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Phwoar! Moorcock on Page Three!

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  • Phwoar! Moorcock on Page Three!

    No, not a plea from the Sun's female readership (or possibly gay/bi male readership - who knows?) but a direction to Brit sf magazine SFX's current supplement about the fifty most crucial figures to have worked in the genre. Mike, you are officially (opens silver envelope)... number forty-eight! You beat Mary Shelley and George A. Romero. The cool thing is that, as the supplement deals with its victims in reverse order, people get to read about you on, indeed, page three - a full 24 pages ahead of George Lucas!

    In all fairness, I quite like the magazine and commend it to anyone who likes to see popular sf covered in a reasonably literate and lively manner - I think you'll learn more on www.sfx.co.uk. They won't be taking this rank ordering seriously at all - it's clearly just an excuse to bang on about a lot of movers and shakers. The main focus of the entry is devoted to New Worlds and features the cover of the Corgi NW9 which, of course, you didn't actually edit... Never did work out who the other two types on the cover were meant to be. And who was/what became of Anna Ostrowska?

    I do, however, draw the attention of all present to the final paragraph:

    'Did you know?
    'An attempt to bring his Stormbringer novels to the screen in an animated form was abandoned (a) the work involved was immense and (b) Moorcock showed 'limited enthusiasm'.'

    No idea who they purport to be quoting in the last bit. At the very best I assume this is old news which can do little more than muddy the waters, even if those waters are covering a rather different....

    ...OK, does anyone know a humane way to put down a terminally ailing metaphor?

  • #2
    Only number forty eight? Pah! 8O

    Any chance of a rundown of some of the others, so we can see where their preferences lie. Where's Ballard, Aldiss, Dick, etc? More to the point, who's number one? Not Lucas? :roll:

    SFX used to have some good stuff in it actually when I used to buy it some years ago, but the covers always seemed geared to the TV/movie brigade, as if they thought it was the only way they could get people to buy it...
    'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

    Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)

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    • #3
      Re: Phwoar! Moorcock on Page Three!

      Originally posted by Zax
      At the very best I assume this is old news which can do little more than muddy the waters, even if those waters are covering a rather different....

      ...OK, does anyone know a humane way to put down a terminally ailing metaphor?
      You’re getting into hot water there, aren’t you? Not really keeping your head above water. It’s not really a metaphor of the first water. In fact it just won’t hold water. There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since then anyway, even if it is a bridge over troubled water. Someone really ought to pour some oil on it. Probably water off a duck’s back to Mr Moorcock himself.

      Sorry, couldn’t resist.

      Very pleased to hear SFX is still blowing the Moorcock trumpet. I rarely read it but I have noticed Moorcock news and reviews in there before.

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      • #4
        8O Mike's barely on the list, but Lucas holds a primo position? Hmmm. I've never read SFX, but this sort of makes me doubt its credibility. Lucas is a lucky hack and everyone knows it, whereas Mike is a legitimate, talented writer.

        *sigh*

        Don't get me wrong: it's very nice that Mike's mentioned. Maybe I'm just a 'glass is half-empty' kind of person about some things?
        "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
        --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

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        • #5
          Well, like I say, the mag is to do with popular sf/fantasy, which tends to be anything but books - hence the emphasis on movies, TV and comics, none of which I have a problem with particularly. Indeed, I'd go so far as to say that, pro rata, there are far more unreadable sf novels and stories than there are unwatchable sf movies and TV shows. That said, SFX doesn't pretend to be profound - I just quite like the way it handles popular forms.

          Since you ask, though, literature fairs very well in their thesis. The names named, with their positions in brackets, are as follows:

          Wells (2); Dick (11); Tolkien (12); Adams (20); Clarke (21); Rowling (25); Asimov (27); Pratchett (33); Wyndham (34); King (35); Stoker (36); Verne (40); Gibson (41); Moorcock (48) and Shelley (50).

          I'd say that allocating 30% of the positions to wordsmiths is pretty right-on, given that their thesis encompasses pretty much every form (not music or audiobooks!).

          (If the off-topic alarm goes off I'll shunt this discussion elsewhere.)

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          • #6
            Yeah, with the emphasis on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as it were, SFX has always been inclined to give more space to media other than books, though I've been treated well by them as far as Elric reviews and so on go. Yes, Bakshi wanted to do an animated Elric. I didn't like him or the look of his animation techniques. I said No. In fact I had about four other offers around the same time (I was actually living in LA then) and turned them all down for various reasons. I've never taken most polls of this kind seriously. I always quote Melody Maker which began life as a professional musicians' paper and the annual polls used to reflect what a bunch of professionals thought of their peers. Then it went 'pop' and the
            annual polls would put whichever teeny fave was popular that year. I remember the guitarist of the Bay City Rollers winning 'Best Guitarist', for instance. I've tended to regard pretty much all polls and awards in the same light. About the only ones I'm really proud of getting were The Guardian Fiction Prize and the Prix Utopia. This isn't to diminish the other prizes I've had, but I've always been aware of how much of a popularity contest and fashion parade such things are. And then there's the politics (not SFX in this case), which is a subject in itself.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
              Yes, Bakshi wanted to do an animated Elric. I didn't like him or the look of his animation techniques. I said No.
              Probably the right decision considering how awful his LOTR adaptation was. As for his animation techniques, does rotoscopy really count as animation?

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              • #8
                I rather liked Bakshi's LoTR, tbh. Always been a bit sad that he never finished it. His style would never have worked for Elric though.
                Arma virumque cano.

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                • #10
                  MM's post reminded me about the silly readers' polls in a couple of musical instrument magazines I read.
                  At least twice I've seen first prize go to products that weren't even available on the market. On the strength of press releases, magazine reviews and ads these products were being hailed by readers as innovative and exciting. OK I drool over the ads along with the best of them and wish I hard a well-stocked bank account dedicated to buying hi-tech toys. But surely a poll like that was intended as feedback from actual users?

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                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
                    Yes, Bakshi wanted to do an animated Elric. I didn't like him or the look of his animation techniques. I said No...

                    ...apart from not liking rotoscope, I didn't care for Bakshi, either.
                    And even if he forwent the rotoscope techniques for an Elric cartoon, we certainly wouldn't have wanted to see it end up looking something like this:



                    (http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0...1.LZZZZZZZ.jpg)
                    "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                    --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

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                    • #12
                      I remember one of the local cinemas screening 'Wizards' as a freebie in the city where I was a student. It was intended as a come-on to encourage the student population to visit the cinema instead of devoting their spare time to cheap booze, quality drugs, energetic sex and playing in loud rock'n'roll bands. Given this limited range of dull alternatives, I'm terribly surprised that the campaign didn't succeed... I did see Bakshi's LOTR at some point - just made me nostalgic for Halas and Batchelor.

                      But to return to SFX, what I quite liked about this supplement was the fact that they didn't pretend it was a poll, or the results of a survey, or that it took into account any thinking outside that of the magazine's editorial staff. Rather, they just seem to have taken what was probably the results of several evenings of loud discussion in the pub and shoved it down on paper. I rather think that this is the mark of a good magazine - rather than blandly reflecting the expectations of its readership, it takes entirely self-generated ideas and shoves them in the readership's collective face, inviting the readers to argue should they choose.

                      Regrettably, I rather expect that any arguments that do arise will be of the trainspotter variety - 'How could your top 50 not include Jack Slacksack, whose seminal seven-part Starbonkers trilogy has inspired some of the best limited-edition figurines ever produced?'

                      More pertinently, I mentioned the Elric reference because I was surprised to see the Bakshi Elric abortion (which I do recall) alluded to with no reference being made to the hot topic hereabouts, viz. the real upcoming Elric movie. Don't they read this board?!

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by Kalessin
                        I rather liked Bakshi's LoTR, tbh. Always been a bit sad that he never finished it. His style would never have worked for Elric though.
                        Yes, I would have liked to see it finished, flawed though it was.
                        Arioch, aid me! Blood and souls for Arioch!

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                        • #14
                          I always see that movie on the shelf at blockbuster. Is it worth renting?

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                          • #15
                            I bought mine from the 99p shop, just to see what it was like. A strange mixture of styles actually.
                            'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

                            Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)

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