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A [Suggested] Moorcock Reading Order [Work in Progress]

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  • #91
    The original idea was to stick as closely as possible to the original Orion/White Wolf omnibuses, hence the existing format. Mike and John came up with the original omnibus order(s) so it seemed like most of the work had already been done and then it was just a case of slotting the material that hasn't been included where it felt best, and the resulting order is somewhat arbitrary to that extent.

    So, blank sheet of paper time, if you were to devise an individual book reading order (i.e. no omnibuses), would you start with:
    • The Sundered Worlds
    • The Eternal Champion
    • The War Hound and the World's Pain
    • None of the above
    _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
    _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
    _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
    _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

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    • #92
      That's a tricky one. They are each starting points in their own right. I think it would be best to start with:

      1) 'The Sundered Worlds'
      2) 'Blood: A Southern Fantasy'
      3) 'Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles'

      I pick those as the first (in order) because they introduce the framework around which the entire EC / Multiverse cycle depends. I know it may be hard to really jump into the Second Ether so quickly, but understanding a little of the Second Ether makes the rest of the series work better when jumping around. I was going to put Terraphiles before Blood because of its approachability and reference to Sundered Worlds but thought better of it by considering what is introduced in each:

      1) The Multiverse
      2) The Second Ether, Jugadores, & (ultimately) the Balance
      3) Nothing new introduced, but ties the above together into a single narrative.

      Once these three works establish the 'setting' we can get on with the EC character as a whole. The obvious starting point for that would be 'The Eternal Champion' but from there...it starts to get a little more complicated.

      Where the von Beks are concerned my question would be (with the exception of Renark being made into a von Bek in later editions, iirc) do we introduce them before or after Elric?
      "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
      --Thomas a Kempis

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      • #93
        I am new and

        Have just begun to (re)read the Elric part of the series though I began Von Bek first and stopped half way and then proceeded to nearly finish Dancers at the end of time. This was years ago though and as I try to start the more correct process of reading I ask what you believe i should read. I have read "Elric of Melnibone" then beginning "Sailor on the seas of fate" i stopped reading on once he encountered Hawkmoon and Count Brass and picked up reading "Count Brass" to give that character more definition. I think I will finish the Count Brass series then read Hawkmoon then continue to finish The Sailor on the Seas of Fate.

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        • #94
          Hello everyone...! A google search on 'Moorcock eternal champion chronology' brought me to... this thread...!

          Basically I read a lot of the series back in my high school days, and now that I have some leisure reading time on my hands I want to go over it again.

          This thread answers most of my questions on the chronology of events - but before I pose my question... let me tell you what I have read.

          Elric - Elric of Melnibone, Sailor on Seas of Fate, Weird of the White Wolf, Vanishing Tower, Bane of the Black Sword, Stormbringer

          Corum - all 3 Swords Trilogy, all 3 Chronicles of Corum

          Hawkmoon - Jewel in the Skull, Mad Gods Amulet, Sword of the Dawn, Runestaff, Count Brass, Champion of Garathorm, Quest for Tanelorn

          Erekose - Eternal Champion, Silver Warriors, Dragon in the Sword

          Elric - Elric at the end of Time, Fortress of the Pearl

          also, I own these, but never read them... Alien Heat, Hollow Lands, End of All Songs

          The above list is as far as I can remember the order I read these in; and I will be using the suggested chronology for my re-read.

          SO... my question is...

          What other novels would you suggest I add to this? Essentially looking for the books you guys think would really enhance my understanding and appreciation of this series (and could be quickly found on amazon or half). I really AM NOT interested in finding all of the rare novellas, short stories, graphic novels at this point - I just don't have the time.

          The MM Multiverse I way bigger than I thought - heheh...!

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          • #95
            Hi raijin1, I'd suggest getting hold of a copy of The War Hound and the World's Pain; it's a fantasy novel, which seems to tie in with your tastes in the EC books you already have but it's also a bridge between Mike's early 'pulp' fantasy novels and his more 'mature' literary novels. It also serves as an introduction to some of the themes he begins to explore later on in the EC mythos, such as Lucifer, the Beks/Beggs and the Holy Grail.

            The Dancers at the End of Time trilogy that you have, but haven't read, is actually a variation on the Elric stories though don't expect demon lords or black swords to show up. It's thematically similar rather than being a re-hash or anything like the original Jerry Cornelius stories, which were re-writes, in a modern setting, of the original Elric stories.

            Other titles you might want to keep an eye out for (and shouldn't be difficult to find) are The Ice Schooner, The Black Corridor, A Nomad of the Time Streams, the Kane trilogy and, of course, The Revenge of the Rose. If you fancy something a bit different to the standard EC narratives try The Metatemporal Detective.
            _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
            _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
            _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
            _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

            Comment


            • #96
              Just a headsup, that it looks like the link on the first page to read "Black Petals" online is dead...but it also looks like it's now found in Elric: Swords and Roses. :)

              Thanks again for this awesome resource!

              Comment


              • #97
                Good thread. As a casual reader, you guys seem much more intense than me. It's probably harder to do than I think, but the information I'm often hungry for is *required* orderings. For example, I wanted to check out Corum and it wasn't obvious from surfing Amazon where Corum is introduced, that I should read the sword trilogy before the second three, etc. Likewise for Elric, there is the original series starting with EofM and ending with Stormbringer. I don't think you'd ever want to read EofM someplace in the middle.

                I'm assuming splitting Elric's story apart as suggested in this thread is a matter of more subtlety than simply saying that EofM should always come before Stormbringer. My plan is to read Corum though in his order, then maybe pick up some of the stray Elric stuff that came later, then try Hawkmoon.

                You almost have to go graphical on this, with a flow chart showing required orderings, but with the placement of boxes on an overall time (or other) axis so that people can see prerequisites in addition to optional orderings based on other considerations. I suppose you'd have two axes to play with if you had books connected by lines. Vertical could be story time and horizontal could be publication order, just as an example. The lines would indicate pre-reqs.

                Comment


                • #98
                  Legends From th the End of Time

                  Originally posted by David Mosley View Post
                  Originally posted by Basiliv View Post
                  But the real reason for my post is a suggestion. It'd be great for rookies like me if there was SOME sort of guidance on the books you listed as not easily fitting into the greater sequence on this suggested reading order. For example, I've just picked up Brothel at Rosenstrasse and Mother London. I know they're not really fantasy oriented, but do they have no ties in with the greater multiverse (other than the Von Bek name)? Or is it more a question of timelines that make their placement more difficult. If it's a question of timelines, are there any books that really should come before those, even if there's a question of where exactly they go?
                  Glad you're finding the Reading Order a useful resource, Basiliv.

                  Generally, I would suggest reading the non-EC themed books when/wherever you want to, although you might want to bear publication order in mind a little when doing so. For instance, Gloriana (1978) was published after The Condition of Muzak (1977) so I would probably read it after finishing The Jerry Cornelius Quartet, but there are no hard-and-fast rules at the end of the day.

                  In terms of timelines, it's worth considering that since all events (stories) in the Multiverse happen at the same time there's not really such a thing as a 'Primary Timeline' as such. So whether you read Elric first or Corum or Hawkmoon or Jerry Cornell or Colonel Pyat doesn't really make a lot of difference. Obviously each individual set of stories has its own internal chronology, i.e. Stormbringer takes place at the end of Elric's life not at the start or the middle.

                  Personally I like to read the books not in the proposed order above but in publication order, but since Mike's gone back and revised earlier novels/stories to bring them into line with later developments even that isn't essential. Mind you I do recommend reading the End of Time novels in the following order:
                  • An Alien Heat
                  • The Hollow Lands
                  • Legends from the End of Time (3 novellas - Pale Roses, White Stars, Ancient Shadows)
                  • The End of All Songs
                  • The Transformation of Miss Mavis Ming (aka Constant Fire)

                  rather than the more usual The Dancers at the End of Time/Legends at the End of Time omnibus combo, since that's the chronological order of events within the EoT 'timeline'.

                  As well as the Proposed Reading Order above, you'll also find some alternative orders in this thread, including one which does attempt to place (some of) the more oblique novels into the above order.
                  The pedant in me suggests reading Pale Roses just before - in The Hollow Lands - various members of the cast appear in 1896, as reference is made to Werther's "sin."
                  Last edited by Stealer of Soup; 08-29-2012, 10:32 AM. Reason: My own reply is missing vital information!

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                  • #99
                    Iirc, all the Legends from the End of Time stories happen while Jerek is absent in THL, as does The Transformation of Miss Mavis Ming/Constant Fire.
                    You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

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                    "I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it." Moondog, 1964

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                    • I note Gollancz have a blog on the subject of reading order. Wisely, it doesn't try to define a "right" order.
                      http://www.gollancz.co.uk/2013/05/mi...k-reading-list

                      Got to love this little snippet:
                      ... Gloriana; or, the Unfulfill’d Queen is probably the most ‘literary’ of the books we have under contract (grumble grumble Mother London want to publish it grumble grumble)...

                      Comment


                      • To be honest, I don't think there needs to be much of a reading order.

                        You can take the stories as individual ones - and, if you want to you can read them for the overarching story of the Eternal Champion.

                        I started by reading them as individual trilogies - and part of the fun as I read more was piecing together how the Eternal Champion bits worked together as a whole. Looking for patterns, surmising and predicting what might happen next was part of the fun - and this was back in the day before digital where you read what you could find - the order didn't matter so much as you were restricted to what you could was in print and what you could find in the second hand bookshop.

                        I think the concept of the eternal Champion was like Burrough's Interzone. The idea was that the reader could start, or finish at any point and it would work for them. The linear narrative was exploded.

                        A suggested order is a good thing to discuss - but it isn't an essential order.

                        I think my starting point might be where the reader is coming from. Steampunk fans might want to start with Hawkmoon, Conan fans Corum, or Elric. Game of Thrones fans - the Elric series.
                        Some of my students at college have bene reading The Witcher Series - coming off the computer game, and from Central Europe, where the series is very popular. The advantage of the Eternal Champion is that it crosses a lot of genres -so think the best place to start would be where the reader is most likely to be interested.

                        First you've got to hook 'em, and then you reel them in.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Rothgo View Post
                          I note Gollancz have a blog on the subject of reading order. Wisely, it doesn't try to define a "right" order.
                          http://www.gollancz.co.uk/2013/05/mi...k-reading-list
                          Thanks for that, but it looks like the "s" part of "https" was dropped. So that link be borked by protocol.

                          Working Version of Gollancz's Michael Moorcock Reading List: https://www.gollancz.co.uk/science-f...-reading-list/
                          Last edited by Heresiologist; 05-16-2020, 10:27 AM.

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