Thursday, January 07, 2016

Five of the best evil lieutenants in SF/F

Jeff Somers is the author of Lifers, the Avery Cates series from Orbit Books, Chum from Tyrus Books, and We Are Not Good People from Pocket/Gallery. He has published over thirty short stories as well. One of Somers's five best evil lieutenants (or "dragons") in SF/F, as shared at the B & N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog:
Best Backstory for an Evil Lieutenant: The Witch King of Angmar in The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings gets name-checked a lot when discussing just about anything in fantasy, so it’s no surprise it offers up one of the most coolest Dragons ever (one that is, yes, an actual dragon), the Witch King of Angmar, a.k.a. the Lord of the Nazgûl. Simply being the Black Captain of Mordor is cool enough, but the Witch King’s history—some of which is only detailed in Tolkien’s notes—makes him a tragic figure, too. Likely a Númenórean (and thus possibly Aragorn’s distant cousin), he was a powerful and noble man fooled into accepting one of Sauron’s Rings of power thousands of years before the events of the novels. Immortal, and with his already badass powers enhanced, the Witch King became the second-most feared entity in the world by the time a Hobbit and a young woman managed to kill him, fulfilling the prophecy that no man could harm him.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Lord of the Rings also made Jenny Kawecki's top eight list of fictional characters who would make the best travel companions, Kimberley Freeman's list of five books that changed her, SF Said's top ten list of unlikely heroes, Nicole Hill's top eight list of notable royal figures in fiction, Becky Ferreira's top seven list of bromances in literature, Nicole Hill's list of eleven of the most eccentric relatives in fiction, Nicole Hill's top seven list of literary wedding themes, Charlie Jane Anders's list of fifteen moments from science fiction and fantasy that will make absolutely anyone cry, Elizabeth Wein's top ten list of dynamic duos in fiction, Katharine Trendacosta and Charlie Jane Anders's list of the ten sources that inspired the dark storytelling of Game of Thrones, Rob Bricken's list of 11 preposterously manly fantasy series, Conrad Mason's top ten list of magical objects in fiction, Linus Roache's six best books list, Derek Landy's top ten list of villains in children's books, Charlie Jane Anders and Michael Ann Dobbs' list of ten classic SF books that were originally considered failures, Lev Grossman's list of the six greatest fantasy books of all time, and appears on John Mullan's lists of ten of the best women dressed as men, ten of the best bows and arrows in literature, ten of the best beards in literature, ten of the best towers in literature, ten of the best volcanoes in literature, ten of the best chases in literature, and ten of the best monsters in literature. It is one of Salman Rushdie's five best fantasy novels for all ages. It is a book that made a difference to Pat Conroy.

--Marshal Zeringue