Sunday, 4 December 2016
The Psychology Of A Villain
Great Villains in Prose Fiction
There are others, the rest of Bond's Rogues Gallery for a kick-off, but let's stay with these eight. Two each from Poul Anderson and SM Stirling!
Walker has captured Ian Arnstein of Nantucket. Bad news! Doreen Arnstein reasons:
if Walker's sadistic sidekick Hong were torturing Ian, then she would boast about it, sending body parts or photographs - "'...she's incapable of acting otherwise.'" (On The Oceans Of Eternity, p. 393);
if Walker had killed Ian, then he would display his head - he also is incapable of anything else;
Walker is likely to keep his options open by holding a hostage unharmed for the time being;
also, he does not see other people, particularly not the "locals," as real so he might keep Ian as a more real person to boast to...
The indications so far are that Doreen is correct. So Ian can plausibly go into the lion's mouth without being, physically, harmed - and might even get under Walker's guard? Excellent characterization, Mr Stirling!