Sometimes itís the sidekick or an eccentric villain who really make a short story, novel, or movie, think C3PO. They are often there for comic relief but are sometimes just bizarre enough to be really memorable. Who is your favorite offbeat character?
One of the most engaging and viscerally unsettling bad guys I've encountered is the villain from "It's a Good Life" by Jerome Bixby. He is only a small child, with a small child's emotions and limited understanding of the world, but with the powers of small god. He is not conventionally evil, just a three year old with the keys to the universe.
Another interesting bad guy, who is very dangerous but not conventionally evil is the second twin in That Detweiler Boy, by Tom Reamy. The Detweiler boy has a secret that must be protected at all costs. The shame is, he's such a handsome boy with big sad eyes, quite any mother's dream child, except for that peculiar hump on his back.
I love the characters in Anne Rice novels, especially Lestat. Visceral, powerful, wanting to live his past death, manipulating those around him with wild abandon. No rules, only personal preservation and entertainment. "Louie, Louie, Louie! How you drone on and on!" Lestat never drones - he is action through the ages.
How about Lazarus Long? Heinlein's character swaggered his way though a lot of books. Hi aphorisms get quoted all the time.
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