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Elric left the Young Kingdoms too soon...

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  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    There was a racist joke prevalent amongst US military about not wanting to shake hands with Moslems once they found out how they cleaned their bottoms (actually a typical bit of ignorance, but there you go). I feel the same about Bush. Given what must be on his hand by now, who'd want to shake hands with him.

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  • WhiteWolf359
    replied
    Tony Blair, the Chronic Outlaw

    Nah. Tony wouldn't be right as Elric. Remember, Elric cares about other people, is an intellectual, fights for freedom and yearns to elude what others insist is his fate. Blair, on the other hand, is like a puppet. It's amazing how George Bush's hand can be so far up his arse from 8,000 miles away!

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  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    Hmmm. Interesting. Maybe that's why I'm going back to short stories when I do fantasy at all.
    Incidentally, was just sent this about Michael Sheen, who played Blair in The Queen...

    Sheen isn't completely the homme serieux that he seems professionally. He is a big fantasy novel fan and says he would love to play Elric of Melniboné, Michael Moorcock's albino tragic hero. Sensitive but misunderstood Elric, I recall, abandons his throne to a jealous rival and leaves his ungrateful subjects for life in exile. Tony Blair with a white wig and a big sword. Should be a cinch.

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  • WhiteWolf359
    replied
    To expand the topic a bit, I found the same to be true about both Fitzgerald and Hemingway. I enjoyed Fitzgerald's short stories "The Ice Palace" and "The Cut Glass Bowl" more than The Great Gatsy, Tender is the Night or The Last Tycoon. My favorite Hemingway works are also short stories-The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, The Snows of Kilimanjaro and A Clean, Well-Lighted Place outshine A Farewell to Arms, For Whom The Bell Tolls and other Hemingway novels.

    I suppose what I've enjoyed about the recent Elric trilogy, The Dreamthief's Daughter, The Skrayling Tree and The White Wolf's Son is that the way Mike wrote them, they each contain shorter sections about other characters (Gaynor von Minct, Oona, Hiawatha, Wheldrake, etc) that SEEMED like short stories in themselves, while connecting the novel as a whole. That's also what I admired about Fritz Lieber's "Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser" books.

    Well, must get off to do boring Saturday errands, then back to writing my own recent short story, The Heart of Hyras, which will appear in The Enclave At The End of Time in the not too distant future. As Arioch calls to Elric, so the adventures of Nyren Halff (pronounced like "golf") call to me. Life and Love, Anora! Life and Love! (sorry...in joke).

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  • In_Loos_Ptokai
    replied
    Agreed!

    Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post
    (snip)Might be the reason why I'm enjoying writer shorter pieces, like the Rakhir story in Cross Plains Universe or the upcoming Elric story A Portrait in Ivory.(snip) It's a form which helps you concentrate your prose, too. Oddly enough, I'm inclined to think the best Maigret stories by Simenon are the shorter ones.(snip) A good topic for discussion, there, in some wider-ranging thread...
    Having been introduced to flash fiction (500 words long or so) - after having written a novel - I think it's a discipline I should've had long before I started the novel.

    Jorge Luis Borges was one of my favourite authors before I started the novel - if I'd bothered to take his words on why he never wrote anything longer, I might have had something publishable a lot earlier than I did.

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  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    Yes, at least one Elric was done for Flashing Swords. And I agree about Holmes. In fact, I'd say the same about Simenon's Maigret. I was only thinking today that there isn't a lot of difference in the novels and the short stories and suspect he stretched out some or the novels.
    I thought Revenge had as much substance, but added through character and so on. Fortress seemed not to advance the method at all. I like the finale, however, and thought it suitably 'bad' for our guy...

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  • white wolf's son
    replied
    Flashing Swords

    Back in the 70's, the late Lin Carter had a short series of books called Flashing Swords, which featured short novellas by authors like Fritz Leiber which gave a good introduction to the author's works, so I agree perhaps shorter stories are better however I can't get enough of Elric!!

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  • Tobias Von Bek
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post
    That said, by the way, Revenge is one of my own very favourite Elric stories! Fortress is one of my least favourites.
    I'm curious as to why you aren't so keen on Fortress (especially as the Dreamthief backstory was used for the most recent trilogy)?

    While it is nowhere near your best book I find Elric's final vengeance on Quarzhasaat to be one of the most exhilarating and unsettling parts of the whole saga.

    As for the whole short story/novella issue I was struck when I recently re-read The Sign Of Four that there really isn't any more plot than in the shorter Sherlock Holmes stories - its just that everything takes longer to be resolved!

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  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    That's a good point, which hadn't occurred to me. Might be the reason why I'm enjoying writer shorter pieces, like the Rakhir story in Cross Plains Universe or the upcoming Elric story A Portrait in Ivory. I'm working on a story for Dark Horse's Conan which, for my own pleasure, I started as I might write a novella, and again I feel more at home in that form. It struck me that while 'Conan the Conqueror'/'Hour of the Wolf' was the only (short) novel Howard ever wrote, all the other Conan stories (indeed pretty much all Howard's fiction) were done to novella length. It's a form which helps you concentrate your prose, too. Oddly enough, I'm inclined to think the best Maigret stories by Simenon are the shorter ones. And it's worth remembering that much of Hammett and Chandler appeared originally in shorter form, to be 'cannibalised' for novels later. A good topic for discussion, there, in some wider-ranging thread...
    That said, by the way, Revenge is one of my own very favourite Elric stories! Fortress is one of my least favourites.

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  • Tobias Von Bek
    replied
    Originally posted by Skafloc View Post
    I'm with Paul on this matter. Any readers that are underwhelmed by ROTR are probably still attached to the earlier Elric stories (which I have no problem with). ROTR is a tad more philosophical and I enjoyed the change of pace from the Young Kingdoms slaughter and doom.
    I think the problems I had when reading ROTR (and to a lesser extent Fortress Of The Pearl) is that I read them as part of the 2 complete Elric omnibus editions and the style of writing really jarrs with the other stories.

    If I'd read those 2 stories after all the others I'd probably have enjoyed them more but, aside from Wheldrake, ROTR left me cold. I'm currently reading Blood and I'm finding the Rose in that to be far more interesting!

    I actually think that the character of Elric works better in the small doses of short stories (or clearly segmented longer works like Sailor On The Seas Of Fate and Stormbringer) than he does in full-length novels.

    That is why I really enjoyed the final Elric trilogy as it knew when to use Elric (and the sections told from his point of view) sparingly for maximum impact.
    Last edited by Tobias Von Bek; 03-21-2007, 04:49 PM.

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  • white wolf's son
    replied
    Elric

    I have read the Dreamthief's Daughter and The Skrayling Tree, been reading Mike's books since I was a boy and i thoroughly enjoyed both books, about to start The White Wolf's Son when I return home to Spain. I think it would be a BIG mistake not to read these books, Elric's character has matured through the years and I have enjoyed reading all the stories.

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  • Skafloc
    replied
    Revenge of the Rose...underwhelming????

    Originally posted by Bob View Post
    Paul:

    It's such a shame that a few readers seem to be underwhlemed by that particular tale. It doesn't have much in the way of action, granted, but some of the imagery and ideas are breathtaking!

    I'm with Paul on this matter. Any readers that are underwhelmed by ROTR are probably still attached to the earlier Elric stories (which I have no problem with). ROTR is a tad more philosophical and I enjoyed the change of pace from the Young Kingdoms slaughter and doom.


    Skafloc

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  • Bob
    replied
    Paul:

    It's such a shame that a few readers seem to be underwhlemed by that particular tale. It doesn't have much in the way of action, granted, but some of the imagery and ideas are breathtaking!

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Out of the YK.

    Originally posted by Dead-Air
    Not reading The Skrayling Tree would be a big mistake. It's a great book, and while set entirely outside the Young Kingdoms has much to add to the Elric myth and the history of the character.

    I find that Moorcock's newer books set outside the Young Kingdom's stand up much better to the early classics than the one's set inside such as Revenge of the Rose and Fortress of the Pearl. Of course, that's just me, and everybody has different tastes.
    It seems that Mike is actually adding to the earlier books with little bits and pieces of new information on Melnibonean culture and physiology tucked cunningly into the newer tomes and the up and coming Elric comic.I enjoyed The Revenge of the Rose so much that I reread it many times without becoming bored.Something I rarely do.I think it was the expansion of Melnibonean history and the meeting between Prince Gaynor and Elric and...oh bugger it! It was everything about the damned excellent book,everything including Gran'ma Phatt! It's a crackin' read!

    Paul

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  • Dead-Air
    replied
    Ironically, the Skrayling Tree is (sort of!) set in the same location geographically as most of Lovecraft's work, though that's where the similiarity ends.

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