Nick Allard

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An Incarnation of the Eternal Champion.[1] Nicholas Giles Allard appears in three novels written by Michael Moorcock (under various pseudonyms) and published by Compact Books in 1966. Allard is said to be S.M.A.S.H. - 'The Sick Man's Antidote to Spy Heroics'. Nick Allard became Jerry Cornell when Moorcock revised the two latter novels.

The character of 'Nick Allard' may have originally been created by Roger Harris who wrote the original version of The LSD Dossier that Moorcock was asked to rewrite. As presented by Moorcock, Allard is a slightly seedy man with a permanent thin film of grease over his skin, who works for British Intelligence - not altogether willingly. Fundamentally lazy and feckless, Allard tolerates being a spy a) because it is fashionable and b) because it offers an opportunity for skiving and fiddling.[2] He resents his section chief, Commander Robert Fry and enjoys antagonising Fry's stomach ulcer by regaling him with anecdotes of the rich food he enjoys. By the third novel, Printer's Devil, Allard is married to the office receptionist Shirley Garmon to whom he is habitually unfaithful, although Shirley has a way of scaring off his girlfriends, which Allard never completely comprehends. In his spare time Allard collects (and paints) lead soldiers, a hobby Moorcock himself shared at the time.

Appeared in

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Mentioned in

Differences in character between the novels

In The LSD Dossier, Allard is presented as a very Bondian spy with elements of Len Deighton's 'Harry Palmer' added for good measure. In Somewhere in the Night he appears less committed to his profession as a spy and his behaviour is more cowardly, but by Printer's Devil he's much more craven, not only cheating on his wife (when he can) but actively trying to avoid completing the mission he has been assigned by Commander Fry.

Mike Says

  • "I wrote three Nick Allard books for Compact in the mid sixties. One was a rewrite of someone else's book THE LSD DOSSIER, which was frankly a dog's breakfast. The other two I decided to write as comedies and were all my own work SOMEWHERE IN THE NIGHT and PRINTER'S DEVIL under a pseudonym which has just slipped my mind. I then rewrote the first one for Hutchinson and in the US for Macmillan as The Chinese Agent. I then rewrote the second as The Russian Intelligence for Savoy and then for NEL in the UK. There was supposed to be a third written with Graham Hall to be called THE ABYSSINIAN QUESTION (as I recall), but Graham died before we could get very far with the project. The two best ones have been done as POD, after the Orion cop out. Ironically, these were always two of my very best selling titles! For some time The Chinese Agent outsold the Elric books! But publishers always think my non-fantasy won't sell as well."[3]

Notes

  1. Listed in Chapter Eleven of The Eternal Champion, 1970
  2. Printer's Devil, p14.
  3. http://www.multiverse.org/fora/showpost.php?p=42728&postcount=14