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Corum discovering he is the champion

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  • Corum discovering he is the champion

    Dear all,

    I'm just getting back into reading Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion series. I read most of the books when I was a teenager and loved them. Now I've fished them out of my parent's attic and am working my way back through them - in a completely different order - that is one of the great things about them - you can take the journey in any direction. My aim is to get through all the Elric, Hawkmoon, Corum, Oswald Bastable, Von Bek books and then read the three new ones that I've just discovered came out in the last ten years. Can't wait!

    Anyway, I am now busy with Corum and something that is troubling me is his reaction (or lack of it) to discovering that he is the Eternal Champion after meeting Jhary A Conel. He barely seems to register what he's being told. I'd be pleased to hear if any of you have any thoughts on that. Does he simply find it all so easy to accept, does he think Jhary is slightly insane and therefore choose to ignore him? Is it an oversight on Mike's part that he hasn't worked out his reaction in more detail (I've read that he knocked these kind of books out in a day!) or is this intended understatement? If the latter - why?

    Otherwise I'm greatly enjoying the series but this issue keeps nagging at me. Corum was definitely one of my favourites the first time round and still hasn't lost it.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Julius Civilis View Post
    (I've read that he knocked these kind of books out in a day!)
    I don't think even Mike was quite that fast in his youth. This 'myth' comes about because it was the first Hawkmoon novels that were written in three days although that doesn't include the 'thinking time' Mike did beforehand. The first Corum trilogy was written during a holiday in Cornwall when the only book Mike had available was half an English-Cornish dictionary (or so that legend goes). I'm not sure if it's been recorded how long those books took to write (a week [each] maybe?). Certainly Gloriana was written in six weeks, which was at the time the longest Mike had taken to write a novel.
    Last edited by David Mosley; 05-31-2011, 11:45 AM. Reason: [small clarification]
    _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
    _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
    _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
    _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

    Comment


    • #4
      Not really an answer to my question..... but I'm still amazed to get some kind of response to my comment from Michael Moorcock himself. I'm sometimes a bit sceptical about where the internet is taking us but to be able to leave a message on a forum about an author's work and get a response from the man himself within hours is fantastic. A book in a week - that is still very impressive - I've got a few weeks off over the summer - I'd like to think I'll find the inspiration to get something written myself...............

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      • #5
        One of the problems of writing that quickly is that you don't always remember what you wrote or why. The honest answer, Julius, is that I don't remember and I have none of my own books to check. The file copies are in Texas and I'm not.

        Maybe I should list here the novels I remember writing in 3 days:

        The Kane of Mars books
        The Jerry Cornell books
        The Hawkmoon books
        The Fireclown
        The Wrecks of Time
        The Winds of Limbo
        The Shores of Death

        64 page comic would be done overnight and most comics took/take me about a day per issue. Novellas also tended to take a day and of course also a day for short stories.
        Think that's it
        Last edited by Michael Moorcock; 06-03-2011, 09:54 AM.

        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


        • #6
          wow

          Wow Mike that's really impressive! How is it that you manage to write so fast? Does inspiration give you super powers?

          Comment


          • #8
            Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post
            One of the problems of writing that quickly is that you don't always remember what you wrote or why. The honest answer, Julius, is that I don't remember and I have none of my own books to check. The file copies are in Texas and I'm not.

            Maybe I should list here the novels I remember writing in 3 days:

            The Kane of Mars books
            The Jerry Cornell books
            The Hawkmoon books
            The Fireclown
            The Wrecks of Time
            The Winds of Limbo
            The Shores of Death

            64 page comic would be done overnight and most comics took/take me about a day per issue. Novellas also tended to take a day and of course also a day for short stories.
            Think that's it
            But - do you think it's better to get it out as fast as possible, or to put more time and effort into a piece of work?

            I know the more work I do on something the worse it gets and, working with a band, we generally felt that the best tunes we came up with were basically there after no more than an hour or two of shouting at each other (for some reason, a good barney seemed to be entirely necessary - probably something to do with caring about the outcome).

            I have a friend who draws and paints - same thing with him and he also says if he tries to re-do something he's 95% happy with it always ends up being a waste of time. Better to keep the rough edges than risk losing whatever it was that made it good to start with - which is usually impossible to put your finger on anyway.

            I suspect writing a book probably requires a completely different kind of mindset though...

            Comment


            • #9
              Some people are capable of producing first class pieces of work with the minimum of fuss and editing, others need to edit something to within an inch of its life before they are happy. It's all about personal style I guess.

              I can understand Robin's point about the rawness of a piece being its attraction and that perfecting it would cause it to lose something.

              Personally, I agonise over things I write and edit them continually until I'm happy.

              Mark Twain said, "I wrote you a long letter because I didn't have time to write you a short one.".

              Shane McGowan, songwriter with The Pogues, was asked how he wrote such beautiful poetry. His response was, "Edit, edit, edit.".

              Both of these quotes reflect the way I write things, including this post.

              Mike wrote some of my favourite books in very short order and for that I will be forever in his awe.
              Last edited by Pietro_Mercurios; 06-07-2011, 01:36 AM. Reason: Just kidding!

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              • #10
                Polishing vs publishing

                But let's not forget that Mike has also edited and made changes to things after they were published......the only example I know of for sure is changing one of the character's names in the Warlord of the Air to "Ronald Reagan" for the omnibus edition but I've heard he;s done other things like that to tie the books together better and to otherwise improve them

                Having struggled for years now to perfect my PhD thesis in history (and it is nearly finished) I can certainly say from a personal point of view that there is a lot to be said for not striving for perfection and just getting your ideas out there

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                • #11
                  Originally posted by Julius Civilis View Post
                  ...the only example I know of for sure is changing one of the character's names in the Warlord of the Air to "Ronald Reagan" for the omnibus edition...
                  Actually, the character is named 'Ronald Reagan' in the original US Ace Books 1971 paperback (reprinted 1973) but was changed (censored) to 'Ronald Egan' for UK publication for 'legal' reasons (i.e. New English Library's lawyers were concerned about being sued for libel). Other characters were also changed for UK publication for similar reasons (i.e. 'Mick Jagger').

                  For some reason (which I haven't worked out yet) the 1978 DAW Books reprint used the censored UK text rather than the original uncensored text and this was the case for all publications thereafter until the A Nomad of the Time Streams omnibuses reverted to the original text.

                  One of the most (in)famous cases of Mike revising a novel after publication is Gloriana. If you're not familiar with this case then you can find details here and in various other threads in the Q&A through the Search facility. There's a discussion to be had on whether the revised ending of Gloriana 'improves' the novel or 'spoils' it, which I think is the question being asked, isn't it?
                  _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                  _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                  _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                  _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Which is why I included both endings in the Warner edition (most recent US edition). As far as I'm concerned, that's the definitive, since the issue is clarified. Although one edition of the SF/FANTASY ENCYCLoPEDIA claims I rewrote it to fit in with feminist ideology, that is untrue. The latest edition shows the changes. The penultimate chapter is the important one.

                    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


                    • #13
                      Originally posted by Robin View Post
                      But - do you think it's better to get it out as fast as possible, or to put more time and effort into a piece of work?
                      From my own experience in making music (an I think it aplies to most creative past times) is that it doesnt always matter how long is spent on a peace of work.

                      Sometimes I will create something and it will just 'work' straight away - the momment is right and it feels the peice almost creates itself.
                      Conversely I have tracks which I work on for long, long periods of time which doesnt always pay off. It can work both ways - the extra polish can really bring a track to life and sometimes the extra 'messing' can make the track loose that original qaulity that it made it good.

                      Sometimes a peace NEEDS alot of work because the original template of the idea wasnt very good - I feel some peices of art shouldnt need too much work they need to have natural creation. In music and the arts their is alot to be said for the improvisional approach - think of freeform jazz bands, freestyle rappers or stand up comedians. The quick process gives all these peices an energy that they would not have if they were more planned.

                      Michael Moorcock writing the novels at such speed is certainly impresive in anybodies book. Certainly some of the stories arent as strong as some of the others but that is true of anyone with a large output. I think Michael is amazing at characterization and his ability to create whole worlds is astounding. I feel the only problems is the narrative struture - The winds of limbo springs to mind.
                      Last edited by Magnum Opus; 08-24-2011, 04:31 PM.
                      Please Check out my Musical Dedication to work of Michael Moorcock

                      THE END OF ALL SONGS
                      We are looking to collaborate with anybody else interested in making Moorcock themed music - contact me here or on soundcloud.

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