Roland Childe was a somewhat notorious Chasm City personality. From a fairly wealthy family background, Childe had a seemingly life-long fascination with archaeology, artefact-hunting and challenging, maze-like environments. In the eyes of Richard Swift, an old friend of his, he had the reputation of an adventurer archaeologist.
Personal history Edit
Along with Richard Swift, a childhood friend from a similarly wealthy Yellowstone family, the young Childe spent many years of their childhood engaging in a favourite hobby of their's: Constructing various simulated mazes and obstacle courses, often large and complex enough to get lost in for entire days.
In their adulthood, both friends had gone their separate ways. For years, they only met each other occassionally, until Childe met with Swift one evening while Swift was visiting the Monument to the Eighty in Chasm City. Childe had revealed to Swift he is planning to organise an expedition to the planet Golgotha, in order to research the mystery of the Blood Spire, a local structure of unknown origin. Hitching a ride in Childe's volantor, along with infamous Chasm City personality Dr. Trintignant, Swift payed a visit to the Childe estate.
At the Childe estate, hidden in the underground of Chasm City, Childe introduced Swift to the details of the expedition, as well as its other participating members. These included Swift's ex-wife Celestine, Dr. Trintignant himself, the information retrieval specialist Hirz, and ultranaut Forqueray, captain of the lighthugger Apollyon, chartered by Childe.
In the 2017 theatrical adaptation of Diamond Dogs (by the House Theatre, Chicago), Roland Childe was portrayed by Christopher Haimsworth.
- The plot of the novella and the choice of Roland Childe's name seems to be a reference to the 1855 poem by Robert Browning, Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came. The poem itself was inspired by a line from Shakespeare's King Lear, namely "Child Rowland to the dark tower came/ His word was still 'Fie, foh, and fum/ I smell the blood of a British man." (Act 3, Scene 4). The choice of quote that includes themes of towers and blood seems very intentional by Reynolds. As a term, childe was a chivalric rank for sons of nobility who had not yet achieved knighthood.
- Childe is one of many Yellowstonians shown to dabble in bodily modification, though his forays into these esthetic changes are much more subdued than most. Swift's inner monologue early into the novella mentions that Childe still had little horns grafted to his skull when they met previously, giving him a provocative devil-like visage. This might be something of a visual pun on Reynolds' part, given the novella's frequent indications of Childe's "daredevil" or "devil-may-care" adventurer personality.