcia is missing.

  • s. h.

    Exactly what I thought!!!  Garcia is my favorite hacker.

  • John Wao

    Willow Rosenberg?

  • http://www.facebook.com/cabaretcarousel Fífa Hafstað

    While I appreciated this list, it saddens me a little to see both Lisbeth Salander’s and Stieg Larsson’s name misspelled in one article..

  • Anonymous

    I wish you had included Chloe O’Brian. She sometimes had to hack the government’s computers… while working for the government! She was awesome.

  • Anonymous

    Woah, Ghostwriter shoutout. My inner middleschool self just squeed.

  • Anonymous

    Seriously! She sliced through Artie’s defenses (which had bewildered the Secret Service’s top operatives) like buttah. Yeah, she’s more than a little unbelievable, but she sure as hell is a lot of fun.

  • http://www.facebook.com/erin.quackenbush Erin Belfiore

    How do you not put Chloe Sullivan on this list!

  • http://twitter.com/WanderinDreamr Helen the Dreamer

    If you have Ed on there then you have to include Ein! I loved Ein, the team pet yet the only who actually manages to a cult website, not bad for a corgi dog several hundred years in the future.

  • Anonymous

    “Yes, all Neal Stephenson books are like this.”

    Ha!  Nail on the Head Award to you ladies!

  • Anonymous

    THANK YOU!!! Everyone remembers Willow as a witchy-witch, but before that (and even sometimes after) she was a hacker-vixen extraordinaire. She is the REASON they had the Mac-as-Willow for Veronica-as-Buffy dynamic played up in the third season. When Mac showed up on VM, I looked at my wife and said: “I think our hero just found her Willow”.

  • Anonymous

    What? No Kinzie Kensington?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504383964 Heather Anderson

    I’ve read the whole Otherland series twice.  Don’t feel alone!

  • Frodo Baggins

    I’m picking up REAMDE soon, can’t wait to take the plunge!

  • Anonymous

    Willow immediately came to mind for me when I saw the title. She may not have made the list, but she was mentioned as a runner-up (unless that’s meant to be some other Willow I’m not familiar with)

  • Anonymous

    My thoughts exactly! Garcia is an incredible hacker and an all-around wonderful character, and deserves a place on this list.

  • Holly Dean – Young

    Erm. I read Birds of Prey in the new 52 – DCnU and Barbara Gordon is still the Oracle and still hacking. Admitably I am just keeping up with the digital releases so made I’ve missed something?

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure what you’re reading, Barbara isn’t even in the new Birds of Prey as a teammate as of yet. She made one appearance in that book so far and it was just as Barbara. Her persona in the New 52 is Batgirl.

  • http://braisinhussy.livejournal.com/ Sarah

    Er, isn’t Ein a male dog?

  • http://twitter.com/groovecoder luke crouch

    How is Major Kusanagi not on this list?!

  • http://anothernotebook.tumblr.com kalsangikid

    Lymphocytes!

  • http://twitter.com/klgaffney klgaffney

    I hope not; Ein’s shown with puppies later.  =D

  • Anonymous

    linkhide.com.ar/47632

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Smav-Martin/100000265867594 Smav Martin

    Ed? I thought that was Cowboy Bebop at his computer this whole time

  • Anonymous

    linkhide.com.ar/47632

  • Anonymous

    linkhide.com.ar/47632

  • http://itpixie.com/ IT Pixie

    What? No Satsuki from X1999?  She’s got to be on the list, since she’s the one loved by computers… Go ahead, look her up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_X_characters#Satsuki_Yat.C5.8Dji

  • Anonymous

    See, this right here is why I love the Mary Sue. How many blogs do you know that illustrate their post with a picture of a supporting character from Reboot? Love. It.

  • Ross Done

    Am I being terribly geeky if I mention Alt Cunningham from the Cyberpunk 2020 RPG? For me the coolest character in the whole thing. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberpunk_2020]

  • http://www.facebook.com/tmorrise Timothy Glenn Morrise

    I know right? I mean she’s not what comes to mind when you think hacker, but lots of the dive sequences are amazing an stunning, and she knows how to get intel. If Trinity, why not her?