Sunday, 6 August 2017

Series Villains

We have discussed series villains before. An iconic image in twentieth century cinema is the cat-stroking James Bond villain whose face is not seen and whose name is not uttered until Bond comes face to face with him in the fifth film. We commend CS Lewis and SM Stirling for creating truly evil and literally diabolical villains.

Either a series villain returns like a recurring decimal or, more interestingly, the author progressively reveals more about him until at last we are given his "origin story." Aspects of the second process can be seen in Poul Anderson's Dominic Flandry and Time Patrol series and in Ian Fleming's James Bond series.

(i) Aycharaych, a Chereionite and universal telepath, is the spearhead of Merseian Intelligence.
(ii) A prequel reveals that the Chereionites were the Ancients whose interstellar civilization ended ages ago.
(iii) Flandry, learning that Aycharaych is the last Chereionite and has served Merseia only to preserve the Chereionite heritage, bombards Chereion, probably killing Aycharaych.
(iv) A long term plan of Aycharaych's comes to fruition and nearly succeeds. Tachwyr wonders whether Aycharaych will return.
(v) Pete Pinto suggested to Anderson that Aycharaych should return but in an Aycharaych novel, not in a Flandry novel. However, Anderson went on to write a different series and also more seriously speculative fiction.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And S.M. Stirling might have written a similar series featuring Count Ignatieff in THE PESHAWAR LANCERS timeline. We see the Count not only in PESHAWAR but also in "Shikari In Galveston," set about 20 or 25 years earlier.

True, by the time THE GAME OF EMPIRE was pub. in 1985, Anderson thought he had done as much as he could with the Technic Series and it was time to move on to other ideas and themes. All the same, it would have been very interesting if PA had written one or two more Technic stories.