Everyone loves a villain and today on the Nut Press I’m delighted to welcome Dexter Snide, the deliciously evil mastermind behind Evil UnLtd, whose first two adventures have been chronicled by Simon A Forward and are available in paperback and ebook formats.
Welcome to the Nut Press, Mr Snide, or may I call you Dexter? For those poor unfortunates who don’t yet get your television station Galaxy Six beamed into their homes or might not know of you, how would you describe yourself and why should everyone here on Earth take notice of you?
First of all, can I say what an honour it is for you to be interviewing me.
Modesty inhibits me from talking too extensively about myself, which is why I dispensed with that particular ‘quality’ before I was old enough to look it up in a dictionary. In essence I am the exemplar of villainy. People will perhaps remember with fondness certain evil masterminds from the realms of fiction – Sherlock Holmes’ Moriarty, Doctor Who’s Master, Die Hard’s Hans Gruber – gentlemen of refinement, superior intellect and commitment to long-term relationships with criminality. If you put all three of those in a blender, you’d have the beginnings of an appreciation of the man I am – and as a bonus, you’d be removing some minor competition.
Amateurs, all three, who allowed their respective antagonists (known in your language as ‘heroes’) to get the better of them. Still, I gather they were popular figures and I’ve heard it said, “Everyone loves a good villain.” So it seems to me, the greater the villainy, the greater the love. Which is not so much why the people of Earth should take notice, but rather the reason they will.
When did you first turn to the dark side and decide that being Evil was not only more fun and fulfilling, but the life for you?
Well, I could blame it on my upbringing – at a very early age my mother (*shudders*) washed her hands of me and deposited me in the care of the Cringemyre Educatory Reform Habitoid For Wayward Boys. I use the term ‘care’ loosely, of course. They ran a strict Dickensian regime there and brooked no misbehaviour or stepping out of line. But mine is not a sob story. Indeed it was the fact that they brooked so very little that made it all the more appetising. In that respect, it was a nurturing environment. While familiarity – along with, if you ask me, a great many other things – breeds contempt, pompous piety and intolerance breed Evil and are therefore to be applauded. Especially in schools. Imagine, if I hadn’t turned to Evil in my formative years I wouldn’t be half the villain I am and I’d have a serious amount of catching up to do.
You can’t always have been Evil. What’s the nicest thing you’ve ever done for anyone?
I have on occasion consented to interviews. Any claims that I have ever done anything nicer is defamation of character and my people will be seeing your people in court. If you’re lucky.
You’ve gathered together a remarkable group of miscreants to assist you in your plan to see Evil run/ruin the Universe. Are you still recruiting or will the rest of the work be done by whoever wins your Minion Factor talent contest?
Ultimately, in my business, you constantly have to be thinking ahead. Clearly, some tasks are best done by yours truly, but I’m not sure everyone grasps the sheer volume of menial chores involved in running an expanding Evil empire. Combine that with the tendency of minions to let one down and there will always be job opportunities open. That said, I think we have some promising contestants lined up in our Minion Factor competition so there’s a strong chance that the rank-and-file positions will be filled for some time to come.
But if you’re asking because you’re interested, then you can fill out an application form like everyone else.
Squizzey can’t help but think that you might have underestimated the Bunnymen when they auditioned for Minion Factor. Are you afraid of any bounceback from those (hind)quarters?
Afraid? Of bunnies? You are pulling my leg, of course. The Bunnymen – or Myxomatosans – might be as militaristic as a hardline Republican Klingon with a rocket launcher on one shoulder and a chip on the other and a whiff of oil in the region, but at the end of the day they’re far too cute to be any kind of threat. I sent them packing with their little cottontails between their legs and I doubt we’ll be seeing them again anytime soon, despite any appearance they may have been granted in the epilogue.
Do you find it hard to hold the team together and sometimes feel that they have their own agendas? How do you deal with this when planning your next Evil move?
We have, as you say, a remarkable team. The cream of the galaxy’s criminal crop. Beyond that, I’m not going to sing any of their praises here. Suffice to say, most perform their roles adequately – even admirably on occasion. Mr Knucks is my most dependable lieutenant. But this question of personal agendas is becoming an increasing problem.
Ms Troy can be a menace, for example, with her gender superiority issues and I worry there may come a day when even Mr Knucks’ unfettered chauvinism becomes, well, fettered in the face of her manoeuvring. I’m aware of her underhand tactics and I have plans in place to keep her in check. Doubtless she has plans to counter those, but I have plans to deal with those too. It’s a whole spiral of plans and counter-plans and just one of those unfortunate necessities of working alongside egos of that magnitude.
Similarly, I have some concerns over our latest employee, Six. Adding another female to the mix strikes me as asking for trouble. But Professor Doomladen assures me she was manufactured according to his own Laws Of Robotics so I’m hopeful she’ll be the one woman on the team who knows her place. And with Evil Robot and the Hatchling currently in absentia we need her to make up the numbers, wash a few dishes, that sort of thing. (Laughs.)
You obviously have some kind of relationship going on with Tanith Troy, but no doubt get a lot of attention from women since you rose to power. What’s your idea of a perfect date?
Ultimately, a date is all about the meeting of two minds with an eye to some potential gain for at least one of the parties involved. There might be some mutual benefit, but really there’s no sense concerning yourself over what’s in it for the other person. As long as they believe you have something to offer, that should suffice. In any case, the best date would naturally involve the greatest gain for a minimum of effort. Expense is no object, since funds can always be stolen or, like anything you might say on the date, counterfeited.
Dinner is, of course, the classic choice and it’s hard to beat. It’s sitting and talking and if the food’s sufficiently palatable you can even save yourself the effort of too much conversation. Obviously never go to the trouble of cooking and be sure to ply your rival – that is to say, your date – with plenty of wine. And even if you can’t quite command my levels of charisma and charm, well, you can rely on the setting to generate a winning impression.
For preference, I like a quiet night out by the fire. Set a nice conflagration rampaging through a city or national park and choose some locale with a commanding view of the blaze. If she’s not thoroughly entranced by the flames reflected in your eyes then you failed to use the right accelerant.
Who’s been your most formidable opponent to date or have you yet to meet someone who is your equal?
Formidable is an ugly word, when it comes to opponents. It irks me to say this, but our most bothersome enemy has been Rolph Stengun. For years, he was the bane of my most devious schemes and it’s not as if he ever had to outsmart me. No, all the shaven ape had to do was turn up and be impervious to bullets and my wittiest barbs. And he was infuriatingly resistant to death. When we threw him out the airlock he came back, reanimated as an unstoppable cyborg by a swarm of vengeful Space Midges. I mean, what were the chances of that? It was aggravating in the extreme.
Still, he’s finally met his end and we won’t be seeing him again. So, all being well, we can look forward to coming up against a better class of hero. One with a cerebrum would be nice for a change.
Somewhere out there, some day I am sure I will meet my Sherlock Holmes. And take the greatest pleasure in killing him before he’s had a chance to feature in one whole story.
Which villains (real or fictional) do you admire and envy for their own special brand of Evil, and why?
Despite their aforementioned amateurism, we will admit to a grudging admiration for the likes of Moriarty and the Master. The former gentleman has attained a notoriety and fame wholly disproportionate to his appearance in all of one official Sherlock Holmes tale. And the Master commands a huge fanbase, despite a long succession of completely insane schemes easily defeated by an ineffectual dandy in a frock coat or even, in later years, by a prematurely retired vet in a pantomime cricketer’s outfit. These are notable achievements and show that, in spite of their poor track records, they must possess many commendable qualities to have forged such enduring impressions.
Oh, and Keyser Soze in The Usual Suspects – not least because he gets away with it.
Are you happy with the way in which you and your escapades are being portrayed by Simon A Forward?
As an author, the fellow has some credentials – he’s written for Doctor Who and Merlin. Only books, mind you, not for the TV series or anything that counts. But he has a tendency towards laziness and takes almost a year to produce each instalment of Evil UnLtd. He would, at this point, contend that he likes to take time and care over the details, to ensure the quality of the writing and so on, but frankly it’s not good enough. And sometimes I don’t believe he takes us sufficiently seriously. Do not be surprised if you hear he has been taken out and shot and replaced with a dedicated scriptbot.
Squizzey is very interested in achieving world domination. Do you have any advice for him?
World domination is a laudable ambition, but I wonder if Squizzey’s heart is quite in it, what with setting his sights so low. I understand that travel to other planets is limited at your world’s current state of technological advancement, but I gather a certain Mr Branson is developing the first commercial spacecraft so Squizzey might consider staging a hijack and striking out for some other world altogether.
Still, if Squizzey is intent on confining his aims to one world, one key piece of advice I can offer is to never fall into complacency. Earth may seem to be a comprehensive ball of festering Evil and in need of no further input from us villains. But despite the wars, famine, poverty, rampant corruption, collapsing economy, widespread suffering and cultural barrel-scraping in TV and film – all of which are encouraging signs – some persist in clinging to antiquated notions like hope and faith in humanity, so we must never rest on our laurels.
One of your most celebrated writers wrote, “All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.” This is blatant nonsense and Shakespeare really ought to have taken pains to attribute lines like that to someone else. It should be abundantly clear to anyone that evil must be nurtured. Contrary to popular misconception, Evil is a creative endeavour.
Squizzey would do well to bear that in mind.
What’s next for you and Evil Unltd? Where will it all end?
A third account of our enterprise is due for release in December 2012 – assuming Mr Forward (or the replacement scriptbot) meets his deadline. It will follow on directly from events detailed in Vol 2: From Evil With Love and will go by the title of Vol 3: Evil Utd.
While continuing to chart our rise, it will also cover the outcome of the Minion Factor, touch on the trifling matter of a brewing galactic war, follow the progress of our currently MIA colleagues, reveal a little more of my past and answer many burning questions, chief among them, I suppose, being “What happens next?” It may also feature some of those personal agendas to which you referred, although not if I have any say in the matter.
As to where it will all end – well, universal domination. In the meantime, we would like to see our brand make the transition to other media – audio, screen, stage, video game, perhaps even a musical – along with a great deal of exploitative merchandising. Evil Lego is only one courageous executive and a few million pounds away.
Thanks very much for fitting us into what must be a hectic schedule what with running a TV station, being lead judge on a reality show to find your minions and ridding the universe of good. All the best of luck with your plans for Evil UnLtd Domination!
The first two volumes of the Evil UnLtd adventures by Simon A Forward are both available from Amazon UK and Amazon US as ebooks and direct from the Author as signed paperbacks. You can read samples on BookBuzzr: Evil UnLtd: The Root of All Evil and Evil UnLtd: From Evil With Love. For more background on the Evil UnLtd books and for fun extras you can follow the Evil UnLtd blog, and to find out more about Simon A Forward you can read the Author’s Blog or follow Simon on Twitter.