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- View topic - Heinleins Villains --are they *any* believable human ones?
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Heinleins Villains --are they *any* believable human ones? 
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Post Heinleins Villains --are they *any* believable human ones?
I think we all know this wasn't one of his strengths --he doesn't seem to have been interested in it being one of his strengths. "No man is a villain in his own mind" is one quote from him. His villains tend to be either large, impersonal and off-screen; alienly ununderstandable (Puppet Masters); off-screen entirely (say The Prophet); or buffoonish caricatures that a writer of his skill must be assumed to have drawn them that way on purpose (Mrs. Keithley, for instance).

So in a moment of daydreaming today, I tried to think of some relatively well drawn and believable human villains in Heinlein. I came up with five, four in the juveniles.

Starman Jones: Assistant Astrogator Simes
Between Planets: The internal security guy at the beginning.
Tunnel in the Sky: Grant Cowper
The Door Into Summer: Miles Gentry (but most assuredly NOT Belle Darkin)
Citizen of the Galaxy: "Uncle" John Weemsby

Discuss.

Edit: Added Weemsby, who should have occurred to me first, actually. . .

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Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:42 pm
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Post Re: Heinleins Villains --are they *any* believable human ones?
What about the Montgomerys, pere and fils in Time Enough For Love? And the one in Starman Jones?


Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:39 pm
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Post Re: Heinleins Villains --are they *any* believable human ones?
The Montgomerys aren't too bad. . . tho the broad southern redneck accent in space several generations on puts me off a bit (unlike the Loonies in TMIAHM which seem to mostly be generations 1-3).

Which one in Starman Jones (I already have one listed)? The step-father? Believable situation, but he's gone pretty quick --quicker than the IBI lieutenant in Between Planets, even. Tho truth be told, I have a lot of admiration for Starman Jones, understanding how he had to set that one up carefully in several places to "get it past the librarians". I won't claim it is the most subversive of Heinlein works, but it is up there. . .

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Last edited by georule on Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:49 pm
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Post Re: Heinleins Villains --are they *any* believable human ones?
Dr. Lowell Calhoun in Seventh Column/Day After Tomorrow? (scientist who wants a world run by scientific principles --as long as they are his?)

Montgomery Phipps from near the end of Between Planets? (Colonel Blimp stand-in?)

Both perhaps qualify as stereotypes, but perhaps not as "buffoonish caricatures".

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Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:37 pm
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Post Re: Heinleins Villains --are they *any* believable human ones?
If I wanted to tickle Bill into action, I might even suggest. . . . .Ben Caxton, from Stranger?

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Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:10 pm
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Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:10 pm
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Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:48 pm
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Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:50 pm
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Thu Mar 18, 2010 7:39 pm
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Post Re: Heinleins Villains --are they *any* believable human ones?

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Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:21 pm
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