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The Dancers at the End of Time

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  • The Dancers at the End of Time

    I read these books about 10-12 years ago, and though I liked them, they weren't even close to being my favorites. A good friend of mine was turned off to anything with the name "Moorcock" because he tried to read these books and hated them.

    I finally got a copy of the White Wolf Omnibus edition a few weeks ago, and started re-reading them. I must be older and wiser or something, because I am laughing my ass off while I'm reading them. Before, I didn't even find them funny. My wife is looking at me like "what is so funny" and I can't even begin to explain.

    Today I was sitting in the doctor's office with her, and I was finding the waiting room to be very boring. For some reason that made me think of the part in The End of All Songs where the aliens are offering to rescue Jherek, Amelia and The Duke of Queens, and Jherek and the Duke won't listen because their offer of rescue is "dull". I started giggling right there and had to supress it before everyone started staring at me.

    Great stuff, Mr. M!

    Thanks for the laughs.

    :lol:

  • #2
    Dancers

    Yeah, I laughed my ass of a great many times. There was one part I found to be particularly funny... I can't quite recall though. It has been a while. It wasn't the funniest moment for me but the part where JC (I won't even try spelling that name) just blurts out to the police something about his partner's "swag" and has no idea what he just did. Oh it's good stuff.

    Thanos

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    • #3
      I like when he thinks the noose is a time machine!

      And the bicycle chase of course.

      Great stuff.

      The swag part is very funny as well.

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      • #4
        I agree. These are very funny books. Too--outside of the Second Ether--the philosophical project in these books represents our author at the top of his form.

        The Victorian world and the end of time? What a lot of fun that is. What is even more miraculous is the implication it holds for us. Think. We are curious beings indeed if we can so easily move between and be so comfotable in--or familiar with--two such distinct places. Perhaps one is a reflection of the other, or two aspects of the same place?

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        • #5
          My Favorite MM Stuff

          "The Dancers at the End of Time" is truly my favorite MM series. This is followed quickly by Cornelius books. The only thing that even comes close as third place for me is "Gloriana" (and I very much favor the Avon/Elizabeth M. illustrated edition).

          I like Elric, and I like Corum, but if you know MM's source material then those works are far less impressive. Way better than Tolkien, but still not as interesting as more original work. Not that there is anything wrong with genre escapism.

          With "The Dancers at the End of Time" it really was as if MM had uncorked a long fermenting fantasy. Idea piles on fantastical idea and the whole is not unlike a very vivid, whimsical acid dream. Extremely visual stuff.

          And ask yourself: do "The Dancers at the End of Time," the Cornelius books, or "Gloriana" really fit into any particular genres? Maybe they are hybrid genre works, or maybe they each created their own genre (e.g. "Nature of the Catastrophe"). The stuff is rock solid and very original. Presuming history will remember MM at all, I think time will record these books as MM's best material. In some ways they are also interesting comments of the times in which they were written, esp. as touching matters of morality and identity.

          Brilliant.

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          • #6
            End of Time

            Have to agree with krunky on the hybrid genre bit. I'm pressed to classify them myself. What's really important is they are most entertaining. Moorcock's Comedies? Sounds good. Importantly, for me, is that they got me thru a week of jury duty. Potential juror on Monday, questioned and dismissed on Friday with 6-8 hour days on a wood bench outside the courtroom. And this was my first call to jury duty. However, managed to get thru with sanity intact with the help of the Dancers at the End of Time. Thanks Mike!

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            • #7
              End of time et. al.

              I think these are great stories.
              I really enjoy how bored the denizens of the EOT are and the extreems they take to entertain themselves and each other.

              There is a story in Elric at the End of Time where he sees the people at the end of time as the Lords of Chaos. Perhaps they are. I have never decided.

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              • #8
                I agree about the books being 'out of genre' but of course what's happened to me is that I've been labelled as a 'fantasy writer' and that tends to shove me into genre whether I like it or not. If I hadn't written the Eternal Champion series I suspect I would be one of those writers whom literary snobs insist are not sf or fantasy writers! It doesn't bother me a great deal, because I enjoy blurring the boundaries, but I am sometimes baffled as whenI see Amazon listing Mother London,
                the Pyat books, The Brothel in Rosenstrasse and others as SF or Fantasy!
                Those books are decidedly not that, just as Gloriana was intended as a kind of commentary on Spenser. There's a new Warner edition of Gloriana coming out this year. The editor said they had tried to sell it as a straight literary novel but their reps had insisted it would be easier to sell as fantasy. When it first appeared in England, incidentally, it was not reviewed as a genre book, though Dancers at the End of Time was.
                Similarly, Jerry Cornelius books were not reviewed as sf. In the end, however, booksellers have to stack them somewhere, I suppose.

                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

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                • #9
                  The DatEoT series didn't completely blow my young mind, but only because I was already a pretty weird kid before I read them. They were definitely real favorites of mine. That's saying quite a lot, because I learned to read at the age of three and devoured every bit of printed matter I could get my hands on when I was a boy. By the time I discovered the Eternal Champion multiverse, I had long since plowed through my father's very extensive (and very ably selected) library of science fiction, speculative fiction, and fantasy, which ran the gamut from Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burroughs and H.G. Wells to the (then) New Wave. I'd already had my mind blown pretty thoroughly by reading stuff like Harlan Ellison's DANGEROUS VISIONS anthologies when I was eight (funny, I never cared for Ellison's own work all that much, but he was great at choosing other people's stories for publication).

                  Oh, nostalgia.

                  There are times when I feel a powerful urge to read some of that material again. Frustrating urge to have, living in China as I do. DatEoT would be fun to revisit, and I'd smile like I'd met an old friend if I could find a copy of John Brunner's STAND ON ZANZIBAR... or FUN WITH YOUR NEW HEAD, by Thomas Disch. Or anything by Phil Dick. The Philip Jose Farmer book written as Vonnegut's fictional character Kilgore Trout... what was it called? Norman Spinrad (oh, man. THE IRON DREAM was written really badly, but it was bad in exactly the way it would have been had Hitler really written it -- brilliant!). Damon Knight. J. G. Ballard. Gene Wolfe, though I have to admit that some of Mr. Wolfe's stuff leaves me dead cold. Theodore Sturgeon. Samuel R. Delaney's book DAHLGREN. Robert E. Howard. The Pohls, Frederick and Anderson. Zelazny's LORD OF LIGHT. Eando Binder. Piers Anthony's blissfully pun-free ORN series. Cyril M. Kornbluth and his MARCHING MORONS. Fritz Lieber. E. E. "Doc" Smith!

                  If I had a time machine, I'd go back and recover all my old books... and then I'd dump L. Ron Hubbard in the Lower Devonian with no pants.

                  M OTIS BEARD

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                  • #10
                    I have to tell the tale of my visit to the Blaenavon 'book village' - the guy who set up Hay On Wye has got together with Blaenavon council to try and help regenerate the town by making it a second hand book place - they've opened loads of book shops, so went up and wondered along, pretty dissapointed mostly - too much Dick Francis and Jilly Cooper, though a great children's bookshop.

                    Anyway, had done almost all of them and was about to leave but I said to my other half that 'well, I've got to go to the end of the street in case there is the really cheap 60s/70s SF paperback shop' - jokingly. And of course - there was - Brunner, Disch, Bester, lots of Moorcock that I already had. And all cheap cheap cheap. So if you're ever in South Wales, may be worth the trip.

                    Our local Oxfam bookstore regularly turns up gems - I've had My Experience of The Third World War for 50p, last week got 'The Inner Landscape' (Peake/Ballard/Aldiss).

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