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The Singular Quest of Martin Borg

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  • The Singular Quest of Martin Borg

    I just stumbled across this link -

    http://isfdb.tamu.edu/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?Michael_Moorcock

    It's got a pretty good list of Mike's work and includes a lot of publishing information, along with contents of collections etc.

    It also lists a short story which I've never heard of before 'The Singular Quest of Martin Borg' published under the name George Collyn in 1965. It doesn't say where it was first published, but its been reprinted in a number of collections.

    Has anyone read it? I've never heard of it and I've got John Davey's guide!
    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

  • #2
    'George Collyn' had a few stories published in New Worlds, but I've not been able to find out much about him. Was he a New Worlds house name like James Colvin? Mike would be able to tell us...
    '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
      The story was indeed published in New Worlds (issue 147), and I have one of the anthologies with the story. I haven't read it properly yet, but I've glanced through it and it doesn't read to me like an obvious Moorcock story, but then Mike was experimenting with different styles in the mid 60s. It would be nice to know one way or the other though :)
      '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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      • #4
        Colin wrote all his stories as George Collyn because he was on contract with the BBC and wasn't supposed to write outside the Radio Times. I lost touch with him by the late 60s. His second name escapes me for the moment.

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        • #5
          So Martin Borg isn't yours Mike? There seems to be a curious lack of information concerning Mr Collyn. Even the Clute/Nicholls SF encyclopedias don't have an entry for him. :?
          '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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          • #6
            MM here --
            He was a real person, believe me! He was something of a mainstay in the paperback-size NW I edited and had the odd cover story, as I recall.
            It's possible that I left a clue in the bibliography provided in the Fontana edition of New Worlds: An Anthology. Sometimes, I included the authors' real names, if they used pseudonyms. Colin --- had a real reason for keeping his name quiet, so I might not have publicised it at all.
            The SF Encyclopedia, though impressive, contains many errors of omission as well as errors of fact -- see David Pringle's entry on Ballard, for instance, which suggests that Ballard's first 'concentrated novel' appeared in Science Fantasy, when in fact it appeared in New Worlds. There are other errors in the piece, which is surprising since David is a great Ballard fan and collector. In the Enclopedia of Fantasy, the companion volume, Clute suggests that Gloriana was completely rewritten in the light of my pro-feminism. This is also untrue -- the only
            change is to the penultimate chapter. There's a successive lack of rigour to the editions as they go on, though I'm sure attempts were made to
            get things right. I only noticed the Ballard entry, for instance, a couple of weeks ago, when I needed to check a date and couldn't find the NW file. There's also no serious entry on David Britton and Savoy, I notice.

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            • #7
              MM -- I checked that site. Not a bad bibliography but there are better ones -- that has omissions and errors. Tanelorn and Sweet Despise are probably better. Ultimately John Davey's 'Reader's Guide' remains the very best bibliography. MM

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MM
                The SF Encyclopedia, though impressive, contains many errors of omission as well as errors of fact -- see David Pringle's entry on Ballard, for instance, which suggests that Ballard's first 'concentrated novel' appeared in Science Fantasy, when in fact it appeared in New Worlds. There are other errors in the piece, which is surprising since David is a great Ballard fan and collector. ... I only noticed the Ballard entry, for instance, a couple of weeks ago, when I needed to check a date and couldn't find the NW file.
                I may be risking being thrown out of the Multiverse for gross insubordination, but as a Ballard obssessive I can't resist
                You and Me and the Continuum appeared in Impulse #1, dated March 1966, and The Assassination Weapon in New Worlds #161, dated April 1966 - assuming that these are the two stories in question. (And I have both issues in front of me!)

                Mind you, that doesn't prove anything about the order in which the two publications hit the newsagents' shelves, the order in which the stories were accepted for publication, or the order they were written. I've had conversations with David Pringle on the JGB mailing list about bibliographic minutae, and the problems of assigning a precise date to a magazine affects the 'first publicaton' details of more than one Ballard story - Why I Want To Fuck Ronald Reagan, and Love & Napalm: Export USA being the two main culprits.

                I've never seen David's piece in the SF Encyclopedia, although I have his (now rather out of date) Ballard bibliography. Maybe I ought to get hold of his piece in the Clute book.
                Mike H.
                www.holli.co.uk

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Anonymous
                  MM -- I checked that site. Not a bad bibliography but there are better ones...
                  The thing about it that made me post the link are the lists of where short stories have appeared in compilations and magazines. It seems pretty useful for anyone wanting to hunt down original versions.
                  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.

                  -:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-

                  Image Hive :-: Wikiverse :-: Media Hive

                  :-: Onsite Offerings :-:


                  "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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hmmm. Well, I have a distinct memory of Assassination Weapon coming out before the Science Fantasy story. Certainly it was written before the
                    story Bonfiglioli ran.

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