Marc Bernardin, Cinerati/Geekerati friend and writer for Entertainment Weekly, has a brief discussion of Total Sci-Fi's "The 25 Women Who Shook Sci-Fi." Bernardin asserts, and I strongly agree, that Buffy has no place on a list of Science Fiction leading ladies.
Fantasy and Science Fiction are not the same thing. Yes, Science Fiction is technically Fantasy -- even hard science icon Isaac Asimov had the Mule with his psionic talents and his PSYCHOLOGY using leading man in Second Foundation. Like it or not, there is no real scientific evidence of mind control powers, even when possessed by sterile genetic mutations. Science Fiction often deals with the fantastic, because it is a sub-genre of Fantasy. This means it is more specific, it deals with science. If the vampires of the Buffyverse were the product of a disease as in Richard Matheson's I am Legend, or The Last Man on Earth starring Vincent Price which was inspired by that tale, then she might qualify. But that isn't the case. You see, there is this thing called the Hell Mouth in the Buffyverse and that's straight from the Fantasy playbook.
But my beefs aren't limited to the inclusion of Buffy. I'm peeved at those who were left out of the list in order to include Fantasy characters like Buffy and Willow.
What about Wilma Deering (as played by Erin Grey)?
Or how about Lornette "Mace" Mason?
Or, if you want to reach into crossover genre territory, Emma Peel?
And that's just some of the important TV and film leading ladies left out. Don't even get me going on how egregious it is for any list of SF&Fantasy heroines to leave of Jirel of Joiry. Not to mention real life heroines of SF&Fantasy like Catherine Lucille Moore and Leigh Brackett (to mention only two).