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Stormbringer revisions (specifically Black Sword's Bros.)

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  • Stormbringer revisions (specifically Black Sword's Bros.)

    Quick call out for anyone with access to the original 1963 printing of the 'Black Sword's Brothers' novella in Science Fantasy #61 for something I'm writing for the Moorcockopedia.

    As we know, Mike edited and excised a fair amount of text from the original Stormbringer novellas for the 1965 abridged novel (about a quarter of the text according to the Author's Note in the 1977 revised version). Now, with specific reference to 'BBS', I think I'm right in saying that the initial chapter, featuring the gathering at Karlaak, was removed and a 'bridge' added to explain why Elric and Moonglum come to be ship-wrecked on the Serpent's Teeth (since they can't be heading for Sorcerers' Isle anymore). Is that correct?

    Then, when Sepiriz charges Elric to destroy the Dukes of Hell, the 1965 novel has this dialogue (in bold), which is absent from the 1977 and subsequent printings:
    Sepiriz rose and gripped Elric's shoulder, staring with black eyes into the dazed and smouldering crimson ones. "You have pledged yourself to this mission, remember?"
    "Aye, pledged - but Sepiriz - the Dukes of Hell - Arioch - I - oh, I wish that I were dead now..."
    "You have much to do before you'll be allowed to die, Elric," Sepiriz said quietly. "You must realise how important you and your great sword are to Fate's cause. Remember your pledge!"

    Elric drew himself upright, nodding vaguely...
    I assume that is original text which was cut as part of the 'further revisions' Mike made in '77?

    Additionally, the escape from Jagreen Lern's flagship is different between the '65 and '77 editions. In the former, before rescuing Moonglum, Elric sets fire to barrels of pitch used for the catapults to scuttle JL's flagship, but in the '77 revised edition this is omitted. Later in both versions (also the Orion 1993 omnibus) there's a line to the effect that JL's ship is ablaze and Elric 'had done his work well', which only really makes sense if the scene of sabotage is included. I assume the barrels of pitch are present in the original novella, yes? Any idea why they're missing from later editions? (Is it just oversight?)

    Finally, (and just to make sure I've understood the changes properly in the '65 abridged version), once on Kargan's ship Elric discovers his cousin Dyvim Slorm is aboard, whereas in the '77 edition (and the original novella?) he doesn't - because DS was left behind in charge at Karlaak in the (missing) first chapter. Mike then drops the confrontation with the Chaos Ships from 'Sad Giant's Shield' into the narrative at this point, but rather than have Straasha rescue Elric, Mooglum & DS from the water, Sepiriz's arrival in his golden sphere is brought in from its original entrance point in Bakshaan at the start of 'SGS'. From there the '65 novel (more or less) segues into the main narrative of 'SGS' and the assualt on Mordaga's Castle.

    Is that more or less correct? If anyone can confirm please I'd be grateful.

    Cheers,
    David
    _"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."

  • #2
    I can tell you this much:

    (1) The 1963 version of that Sepiriz/Elric dialogue goes like this:

    [quote] [Sepiriz:] "You have pledged yourself to this mission, remember."

    Elric drew himself upright, nodded vaguely. "Aye. And even had I been given this knowledge before I made the pledge, I would still have made it. But..."quote]

    Nodded may have been a misprint for nodding? Otherwise it is as 1977. Looks as if the 1965 dialogue was added then dropped.

    (2) Yes, in 1963 Elric throws a burning brand into the ship's pitch supply,

    (3) Correct. Dyvim Slorm is not on Kargan's ship. Elric and Kargan sail back to the Purple Towns for further talks with the Sea Lords, and to plan making their island the HQ of the anti-Chaos forces. Sepiriz turns up to warn Elric about the increased Chaos-power Stormbringer now has and how he will have to be extra-careful about keeping it under control. Elric makes a speech vowing to bring in the New Age of Law.
    Last edited by The Cosmic Balance; 08-09-2011, 08:26 AM. Reason: Fixed broken Unicode formatting

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    • #3
      Many thanks (as always) Guy. :clap:
      _"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."

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