Thursday, 10 August 2017

Superior Villains

(Dig that cover!)

Poul Anderson's most intriguing continuing villains are the time travelling Merau Varagan and the telepathic Aycharaych. Tachwyr the Dark is merely Dominic Flandry's opposite number, not very villainous.

SM Stirling's Count Ignatieff and others surpass Anderson's villains for sheer evil.

Ian Fleming surpasses Anderson and Stirling by presenting almost one new larger than life villain for each new novel. Even when Blofeld returns, he has a new alias and a new exotic headquarters - in Paris, on an Alp, in a Japanese Castle of Death - each time.

My advice:

read or reread all three authors;
read the Time Patrol series, the Technic History and the James Bond series in chronological order;
start Stirling with The Peshawar Lancers or Conquistador.

It is after 9:00 PM and I now resolve not to post again until tomorrow AM. I will go out and maybe visit the Gregson Centre.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Well, in the days of the Terran Empire Merseia was dominated by a nasty ideology of racial supremacism. But, yes, as PERSONS, many Merseians were decent beings.

    And the thing to remember about Stirling's villains is how he showed them as developed, well rounded characters, not simplistic cardboard caricatures. Even the monstrous Count Ignatieff, diabolist and cannibal tho he was, is shown as having attractive and admirable qualities and abilities. And Yasmini's comment about the count being a man of deep faith and piety in his horrible religion makes me wonder what he might have been like as a Christian.


  2. Replies
    1. Dear Mr. Stirling,

      I wouldn't be surprised if the cover shows us Dr. Cassandra King and Crown Prince Charles, as they were discussing the Fall, Yasmini, Count Ignatieff, etc.


  3. Actually, that's precisely it. That's the Palace of the Lion Throne.

    1. I thought that was our Athelstane.

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      Paul, bur recall how Crown Prince Charles is generally described as wearing a military uniform.

      Mr. Stirling, I'm glad I guessed right! (Smilse)