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Uncle Mike and Chaosium.

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  • Uncle Mike and Chaosium.

    Last year there was some rumour and speculation that Uncle Mike and the company Chaosium, that produce the tabletop RPG Stormbringer, were not the best of friends.Can anyone enlighten me as to how Uncle Mike and Chaosium are getting on?Are they on speaking terms with each other?Or is Chaosium about to get their wrists slapped by Uncle Mike?

    Christina :roll:

  • #2
    Hmmm, I recall him asking if anyone had their most current address...

    http://www.multiverse.org/fora/showthread.php?t=541

    Other than that, I don't remember much being said...
    Last edited by David Mosley; 08-09-2011, 01:14 PM. Reason: Fixed broken link
    "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
    --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

    Comment


    • #3
      I won't claim to speak for Mike, but his history with Chaosium seems a bit troubled, at best. They've made an industry out of his characters, with (as I remember) little or no compensation to him. Lately they seem to be claiming more authority over his creations than he in some of their products, a practice I'm sure Universal will stop, even if Mike doesn't.

      I also remember that years ago they threatened to sue TSR over using Mike's stuff, claiming they had an exclusive agreement with MM that didn't really exist.

      Comment


      • #4
        I've had no communication, royalties, copies of books or aything for a very long time now. My agent is trying to sort something out, but I'm not at all happy with Chaosium's way of doing business.

        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
        The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
        Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
        The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
        Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

        Comment


        • #5
          You'd think that a company making so much use of an author's creations would be bending over backwards to make that author happy, wouldn't you?

          I had mentioned elsewhere that I abandoned my Chaosium art submission because I was unhappy with it and thought I could do a new set better. I had been a little concerned about the (possibly) impending battle between Universal and Chaosium, but decided that I'd still go for it, since it was probably my only shot at illustrating anything remotely connected to Michael's work. But if this is the way they treat Mr. Moorcock, I'm not sure I want to be involved at all.

          I'll just post all my stuff here. Money isn't everything, even among "starving artists". There's principle. And it sounds to me like Chaosium is lacking. I may be cutting off a line of revenue for myself, but come on, how can they act that way?

          -erik

          Comment


          • #6
            Uncle Mike and naughty Chaosium

            Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
            I've had no communication, royalties, copies of books or aything for a very long time now. My agent is trying to sort something out, but I'm not at all happy with Chaosium's way of doing business.


            Having played the latest edition of Stormbringer tabletop RPG with a large group, and enjoyed it immensely, I think that a lot of the players started buying your books after playing the game.However I have heard rumours about Chaosiums gangsterish business practices(against the company TSR) and read some criticism of you by someone who writes for Chaosium(Lawrence Whitaker strikes me as a frustrated writer trying to gain some popularity by associating himself with your work).At the end of the day Chaosium should be thankful that you let them publish a game based on your characters and treat you with respect.I fervently hope that you and Chaosium come to some amicable agreement with them so that when I play the game next it will be in the knowledge that Chaosium aren't ripping you off.
            Love and Peace.
            Christina

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Uncle Mike and naughty Chaosium

              Originally posted by Christina Carlson
              and read some criticism of you by someone who writes for Chaosium(Lawrence Whitaker strikes me as a frustrated writer trying to gain some popularity by associating himself with your work).
              Post a link to this critism please. Thank you.
              The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Erik
                I'll just post all my stuff here. Money isn't everything, even among "starving artists". There's principle. And it sounds to me like Chaosium is lacking. I may be cutting off a line of revenue for myself, but come on, how can they act that way?

                -erik
                Hallelujah, brother!

                Chaosium sucks! Michael is one of the best people on
                this planet. I am confident they will get bit in the ass
                in time, and justice will be served.
                \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
                Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

                Comment


                • #9
                  No offense but Chaosium products are rubbish. The best thing they did was Call of Cthulhu. It wasn't the system that was good, it was the books of Lovecraft.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Uncle Mike and naughty Chaosium

                    Originally posted by Berry Sizemore
                    Originally posted by Christina Carlson
                    and read some criticism of you by someone who writes for Chaosium(Lawrence Whitaker strikes me as a frustrated writer trying to gain some popularity by associating himself with your work).
                    Post a link to this critism please. Thank you.

                    If you join the eternalchampion group at yahoo groups and take a look at what has been written about Uncle Mike in past messages you will see that a few folk seem to have a two faced relationship to their "favourite author".Lawrence Whitaker seems exasperated that his and Chaosiums game supplements weren't being plugged by Mike as being some kind of official background and accuses Mike of " a teensy bit of snobbery".You would think that some of these people would respect Mike, after all without Michael Moorcock's hard work Chaosium would have no books to base their game on.Some of these folk also seem to think that Mike is some kind of hypocrite because he might take Chaosium to task on royalyies and contractual duties calling him an "anarchist capitalist".I think that a lot of Chaosium's hangers on are really more interested in Chaosium than Michael Moorcock's well being.
                    I hope that it all gets sorted out to everyone's satisfaction and that certain two faced folk go on to other interests and let Uncle Mike alone.

                    Love and Peace and diversity

                    Christina.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Naughty Chaosium Again

                      Originally posted by Doc
                      I won't claim to speak for Mike, but his history with Chaosium seems a bit troubled, at best. They've made an industry out of his characters, with (as I remember) little or no compensation to him. Lately they seem to be claiming more authority over his creations than he in some of their products, a practice I'm sure Universal will stop, even if Mike doesn't.

                      I also remember that years ago they threatened to sue TSR over using Mike's stuff, claiming they had an exclusive agreement with MM that didn't really exist.
                      http://<br /> <br /> I have read s...posium! :roll:

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Uncle Mike and naughty Chaosium

                        Originally posted by Berry Sizemore
                        Originally posted by Christina Carlson
                        and read some criticism of you by someone who writes for Chaosium(Lawrence Whitaker strikes me as a frustrated writer trying to gain some popularity by associating himself with your work).
                        Post a link to this critism please. Thank you.
                        I have just realized that there is a helluva lot of posts to go through on the eternalchampion yahoo group.The post I was referring to was number 680."I think MM's neglected to take many opportunities to exert an influence over the gaming development of his works. To whinge about it comes across as being petty and snobbish(IMHO)".These are Lawrence Whitaker's words.I think that constitutes criticism of Uncle Mike;don't you?

                        Love and Peace and diversity

                        Christina.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Last I heard from Mr Whitaker he was telling me how anxious he was to write something I approved of. Not sure when I became a snob. My problem with Chaosium is not lack of interest -- after all I have written one game with Silverheart -- but frustration with those who altered the goal posts whenever I've tried to deal with them. Seems they're doing it again. The whining seems to have come all from that end. For some reason they seem willing to take any liberties they like with my material, not inform me of having taken those liberties, and then want my approval as well. I'm familiar with that kind of argument. It reminds me of the very close 'Nice TV, man,' from the guy who is just about to run down the fire escape with your new TV. But I swore I wouldn't mention that bugger again... :)

                          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                          The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                          Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                          The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                          Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Uncle Mike and naughty Chaosium

                            Thank you very much for this thread.

                            Originally posted by Christina Carlson
                            Originally posted by Berry Sizemore
                            Originally posted by Christina Carlson
                            and read some criticism of you by someone who writes for Chaosium(Lawrence Whitaker strikes me as a frustrated writer trying to gain some popularity by associating himself with your work).
                            Post a link to this critism please. Thank you.
                            I have just realized that there is a helluva lot of posts to go through on the eternalchampion yahoo group.The post I was referring to was number 680."I think MM's neglected to take many opportunities to exert an influence over the gaming development of his works. To whinge about it comes across as being petty and snobbish(IMHO)".These are Lawrence Whitaker's words.I think that constitutes criticism of Uncle Mike;don't you?

                            Love and Peace and diversity

                            Christina.
                            The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Not to be a jerk about it, and I can't believe Bill hasn't ever mentioned it either - but aren't you barred from significant action by estoppel, Michael?

                              It seems to me that you previously admitted giving away the rights for them to use the characters and ideas:
                              Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post
                              "I gave both TSR and Chaosium the okay to use my characters. In those days it wasn't big business. Then Chaosium threatened to sue TSR (even though both had equal rights) and because I hardly knew what was happening suddenly Chaosium 'own' the game rights. They have controlled the board and card game rights ever since. I haven't been happy with their presentation or distribution, though have no quarrel with most of the texts, though they are currently breaking their contract terms by not showing them to me before they come out. I'm going to have to deal with all this soon."
                              "Ye One True Boss" is quoted thusly:
                              "There were no royalties involved in the dropping of the two authored fiction pantheons from the book. I had a letter from Michael Moorcock granting the Melnibonean Pantheon rights gratis because of my plugging his books. [The boss of another game company] wasn't happy, as they had licensed the Elric material from Michael's agent. I said we would mention their game, and he agreed they would then do the same for our book. Brian [Blume, majority partner in TSR] refused to plug any other game company, so he personaly ordered the removal of that section from the DEITIES & DEMIGODS book."

                              I can see that you are claiming some sort of "veto" rights if they get something completely wrong, but as they have a stake in material that has already been developed predicated on a previous understanding with you they also have rights.

                              What a pain in the ass! Bet you are quite sorry now that you were so nice about it then...

                              BTW, I realize you may not wish to pour over the details here. Just an observation on my part, given my own admittedly extremely limited understanding of the situation.
                              Last edited by The Cosmic Balance; 08-09-2011, 01:46 PM.

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