Saturday, 31 March 2018

Chives And...

I think that I once found the internal illustrations of the Ace Books A Stone In Heaven on the Internet but cannot find them now when I could really use a picture of Chives.

I want to make a point about Chives but, as sometimes happens, find that I have already made it. Before Sir! and Sir! II, there was "Sir!" which ended by linking to a post about another master-servant team here.

We rightly compare Chives with Jeeves but Flandry is no Wooster although he sometimes plays such a role. There is another team in which:

the master is no Wooster but sometimes pretends to be;

the servant combines impeccable butling with unobtrusive and effective support for his master's covert war.

I refer to Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Altho Chives is not seen in "A Message in Secret," Flandry does play the role of an amiable, not very intelligent Wooster when he first met Oleg Khan. His life depended on convincing the Khan he was a harmless bumbler it was safer to be allowed to leave Altai.

If possible, I recommend acquiring a copy of the trade edition of Ace Books A STONE IN HEAVEN. Because the illustrations will be larger and more clearly detailed. One of the interesting things I noted about the illustrations of Chives in that book was how it showed him as aging and increasingly frail. Well, STONE was set 14 years after A KNIGHT OF GHOSTS AND SHADOWS.

I agree with the comparison or analogy you made with Bruce Wayne and his butler Alfred. Another example would be Lord Peter Wimsey and Mr. Bunter.


David Birr said...

I recall particularly one storyline from the early 1990s. Batman and Alfred were temporarily marooned in an isolated Swiss chalet. While Batman worked on repairing communications equipment so they could call for transportation, Alfred checked the chalet's food storage and cooked up a spinach fajita.
Batman: A spinach fajita? In Switzerland? I would have expected chocolate.
Alfred [looking offended]: A chocolate fajita would be barbarian.
[A moment or so later...]
Batman: Good fajita. Glad you passed on the chocolate.
Alfred [eyeing his own portion of fajita with disfavor]: It may have been a mistake. Perhaps the chocolate could work.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, DAVID!

I couldn't help laughing a little at this bit of dialogue between Batman and Alfred. And I will be looking up what a "fajita" is.

I'm currently and slowly rereading Anderson's "A Message in Secret," and I have to say the story made me laugh or smile more than once. Usually at moments when Flandry was in situations making appear a bit ridiculous or when he was pretending to be a harmless Bertie Wooster type. Or was missing the luxuries and pleasures of Terra.

I've been finding quite a lot of wry, understated humor in "Message." More than what I believe is the usual case in a Flandry story. Here we see Anderson indulging in his fondness for understated comedy.