Saturday, 1 April 2017

Villains II

Does Robert Heinlein's Future History have a villain? Some of its stories certainly don't. They are just about daily life in the future. Is the Prophet Nehemiah Scudder the villain of the series? But he remains off-stage. The History is about humanity overcoming its own problems, social insanities and prejudices, over time.

Poul Anderson made this point even more explicitly in his first future history, the Psychotechnic History. Not only did Anderson model his fictional history directly on Heinlein's. He also specifically identified the villain of the series, "...the old and protean enemy...," as mankind! See here. Perhaps there is nothing more to be said about villainry after that?

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I think it can be fairly said that Robert Heinlein didn't like or agree with certain KINDS of people. Such as socialists and advocates of big, overweening government. And, RAH did say he never wrote a story featuring Nehemiah Scudder as the "Prophet" because he disliked him too much. That, along with his satirizing of the Fosterites in STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND makes me think Heinlein disliked certain types of Protestants.