[LMB] TSK - Echoes

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Mon Jul 22 05:49:59 BST 2019

From: John Lennard <john.c.lennard at gmail.com>

Howard: So malices aren't evil [?]

John: Correct, and the case comprehends Lois's stated intents as well as
theology and philosophy.
In TSK, Lois is systematically reworking tropes found in Tolkien and later
debased by his less talented imitators, and one such is the Dark Lord, as a
singular source of evil whose destruction means the End of Evil and a
universal Happy Ever After.
One major problem with this is why the Dark Lord is so invertedly wicked
("Evil, be thou my good.", as Shakespeare has it.) Why does Lucifer rebel?
Why is Sauron bad? It's the Origin of Evil question, potent in theology as
the Manichaean Heresy and Boethian orthodoxy. To choose to be bad, that is
"Evil". But who does so choose?

Gwynne: One thing that depresses me about most evil overlords is that they're
so small, in their ambitions. Yes, they want to take over the world, etc etc, but...
then what? They have no reason for doing it except to bounce around gloating.

Now, I don't mind a good gloat, I've been known to do it myself. But they don't
seem to plan beyond that.

Surely it'd be a greater challenge, and achievement, to create something great?
Make and maintain a wonderful society where people are happy and strong. Cure
something; invent, or sponsor the inventors, of amazing things. Be a patron for
artists, musicians and writers. Build a wonderful world and society. Set it up so that
it will keep on going for a good long time.

But no, they just want to grab and hold and destroy, leaving nothing of note behind
them but ash and misery. All their power, all their ability and strength, and it's
achieved nothing. Such sadly small ambitions, when they could have been truly great.

More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list