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Just trying to get out of it alive: D. Scott Johnson on antiheroines

D. Scott Johnson is the author of Gemini Gambit, a novel about a woman who’s in hiding after she “accidentally-but-sort-of-on-purpose flash-freezes the son of a drug kingpin”.

BELINDA: Tell us about Kimberly and what makes her an antiheroine.

Gemini Gambit by D. Scott JohnsonSCOTT: I went and looked up the definition first, just to be sure I didn’t blow it by getting the basics wrong. Wikipedia says, “An antihero or antiheroine is a protagonist who lacks conventional heroic qualities such as idealism, courage, and morality.” By that definition, Kim isn’t an extreme form of antihero, because at the opening of the story she does have a moral compass and can be courageous when she has to be. But she didn’t start out that way. In her earlier life, Kim was a cyber-thief who thought nothing of destroying people in the pursuit of a self-defined “greater good.” She lost her idealism when those decisions came back to haunt her. At the opening of the story, Kim’s been on the run and almost completely alone for five years because of that.

And, personality-wise, she’s not conventionally likable. She’s not fair, and she doesn’t want to be nice. Kim has anger issues, says what she thinks, and has no desire to fit in or get along. It’s usually her way or the highway. She doesn’t go on crusades, but if people show up at her door needing to be rescued, she won’t slam it in their face. She will, however, probably make them question whether this is the hero they were looking for. Continue reading