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a gripe, of sorts

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  • a gripe, of sorts

    far be it from me to pitch the proverbial bitch, but something has been bugging me of late that i would like to share with the class.
    so i'm in borders books the other day, ya know, nothing like the smell of coffee that you can't pronounce while you browse your favorite penners.
    so there i am, in the fiction, of course, where you can't throw a rock without hitting the dark tower series, the lord of the rings, harry potter, and a wall, a WALL of the da vinci code. and all of crichton's works are lined up chronologically on one shelf, pretty maids all in a row.
    no problem, i just moooove on down to the m section to browse the moorcock selection.
    except, there isn't a moorcock section. oh, they have kane of old mars... and they have that copy of skrayling tree, ya know, the last one from last year's promotion. but that's it. nothing else. nada.
    now, we're talking borders, not uncle piggy's bargain bin used books from grandma esther's "special" drawer. BORDERS. the camelot, if you will, of book buying in the greater metropolitan (locale deleted for my personal safety) area. and not any discernable michael moorcock selection.
    so i cruise on up to the info desk to ask bubble-popping "Twilight" if they have any more moorcock books in the back. she laughs because she thinks it's a joke. you all know what i mean when you say michael's name to someone who is clueless. that look on their face like you just made an unsuccessful dirty joke. cause it's more and cock, get it. yeah.
    so, back to "Twilight". you know, the author, moorcock. elric, jerry corneilius, corum.. no, nothing. "but we can order something for you, maybe." no thanks, that misses the point.
    which leads me to, the point.
    There are conan books at borders. lots and lots of conan books. just none of them by howard. there was a saberhagen book there last month, i'm pretty sure. and i could have sworn the donaldson's unbeliever chronicles were still in print. none of them are at borders.
    now i love the used book stores. love them. go to them as often as possible. most of my treasured items are from used book stores.
    but the whole idea of going to the mega-book stores is for their mega selection. and yes, i'm no naif. i realize that the selection here may very from that in chicago or the coasts. i get the whole concept of marketing and shelf life and buying trends. i have a fairly decent sense of the business of bookmaking. only, i'm not interested in the business of bookmaking. i just wanted to buy the chronicles of count brass; available in a week to ten days, payable on delivery.

    -fin

    rcr

  • #2
    RCraig,
    I go straight up to "Indi Grrl" and I pose the same question. Now when i repeat the name I say it very clearly and perhaps a bit too loud as now I am being scrutinized by several patrons and I stifle a grin [because I am having a blast]so it doesn't get in the way of explaining this is no joke to the shocked look on "Indi Grrl's"face. Long story short, I get into a conversation about Michael's work and "Indi Grrl" is now intrigued and vows to investigate Mr.M.
    I am grinning at the sheepish glances as I leave and very grateful for e-commerce. Maybe it means he sells well. Jayde Design is a wonderful place to find all things Moorcock and these fine folks can be found in the lower left hand column.
    Welcome.
    "But I'm tryin', Ringo, I'm trying real hard to be the shepard."

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    • #3
      Man, get off my page, your'e creeping me out! :D

      I think the same thing evertytime I go into Borders, or B. Dalton or Waldenbooks at the Maul.

      Vast copies of Trek(love Trek, but the books are crap), B5, Star Wars, D&D tie-ins, etc. But try and find Moorcock, Vance, Zelazny, YEAH RIGHT!!

      Which is why, by and large, I have given up on new book stores. I can frequently be seen haunting the used book stores, and only go to new stores for new releases by my fav authors.
      Madness is always the best armor against Reality

      Comment


      • #4
        I wouldn't dream of speaking for Mike, but he has mentioned several times here that he has allowed most of his books to go out of print, especially the old titles. As I remember, part of ithe reason for doing it is so his agent will have better bargaining with publishers after the Elric movie is released. What that means is we can expect a flood of the old titles coming in a few years, and a new Moorcock section in you favorite bookstore. That's what I remember from what Mike has written here.

        In the meantime, The Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius and The Cornelius Chronicles are still in print by Four Walls Eight Windows, and Wizardry and Wild Romance is being re-issued on Monkeybrains, and you can still find copies of King of the City (very highly recommended). If you have a local independent bookstore, track down some titles there, and stick it to the chains. They stock books in a way that tells you what to read, instead of encouraging you to choose.

        Before I rant.... :)

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        • #5
          Doc: rant away, droog, rant away! Perhaps if we all vent, it will move something Somewhere, and all things will change for the better!

          That will also be one of the benefits from the Elric movie: more interest in Moorcock books. Dunno, but I imagine Tolkien books got a huge sales increase after the LotR movies.
          Madness is always the best armor against Reality

          Comment


          • #6
            I do sometimes feel like ranting when it comes to chain bookstores. They have way too much influence over the publishing process. Barnes and Noble will only keep some new releases on their shelves for a few weeks, so if a great author isn't quick to find an audience, they may never reach very many people through these mammoth stores. When people aren't quick to read certain authors, they lose contracts, especially with the big publishing houses that stock the large chains. It's fairly miraculous that Mike's work with Four Walls and Eight Windows-- a small house--made it to B&N at all.

            As a result, authors who can instantly move a large volume of work are signed with the big publishing houses, who push their work to the big chains, who stock it until it doesn't move. Smaller publishers--who often do the most cutting-edge work--and authors with smaller audiences are squeezed out of the equation for as long as people shop for books primarily at the big chains. It makes me sick that authors like Jeff Vandermeer will never have their work even make it to the shelves at B&N , nor will anything from Nightshade Press or Dark Harvest, but B&N will shove 10,000 copies (per store) of the latest Danielle Steele down your throat. And we let them do it, as we pay $4.50 for a latte.

            I must admit, however, I can easily be sanctimonious on this subject because I live about 15 minutes from one of the largest independent bookstores in the country (Book People in Austin, TX). It's easy for me to rail on the chains because I have a good alternative. Sometimes the mall is all you have. I guess that's another reason to be glad for the internet.

            Comment


            • #7
              Amen (or equivalent) to that last comment. I live in a fairly cultured exurb which is 35 minutes from the centre of London, but I've not even gone looking for specific items in a bricks-and-mortar shop in terms of books, CDs, DVDs/videos or (as it happens) computer components for several years. There is very little chance of anywhere having anything I want - or if they do (the latter is the main case it point here) it's at price I'd prefer not to pay. Yes, browsing for stuff is a joy, and I do do it when I'm in the right place with time to spare, but online shopping has taken over all my must-haves. 'Use us or lose us!', plead the stores. Okay, then: Byeee!

              Comment


              • #8
                The argument against ordering eveything online is that you miss out on the thrill of browsing and the specialist knowledge of the staff. If I lived in San Francisco and Amoeba Records was my local store then this argument would certainly ring true. However, I live in a crappy tourist town without a real book shop and only an over priced chain store for CDs/DVDs, so my credit card has really come in handy. If there was an independent outlet in town, then I'd feel compelled to support them (as long as their prices weren't too ridiculous), but that isn't an issue at the moment... sadly I am powerless to resist shops with cute staff members, but ever since I came back from university that hasn't been much of an issue either.

                D...
                "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

                Comment


                • #9
                  I went through something similar at B Dalton a couple of weeks ago . . .

                  "Michael . . Moorcock"
                  "Moor who?"
                  "MOOR . . . COCK . . the eternal champian, ELRIC, DORIAN . . . hello?'
                  8O
                  *waves hand* "Anyone home? You can stop with that look on your face now . . . its science fiction/fantasy."

                  I eventually got like a 4 page print out of the books they /think/ they can still get for me . . . oh but the warehouse doesnt have any of them.... so Im like "WTF is the point then?"

                  My B Dalton has the most anemic (uhm no pun intended) sci-fi/fantasy section I thought Id never see in existance . . . and of course you have to hang your head at a funky angle and bend over to see half the titles . . . (the Sci-fi stoop) and then you end up trying to ram your elbow through some kids left eye who decides to get right up your back and watch you . . . . *sigh* needless to say I was not in the best of spirits when I finally went up to the counter and asked where Mr Moococks books were....uhm...dont think they will forget his name after I got done though :oops:
                  Ultra Magnus to Sandstorm. \"I\'ve never seen anything this beautiful in the entire galaxy. . . Alright, give me the bomb.\"

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                  • #10
                    Amoeba in Berkeley CA is better for records. When it fails you, and it will, you go one block up to Rasputin's.

                    Cody's books is across from Amoeba if you want to pay full retail price. In the middle of the same block on the same side of the street is Moe's Books (which must be 5 levels including the basement I guess, mostly used). Then there's Shakespeare and Co crossing the street and walking to the corner. All of those places are great, except even there the Moorcock pickings would be weak.

                    You'd end up some 2 miles or so away at Dark Carnival which has a huge selection of Moorcock (full retail, some signed). I once donated an underground poster of The Final Programme movie to these people (that's the yellow-green poster for those that have seen it). Anyway, MM makes semi-regular book signing type appearances at Dark Carnival though I have never been to one.

                    Good Lord! Look what I dug up:

                    http://www.gocollect.com/product_dis...00/mp04672.jpg




                    Worst...poster...EVER!

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                    • #11
                      With bandaged eyes, blue runs screaming into the night wearing dinner and
                      knowing" the future is cancelled" is his only solace.
                      "But I'm tryin', Ringo, I'm trying real hard to be the shepard."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My experience of the SF area is that there are LOTS of second hand bookshops with my stuff in them -- at least my older stuff, if not the
                        omnibuses. The data base for my books is very bad, listing lots of titles which are out of print and several which scarcely exist at all! Best source for availability is probably Jayde Design (John Davey) already mentioned here. None of the omnibuses are any longer in print in the US (though they can be bought via Amazon from the UK) but a new edition of Gloriana will be out in Fall. The only Elric books currently in print in the US are Dreamthief's Daughter and The Skrayling Tree. The Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius is also available and New Worlds: An Anthology should also be out this Fall. So if you want other titles, I fear that the internet is your only chance of getting them, unless you run across the odd omnibus that's still in stock in a store. There are, of course, plans to reissue all these books, but my agent has a particular strategy he wishes to keep in place and I think he knows best. So the old titles will not be available in the US for a while.
                        Good luck!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          MM on the shelves

                          I'm still thankful we went through that stretch in the mid-90s when White Wolf started the EC sequence and there were actually MULTIPLE Moorcock books on the shelves. Not only the EC sequence, but the Blood trilogy came out around that time, as well as Lunching with the Antichrist. It was a good time to be a Moorcock fan. So, I'm not too upset about finding just The Skrayling Tree these days.

                          In the 80s, you couldn't find anything but the ACE Elric paperbacks in any B. Dalton or Waldenbooks. So, it could be worse.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My 10 year old son persuaded me much against better judgement to join the Book Club Associates "Fantasy & Science Fiction Book Club" a couple of years ago. Ok, I know they are mass bundlers of shite in the main, but I reasoned: he'll get a few film comic tie-ins from me at low cost (Spiderman, Star Wars, etc), and I'll get quick access to the latest MM (out in the sticks here, no internet at that time, etc, etc). Yeah, they did ok to start, I think Dreamthief's Daughter and Silverheart appeared fairly quickly (liked Silverheart a lot, by the way, don't see much discussion of it on MWM, but then maybe I'm just not looking hard enough), but for the last two years - nothing. I know new "product" has been less than profuse, but their stock does resemble all the scenarios outlined above. Thank the Lords for the net! and, yeah, I know it would be nice to browse for hours through MM re-issues and new stuff in every bookshop, but we might well have to wait for the Elric movie or the forthcoming Channel4 "King of the City" dramatisation.
                            \"Killing me won\'t bring back your apples!\"

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                            • #15
                              Thanks to the Net, especially Advanced Book Exchange, my White Wolf collection is complete!

                              If you saw Kane of Old mars, buy it asap! that book is worth a small fortune now.

                              I am pretty tired of the Sci-fi/fantasy sections in chain bookstores. Rows and rows of star wars and D+D crap drown out anything original.

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