Friday, 29 August 2014

I hate to even bring this up, but...

After two years as Reagan's National Security Advisor, Colin Powell became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs in 1989, the year Rohmer published Red Arctic.

Twelve novels in... only four to go... have we encountered a single black character? 


  1. You'll recall fleeting talk in Balls! of someone named Sam Richardson. The idea was that he might make a dandy Vice-President had he not been black. We never saw or heard from Richardson; he was just discussed. Does that mean he counts as a character? I've never been clear on this.

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  3. I'm gonna count it. It means in Richard Rohmer's alternative universe, or whatever that science fiction website calls it, black people exist.

    Women with the power of speech (two per novel) exist on a grid that you could chart like this: ugly / not-ugly / short / tall.

    But most people are middle-aged men, fit and trim unless otherwise indicated.

    Canadians, Russians and Arabs; two kinds of Americans (Texans and not-Texans), Englishmen who say "bloody hell," and are often sailors, prime ministers or Field Marshall Mongtomery; slippery Greeks, mobbed-up Italians, maître d's, Jewish Democratic politicians with ties to the auto industry, and the hardworking families of Buffalo, New York, damned from here to Eternity.

  4. Women politicians are either Margaret Thrasher or ugly bitches who drive their husbands to drink. The exception proving the rule is sexy Margaret Cameron, who in Ultimatum gets to play at being premier of Nova Scotia because no one can find her boss. She loses her seat six months later.