Over at Tor.com:
MW: As for characters, when I was growing up it was very hard to find adventure stories geared toward children or young readers with female main characters, or even with female characters who were active participants in the adventure and not just there to be rescued or to act as an antagonistic babysitter to the intrepid male characters. One of the reasons I was drawn to adult SF/F was because it was possible to find female characters who actually got to do things, though again there were a lot of women rescuees who didn’t see much actual action. I read Zelde M’tana by F.M. Busby at way too young an age, because the paperback cover showed a woman with a ray gun in her hand who clearly was not a victim and was not there to be rescued.