villains must be created but who writes the best villains? Moriarty is a classic although he was created only to kill Holmes and die with him but failed in the first part. Ian Fleming had to create a new villain for each novel and co-created Blofeld very late in the series. (These examples are relevant here because Poul Anderson was a Holmesian and Flandry is kind of an sf Bond.) I identify two successors of Blofeld here.
Poul Anderson did not write only the kind of fiction that requires a villain in every novel. However, when appropriate, he created perfect villains, in particular Aycharaych and Merau Varagan.
SM Stirling excels at villains. William Walker has made John Martins, who reminds me of Ralph Barnes, work for him. Martins reflects:
"'Oh, man, that guy is, like, an orc...'" (Island In The Sea Of Time, p. 392) -
"This is, like, totally Mordor here. That dude's head is in a truly fucked-up place." (p. 394)
Escaped slaves brought back by hounds are flogged or crucified. As I remarked about the Draka theoretician here, I would like to put such a character in a society where she is free to flourish and prosper as an individual but not at anyone else's expense.