|Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 05:36 am: |
1. The 'Colonel Pyat' sequence:
Byzantium Endures / The Laughter of Carthage / Jerusalem Commands / The Vengeance of Rome
One of the most amazing sequences in modern English-language writing. Stuffed with ideas. Hilarious and profound. Bursting with exuberance and dizzy with velocity. Rich with detail. Historical, fantastical, political. Deeply individualistic, yet never simplistic...
(OK, maybe I'm jumping the gun by including this last title, but I'd feel wrong by not including it.)
2. The Dancers at the End of Time:
All five books, not just the trilogy. The short stories are marvellous and are often underrated by fans. Everybody can see themselves amplified (and distorted) in one of the dancers. I think I might be a distant cousin of the Duke of Queens. Damn it!
3. The City in the Autumn Stars:
An extraordinary fantasy that slides between the dimensions as easily as the characters slide between metaphysics and reality. Picturesque, rococo, extremely colourful and inventive. One of Moorcock's 'warmest' novels, hugely superior to its prequel, The War Hound and the World's Pain, with much more rounded characters and scenes than that earlier book. And an amazing wealth of obscure historical detail which never gets in the way of the story but makes it more believable.
|Posted on Thursday, March 20, 2003 - 02:33 am: |
I very much enjoyed: Elric of Melniboné, The Dreamthief's Daughter, Blood, Fabulous Harbours and the War amongst the Angels.
At the moment I'm reading The Skrayling Tree and so far it's pure enjoyment. I love the character of Klosterheim! Hope it will get more depth, maybe in short fiction even?
|Posted on Thursday, March 20, 2003 - 02:56 am: |
THE DREAMTHIEF'S DAUGHTER is definitely the best Elric novel...
For me, the early Elric novels (i.e. STORMBRINGER) have amazing vigour but lack polish, while some of the later ones (i.e. THE FORTRESS OF THE PEARL) are extremely well written but seem a bit tired.
THE DREAMTHIEF'S DAUGHTER has all the vigour and momentum but is also written with deep, polished prose. At long last, Moorcock has written a literary Elric novel!
|Posted on Thursday, March 20, 2003 - 03:16 am: |
Ok Rhys, then pick up The Skrayling Tree and enjoy the same literary quality found in The Dreamthief's Daughter!
|Posted on Wednesday, March 26, 2003 - 07:06 am: |
I'm limited in my Moorcock experience to the Eternal Champion books (Elric, Baron Blood, Corum, etc.), Jerry Cornelius, and the Dancers at the End of Time (not the whole series, only the first two books). I absolutely loved them, but I'm not sure what next to read.
Any suggestions? (he said, knowing that is a dangerous thing to ask for on such a literate board) I know there is much more to Moorcock's milieu than what I have read.
Thanks for your suggestions!
|Posted on Sunday, March 30, 2003 - 02:30 pm: |
John - I guess it depends what kind of stories you like best. One of my favourites is Gloriana. As far as I'm aware, there are two versions of it - the original had a controversial kind of ending, and Moorcock rewrote that part some time down the track.
For me, Gloriana reads something like an adult fairytale. Not that there are fairies in it, but there's the quality of a magical pageant in the writing. Lots of characters, including Captain Quire, who I think is one of the most lifelike, engaging and complex of Moorcock's creations. The setting is a marvellous, intricate castle - almost a character in itself.
|Posted on Monday, March 31, 2003 - 08:38 am: |
Hmmm, what I liked best, eh? I've mostly versed myself in Moorcock's Multiverse. When I was younger and reading them, I felt like I was getting away with something my parents wouldn't necessarily approve (especially the Cornelius and Dancers stuff). For me, the Corum stories were always my favorite. I don't know why. I think the relative evil-ness of Elric always bothered me some. I couldn't get behind a main character who was no better in a lot of ways than the things he was fighting.
(I also know that the archetypical Western hero who has never done any wrong is unrealistic as well, but I wouldn't want Elric as a friend, whereas someone like Corwin from Zelazny's Amber would be a good drinking buddy [and his sword wouldn't want to steal your soul])
I know that there is much Moorcock wrote/writes in his Multiverse, but I wanted to see what else he's done. GLORIANA sounds like an interesting place to start outside of that. I've always heard a lot of good things about MOTHER LONDON. I'll be away for business this week, and they have a good used bookstore there so I can see what I can find.
|Posted on Saturday, April 19, 2003 - 01:24 pm: |
>>When I was younger and reading them, I felt like I was getting away with something my parents wouldn't necessarily approve (especially the Cornelius and Dancers stuff).<<
You too, huh?
Back in 1977, I was about 14 or 15 when I bought An Alien Heat and The Hollow Lands (having acquired The End of All Songs serialised in Vortex magazine). I remember putting a paper cover on them both to conceal the nude couple and the blurb which mentioned a concubine. My parents would have been very concerned, had they known what I was reading!
Trouble was, I was too inexperienced as a reader to appreciate the literary merits of, say, Condition of Muzak. But I adored The English Assassin - the airship flying low over fields at night, the Peace Talks, JC emerging from his coffin, and the Teddy Bear sailing into the sunset while Mrs C slept in her deckchair.
Hmm, perhaps I should read them again before I'm senile.
John Thompson Jr.
|Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2003 - 02:06 am: |
Speaking of the Elric sequence, I always preferred Elric of Melnibone over Stormbringer, the popular favorite. Perhaps because the former has a mythical sweep that has only been matched by the two most recent Elric novels.
|Posted on Thursday, May 08, 2003 - 01:20 pm: |
I've always been quite partial to the Dancers at the End of Time books -- I think they've held up very well indeed. And Mother London remains my favorite of Mike's books, with the Byzantium Endures series right behind. An often overlooked novel is The Brothel at Rosenstrasse -- well worth picking up.
|Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 10:19 am: |
Stormbringer followed by Dreamtheif's Daughter are my favorites
|Posted on Friday, August 22, 2003 - 09:44 am: |
the Dancers at the End of Time.
Loved those. Read them late in the game - in the White Wolf hardover omnibus edition - and that sent me on another Moorcock buying/reading binge I'm only just recovering from.
|Posted on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - 03:28 pm: |
My favourites are probably
the Swords trilogy -first love.
Elric -because I started reading him just as I hit adolesence- and was a moody sod who nobody understood either (!)
Blood -because I love the imagery.
The City in the autum stars- just because...
Now favourite characters...
|Posted on Thursday, October 30, 2003 - 03:29 am: |
I'm currently re-reading Gloriana, which Warner Books is rereleasing. It is far, far better than I remembered . . . and I remembered it as being one of Mike's best. It is -- but it's in the same league as Mother London, and its influence on the genre is now crystal clear.
|Posted on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 10:44 am: |
Personally, I'd go for "The dreamthief's daughter", partly because it's an Elric book (or at least includes him), but primarily for the fairytale Germanic imagery. Also, in the von Beck character we see shades of the earler versions of elric, the moral philosopher taking a stance rather than the more (yet somewhat less interesting) testosterone driven later incarnations
|Posted on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 07:49 pm: |
I haven't read enough of him, but the best of what I have read is The Warlord of the Air. Sucker for airships.
|Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 03:48 am: |
Strange, I'm a sucker for airships too! Try The City in the Autumn Stars, which features a remarkable balloon voyage. It also happens to be an amazing historical occult fantasy and one of my favourite Moorcock novels.
|Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 03:54 am: |
Thanks! I've added it to my list. 'Tis a pity that his books are so hard to find here.
|Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 04:07 am: |
Where is 'here', Tessa?
|Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 04:13 am: |
The Antipodes! Australia.
Only the newest of new release of his I've seen in retail bookstores, and the few other bits and pieces I've found have been through sheer pot luck when rummaging through second hand stores.
|Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 10:24 am: |
I'm a BLOOD, FABULOUS HARBORS, and WAR AMONGST THE ANGELS guy myself. Rich, convoluted, full of playful language and mind-blowing imagery, as well as just enough pathos to hook me on an emotional level, but not so much that it turns the books sickly-sweet. I read the early Elric books as a kid, but haven't gone back to re-assess them. Maybe it's time . . .
|Posted on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 03:55 pm: |
I always loved the Elric Saga,
The Swords Trilogy, and Warhound and the Worlds Pain. I guess the Eternal Champion concept has always intrigued me.