Saturday, 1 October 2016

Realism Or Paranoia?

The head of the Section, Gullberg, suspects that Prime Minister Olof Palme is a KGB agent. Whereas Poul Anderson's Max Abrams had substantial reasons to suspect the Merseians of duplicity (see here), the same might not be true in the case of Gullberg and Palme:

"To Gullberg's frustration, the question of Palme's possible Russian contacts was never resolved. Despite persistent attempts to establish the truth and uncover the crucial evidence - the smoking gun - the Section had never found any proof. In Gullberg's eyes this did not mean that Palme might not be innocent, but rather that he was an especially cunning and intelligent spy who was not tempted to makes the same mistakes that other Soviet spies had made. Palme continued to baffle them, year after year."
-Stieg Larsson, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest (London, 2009), Chapter 5, p. 113.

Although, at first glance, Abrams might seem to be another Gullberg, there is a world of difference.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Exactly! Commander Abrams strove to be REALISTIC in his assessments of threats to the Empire while Gullberg was not.

    An analog to Olof Palme in Anderson's Terran Empire might have been seen if Abrams had suspected Lord Hauksberg was a traitor--because the policy he advocated was so USEFUL to the Merseians. But Abrams' knew Hauksberg was no traitor--merely MISTAKEN. True, that can be as damaging as actual treason.


    1. Sean,
      Hauksberg and Palme are a good comparison.

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      We both know of how Olaf Magnusson was a traitor and deep cover agent of Merseia. But, I don't think anyone has commented on a very similar traitor mentioned only once in the Flandry stories. This is what I found in Chapter 12 of ENSIGN FLANDRY as Dywr the Hook was burglarizing Brechdan Ironrede's office and secret files: "Maxwell Crawford. Ha, the Terran Emperor's governor of the Arachnean System was in Merseian pay. A sleeper, kept in reserve."

      We never see any further mention of either Crawford or the Arachnean System in the Flandry stories. We have to assume Crawford managed to live out his life not being discovered to have been a traitor. Pity!