Wednesday, 3 May 2017

The Fates Of Fictional Villains

Every James Bond villain is introduced and killed in a single volume except Blofeld who is killed three volumes later. Poul Anderson took a different tack with the principal villains of his two main series.

The Technic History
Aycharaych is presumed killed in the bombardment of his home planet and, even if he did not die then, that bombardment destroyed his motivation for opposing the Terran Empire. A return of Aycharaych would have been interesting and is even hinted at but Anderson stopped writing the Technic History in favor of other speculative works.

The Time Patrol
Merau Varagan is imprisoned on the presumably escape-proof exile planet where we imagine that he will have access neither to spacecraft nor to time machines. Again, Anderson wanted to write something other than a mere return of a recurring villain. Most Time Patrol stories do not feature a villain and, in any case, after Varagan, Everard must face:

other Exaltationists led by Varagan's female clone-mate, Raor;
a different kind of threat from an unwitting personal causal nexus.

Raor inherits the name of a spear-carrying character in an earlier Varagan story. Never waste a detail.

1 comment:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Sometimes I still wonder wistfully what kind of stories Anderson might have written about Aycharaych and Diana Crowfeather if he continued writing in the Technic Civilization timeline. And it would be more exact to say the bombardment of Chereion deprived Aycharaych, assuming he survived, of any further reason to serve Merseia.

    And I wonder what the Time Patrol's exile planet was like? Presumably, it was terrestroid and reasonably comfortable for human beings to live on. And I assume criminals sentenced to the exile planet were deposited there centuries apart and in such wise they would not have any contact with spaceships and time machines.

    Sean

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