Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! In a minute I need to go ice my dad’s favorite cookies, but first let me draw your attention to this post at Barnes and Noble, about great dad moments in SFF.
My favorite of their examples is the one where Aral Vorkosigan saves Miles by getting the collected-an-army charge altered to the more serious charge of treason. Aral was a great father all the way through the series, too.
Here’s another post, this one at tor.com. I don’t totally agree with picking out father figures like Giles from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, but on the other hand, this post does depart from SFF enough to point directly at my favorite fictional father of all time: Keith Mars from the Veronica Mars series. I love Keith in that series and I was totally going to mention him if tor.com hadn’t beaten me to it.
Fathers in my own books tend to have rather fraught relationships with their children. Let me see. We have:
In The City in the Lake, we have some of my favorite fathers as secondary characters — Timou’s father Kapoen; and Neill and Cassiel’s father, Drustan. They are both seriously flawed men, of course, but I am very fond of them both.
In the Griffin Mage trilogy, we never hear about Kes’ father, and though we never meet Bertaud’s father, he was obviously a pretty unpleasant man. Mienthe’s father was horrible, though of course not much on stage either. But Tehre’s father, Eben Amnachudran, is another of my favorites among my secondary characters. The Kings of Feierbiand and Casmantium are also fathers, though we don’t see a lot of them in that role.
You remember Prince Tepres’ father in House of Shadows? Geriodde Seriantes? Yeah, talk about a fraught relationship. Pretty rough on them both, actually. In fact, I focused quite a bit on the relationship between Tepres and his father in the sequel, which of course I am determined that you will all get a chance to read *someday.*
In Black Dog, Grayson is everyone’s father figure, though no one’s actual father.
Nothing complicated about the father-daughter relationship in The Keeper of the Mist. Poor Keri. I hope few of us have fathers as selfish and short-sighted as hers.
In the forthcoming The Mountain of Kept Memory, Oressa and Gulien’s father, King Osir is . . . complicated. Not exactly likeable. In fact, not likeable at all, except that I admit I kind of like him, but then I know more about Osir from the beginning than the reader can. Oressa and Gulien have very different relationships with their father, I will say that, and neither of them is exactly objective. So that invites the reader to maybe be not quite sure about Osir until the very end. Maybe not then. I’ll be interested in seeing how readers respond to him.
I guess I would say that I have five fathers who are basically decent people and try to be good fathers, and three — four, I guess — who are not the kind of men you’d want as a father. I’m leaving out Geriodde Seriantes because it’s not really fair to judge him without reading the sequel first.
Okay, who’s your favorite father in SFF? Or in general fiction?
Since B&N mentioned Aral Vorkosigan and tor.com mentioned Keith Mars, my favorites are taken care of, but I bet I’m forgetting someone. Oh, of course I am — Griffin Tourmalyne in McKillip’s Song for the Basilisk. And come to think of it, Arioso Pellior, in the same book, is one of the scariest fathers ever. Who would you all pick as either a great father or a scary father?