JESSE OVER AT THE SFF AUDIO BLOG GIVES US THE LOW DOWN . . .
Uvula Audio, the fiction podcasts produced by James Campanella, is premiering today simultaneously two Doc Savage novels back to back—The Fortress of Solitude and The Devil Genghis. Sez Jim:
Back in October of 1938, Lester Dent finally bowed to pressure from his fans and publishers and decided to reveal Doc’s major secret—the exact nature of his “Fortress Of Solitude.” Of course, in doing so, Dent realized that he would have to create a legendary villain that would become the only rogue ever to escape from Doc and come back in a sequel. That villain was John Sunlight—you have to admit even his name is seriously cool and since he is so completely black of heart, The Sunlight name is a bit of an ironic joke that characterizes the very dark bad guy.
Hitler was not quite an internationally insane figure on the scene yet so it is interesting that according to writer Will Murray, John sunlight was modeled on another power hungry nutcase—Napoleon Bonaparte. As Murray says on the European stage napoleon’s legacy of conquest still held the distinction for the most bloodthirsty even until the late 30’s.
Dent originally in his notes made Sunlight tall and gaunt like Rasputin, but when Fortress was actually published, sunlight is described with a high forehead and burning deep-socketed eyes. This is the way that napoleon was often described. Sunlight is further described as a malevolent monster who desired nothing more than to bend mankind to his wicked will.
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