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No more Elric?

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  • No more Elric?

    Well, I can't say I've read much more than most Elric, the first three books of Corum and The End of Time...

    I was looking through boxes on the floor of one of my uncles house. I was spending the night. My dad had picked me up from school and I had been expelled.

    It was in the room I was to sleep in. There were a bunch of photo albums and yearbooks. In one of the boxes was an Elric book. I might be able to remeber the cover if I saw it again but it was an old book, might have been a DAW.

    My dad came in and I asked him what it was, probably being over cautious because I wanted to appear innocent - that I was expelled for no reason.

    He said it was Elric , 'you've never heard of Elric?'

    It looked a little primitive. I was a huge d&d fan. I was about 16. This was the mid 80s and d&d was becoming more sophisticated. This Elric book didn't look ad&d. It looked pre-d&d. I was ad&d all the way, but decided to give it a try. It was a small book and I wondered what talentless author of the early 70s would understand anything about hard core fantasy.

    But the cover reminded me of the early d&d modules I loved so much. It looked like something so simple.

    I wondered if Jim Morrison had read such books (what would Jim do?).

    The first page floored me. Was it the first paragraph? The first line? This was the exact information I wanted. It was like I was there becuase it was telling me everything that I needed to know. It was telling me how it was and it made me want to know it.

    And that's what I understood. Between Elric and Jim, I was at the place I was and maybe still am.

    Why does a British author move to Texas?

    I wonder if MM has met Richard Garriot.

    And I heard MM is not doing anymore fantasy. Well, that's okay. I haven't reread Corum or Elric as many times as I've wanted to yet. I didn't like the Dream Thief's Daughter so much, there wasn't enough violence.

    Then there is Fahfard and Grey Mouser which must be memorised. After that I'd need to study the Black Company again page by page.

    Actually, I don't want anymore books. I don't want to find any new authors. I'm set. And as it looks like artists don't do hard core high fantasy with a few basic oils - I'll teach myself that because you can NEVER have enough pictures.


    Christian

  • #2
    Re: No more Elric?

    Originally posted by VeteranOfThePsychicWars
    It was in the room I was to sleep in. There were a bunch of photo albums and yearbooks. In one of the boxes was an Elric book. I might be able to remeber the cover if I saw it again but it was an old book, might have been a DAW.
    Welcome Christian. :) Be sure to check out the Image Gallery here > [link expired] < where you may come across a scan of that first Elric book you read.
    _"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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    • #3
      This is what grabbed you:

      Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
      It is the colour of a bleached skull, his flesh; and the long hair which flows below his shoulders is milk-white. From the tapering, beautiful head stare two slanting eyes, crimson and moody, and from the loose sleeves of his yellow gown emerge two slender hands, also the colour of bone, resting on each arm of a seat which has been carved from a single, massive ruby.
      The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

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      • #4
        I was very interested in those first impressions. It helps explain why some D&D fans occasionally treat me with unexpected condescension! :) As if I've been imitating, say, Richard G... Whom I have met a couple of times. I thought HIS work was over-derivative, though he appears to have picked most of it up from secondary sources. I've been told he's read very little original fantasy. I met him when I was doing Silverheart for Origins. I said how I wanted to get away from the conventions of S&S games -- booming villain voices, conventional trolls and elves and stuff -- without knowing that Ultima was pretty much entirely based on all that (I only saw the games later). I think I might have upset him. To me those games are a melange of everything I dislike about the form!
        It's strange for me, of course, since when I started to write Elric there was no market for fantasy fiction at all and the earliest publishers hardly knew what to call what I was writing. Then I told D&D they could use Elric, when D&D was just a sort of amateurish idea in the heads of a few hippies -- and the rest is history. Glad the book caught you interest, pard. And glad, too, that you found Leiber, whom I regard as the greatest American fantast and one of my own youthful heroes.
        Another, too, was Howard, whom I don't find as rereadable (though I bought a volume of his Oriental tales yesterday!). We've come a long way since the days both Leiber and Howard could only be found (if found at all) in obscure and very expensive small press editions and when Tolkien was published by a firm most identified for its list of academic books, including Jung, with no expectation (or indeed wish) to be published in paperback! I came across Edgar Rice Burroughs in a similar way, incidentally, after my father left my mother in a somewhat cowardly hurry. He'd left a few books behind. One was Son of Tarzqn and the other was Mastermind of Mars. That got me hooked on ERB, who was then still available in the UK (though not the US) in his main series of Tarzan and Martian stories, but hard to get in his other series such as Pellucidar and Venus. I began to scour the second hand shops until I found most of the others, but had by no mens read all of them by the time I came to start the ERB fanzine which helped me begin my professional career with Tarzan Adventures. It was my articles about ERB and other fantasy writers (like Howard and Leiber and Anderson's The Broken Sword) which, I've since learned, turned a lot of others on to the pleasures of fantastic adventure fiction. So it goes, down the generations. Have you, as a matter of interest, read Jack Vance or M.John Harrison ?

        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


        • #5
          Have you, as a matter of interest, read Jack Vance or M.John Harrison ?
          No.

          I came across Fritz Lieber as recommended reading from the red cover basic d&d rule book I think. Glen Cook from the new Rolemaster GMs guide. Yet I only found out about them within the last five years.

          Back then though, I was acquainted with fantasy through d&d exlusively. Erol Otus drawings on module covers, endless lists of room contents and of course, magic items and monsters.

          When I read Elric I found out what Tom Moldvay was doing in White Plume Mountain. The black blade is right on the back cover filled with stars.

          Richard Garriot provided s&s atmosphere for people like me who didn't have much to read beyond Dragon Lance and d&d modules and had few friends to play an rpg with.

          I didn't believe you could capture my attention to such a degree again until I found the Corum trilogy in paperback at a thrift store. There was a section or two that dragged (with the animal men and later with the elf woman - if I'm not getting stories mixed up) but I identified with the hero so much I welcomed a slow down.

          I identified with the tragedy and how I loved the greatness of the character so much I knew he didn't deserve any of it. The adventures would all seem to leap out of proportion to the character. Where d&d told me there was a level by level progression, magic items increase in power level by level - Elric was fighting extra dimensional gods in the third book.

          To tell the truth, when I was 10-15 I remember always looking for new books. I did see your books at the book store but the charcter did not look captivating on the cover. I think this was where Elric was in a brooding pose by himself all pale and high society / intricate looking. Main colors were white and there was flowery or celtic design on either side. There were much more interesting covers with more action on the cover. The Elric books looked so downright tame. I did see a variation cover a friend of mine had at his house that was inspiring AND was somewhat new (80s) but I didn't borrow books.

          My first s&s reading was Lloyd Alexander, Taran Wanderer. I was ten.

          Wow. The internet is amazing. The last true celebrity I talked to over the internet was Owsley almost eight years ago. Please don't think I'm trying to stigmatize you with that title.

          Comment


          • #6
            It's odd, but I've almost got too much to say on this topic. Well, lemme retell an anecdote I've told often and let it go at that.

            My dad died after a long illnes when I was 13. By the next Christmas, having read every juvenile book available at the school and local libraries, along with a good deal of Doc Savage and such, I was in a period of teenage depression that neared (what I later found to be) existential crisis. To compound this, the books assigned in junior high for fun holiday reading were Camus' The Stranger and Catcher in the Rye by Salinger. Oh. I was in a fine fettle!

            While out Christmas shopping and with a few bucks in my pocket I came across new paperbacks of Robert Heinlein's Glory Road and Stranger In a Strange Land. As mentioned, I had read many juveniles, and found The Rolling Stones (which I had picked up thinking it was about a rock band) and Citizen of the Galaxy pretty good reads. Being in teen angst, and feeling strongly "Is THIS all there is to life? Pain and suffering?" which had been focused and amplified by the aforementioned assignment books (and luckily not having endured Maugham's Of Human Bondage, which will take a happy-go-lucky fellow to being a full-blown suicidal and alcoholic maniac in a single read) I chomped away at the adult novels.

            The angst vanished. i couldn't get enough sci-fi OR fantasy. (Soon after I read my first Moorcock, Mike.) My interests swelled, I began reading much other stuff just to catch the analogies to literature of other (so-called "classic" forms) and was quickly rewarded by Apollo 13's moon landing. For many years I was bolstered against sturm und drang by soul-sucking swords and planet-sized starships. Star Trek got me through college with regular reruns.

            And I actually almost met Robert Heinlein once. He scared the piss out of me. Ever seen a rabbit frozen by a snake? That was me, caught in those militaristic eyes. I wish now I had said "Howdy", for he was, after all, just a regular guy. But I had built him to demigod in my young mind, and was overwhelmed. At least that encounter taught me to value humans and not deify them. This has served me well in being able to talk easily to many creative types and so-called "celebrities". I appreciate and value them, but know they are also human, with all the frailties and quirks as we all have.

            Lately I've been called a liar by a teenager when I mentioned someone of note I happen to know. (Sorry, Mike, it was someone other than you - in this case.) I look forward to seeing her face when I show her a photo. I guess I'm just not the tabloid type. I find it a much richer and interesting experience to get to know a whole person, rather than just the public persona.

            Years later, I had some drinks with Waylon Jennings. That was fun. Then he went and dedicated his second show to me, mentioning "Miqque in the balcony" numerous times as he got progressively more drunk on the Troubador stage. It was a grand evening, and I think I've only told that story twice - once after he passed, and now.

            I'm blessed to be able to tell those whose work I admire both how much I admire them and do so in a genuine manner, from the heart.

            Michael Moorcock, ol' boy, you were a strong influence on me and I admire you and your work. It is a blessing to call you my friend.

            So there.
            :clap:
            Miqque
            ... just another sailor on the seas of Fate, dogpaddling desperately ...

            Comment


            • #7
              Thank you demos99:

              [image moved]

              I believe this was it. See? I told you it was entirely simple, almost childish.

              And this:

              [image moved]

              is just a little too tame for what actually goes on in the book, don't you think?

              Mr. Berry, I think I remember Elric looking down on a field of battle. Was this a first scene in Stormbringer or am I confusing dream and reality again?

              Yes, I finally did read the whole series but Stormbringer was my first.

              This was one of the books one of my friends had (I was only at his house once):

              [image moved]

              Memories are getting mixed up again. That was a 1989 edition. Hmm..

              Of course, I read the beginning of Stormbringer (the one at the top) but was wisked away to rehab at age 16 where they confiscated my Jim Morrison biography and my Black Sabbath (We Sold Our Souls for Rock and Roll). They would have never allowed me to finish Stormbringer there, they were busy compeating for my attention.

              Strangely enough - I was VERY familiar with Veteran of the Psychic Wars before I knew anything about MM. An uncle of mine got me the Heavy Metal soundtrack because my mom wouldn't let us see any more R movies. My dad had taken us to see American Werewolf in London and I had nightmares about it for years.

              I can tell you I enjoyed that record far more having not seen the movie. When I finally saw it in college, my expectations were competing with the movie I had dreamed about from the album cover and music (with some Stevie Nicks fantasies) for almost ten years.

              In particular, I can remeber my mom and dad getting in a fight (as usual) when he came to pick us up for the weekend and putting on my oversized earphones and playing my only record (besides a doctor who 45) - Heavy Metal. I was in second or third grade.

              Looking through those book cover pictures, MM has written a few books, huh?

              I knew he was prolific but I'm still amazed. I thought Piers Anthony was the words addict but I'm now not sure who has written the greatest number of books.

              BTW, Bio of a Space Tyrant was my first sci fi reading (besides Gama World rules and modules).

              Comment


              • #8
                Miqque, I was also forced to read Catcher in the Rye. I don't think I've ever been so entirely depressed by a book until my brother tricked me into reading The World According to Garp.

                Next of course would be that masochistic Rabbit character by some other completely well known author who's name I don't even want to remember.

                See, bad things would happen to Elric but Elric had a fighting chance and continued to fight. Despite the confusion there was evil and good. What MM did was overturn the complexeties of the difference.

                I don't think or know if my philosophy of life is the same as MM's characters (or that I even fully understand them to begin with) but I can at least identify. Trouble with these other fellows (Salinger, etc.) is that, while I can see their situation I hate them.

                Why our high school teachers wished us to identify with such morbid characters I don't want to know.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Whoops. Looks like the 'inspiration reading' was from the 1st edition DMs Guide pg 224 ( I can't verify if the red cover dnd book had this list):

                  APPENDIX N:
                  INSPIRATIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL READING
                  Inspiration for all of the fantasy work I have done stems directly from the
                  love my father showed when I was a lad, for he spent many hours telling
                  me stories he made up as he went along, tales of cloaked old men -who
                  could grant wishes, of magic rings and enchanted swords, or wicked
                  sorcerors and dauntless swordsmen. Then too, countless hundreds of comic
                  books went down, and the long-gone EC ones certainly had their effect.
                  Science fiction, fantasy, and horror movies were a big influence. In fact,
                  all of us tend to get ample helpings of fantasy when we are very young,
                  from fairy tales such as those written by the Brothers Grimm and Andrew
                  Long. This often leads to reading books of mythology, paging through
                  bestiaries, and consultation of compilations of the myths of various lands
                  and peoples. Upon such a base I built my interest in fantasy, being an avid
                  reader of all science fiction and fantasy literature since 1950. The following
                  authors were of particular inspiration to me. In some cases I cite
                  specific works, in others, I simply recommend all their fantasy writing to
                  you. From such sources, as well as just about any other imaginative writing
                  or screenplay you will be able to pluck kernels from which grow the fruits
                  of exciting campaigns. Good reading!

                  Inspirational Reading:

                  Anderson, Poul. THREE HEARTS AND THREE LIONS; THE HIGH CRUSADE; THE BROKEN SWORD
                  Bellairs, John. THE FACE IN THE FROST
                  Brackett, Leigh.
                  Brown, Fredric.
                  Burroughs, Edgar Rice. "Pellucidar" Series; Mars Series; Venus Series
                  Carter, Lin. "World's End'' Series
                  de Camp, L. Sprague. LEST DARKNESS FALL; FALLIBLE FIEND; etal.
                  de Camp & Pratt. "Harold Shea" Series; CARNELIAN CUBE
                  Derleth, August.
                  Dunsany, Lord.
                  Farmer, P. J. "The World of the Tiers" Series; etal.
                  Fox, Gardner. "Kothar" Series; "Kyrik" Series; et of.
                  Howard, R. E. "Conan" Series
                  Lanier, Sterling. HIEROS JOURNEY
                  Leiber, Fritz. "Fafhrd & Gray Mouser" Series; et of.
                  Lovecraft, H. P.
                  Merritt, A. CREEP, SHADOW, CREEP; MOON POOL; DWELLERS IN THE MIRAGE; et of.
                  Moorcock, Michael. STORMBRINGER; STEALER OF SOULS; "Hawkmoon" Series (esp. the first three books)
                  Norton, Andre.
                  Offutt, Andrew J., editor SWORDS AGAINST DARKNESS Ill.
                  Pratt, Fletcher, BLUE STAR; etaf.
                  Saberhagen, Fred. CHANGELING EARTH; etal.
                  St. Clair, Margaret. THE SHADOW PEOPLE; SIGN OF THE LABRYS
                  Tolkien, J. R. R. THE HOBBIT; "Ring Trilogy"
                  Vance, Jack. THE EYES OF THE OVERWORLD; THE DYING EARTH; et 01.
                  Weinbaum, Stanley.
                  Wellman, Manly Wade.
                  Williamson, Jack.
                  Zelazny, Roger. JACK OF SHADOWS; "Amber" Series; et of.

                  The most immediate influences upon AD&D were probably de Camp &
                  Pratt, REH, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, HPL, and A. Merritt; but all of the above
                  authors, as well as many not listed, certainly helped to shape the form of
                  the game. For this reason, and for the hours of reading enjoyment, I
                  heartily recommend the works of these fine authors to you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've never felt much for those books which appear so frequently on school syllabuses. I believe they're referred to as 'rite of passage' novels They have no resonances for me. Camus, on the other hand, was an important influence on me since I was a teenager. I think the 'European moral tradition' has always attracted me more than a certain American tradition which so frequently focusses on juveniles. I always swore I couldn't write a story wth a juvenile protagonist and then decided to have a go anyway with the last Elric... :)
                    As a matter of fact I chose Gould for the 'new' Elric covers done by Berkley Books (later called Ace Books), though I know the Whelan covers done for DAW were more commercial. Both have merits and those Whelan covers have continued to appear on foreign editions all over the world. I muat say I never liked those early Gaughan covers.

                    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


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
                      I muat say I never liked those early Gaughan covers.
                      I think I must be the only person who actually likes his Stormbringer cover. Interesting use of colours.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
                        As a matter of fact I chose Gould for the 'new' Elric covers done by Berkley Books (later called Ace Books), though I know the Whelan covers done for DAW were more commercial. Both have merits and those Whelan covers have continued to appear on foreign editions all over the world. I muat say I never liked those early Gaughan covers.
                        Sorry, I don't know the names of the artists. I assume the Gaughan is the second image in my last post. Now which is Whelan and which is Gould?

                        Maybe Gould the last and Whelan the first?

                        BTW, my dad was the one to who introduced us to d&d. He bought my brother a box set probably around 82-84.


                        I had to edit an earlier post about the BOC/MM Vet of Psychic Wars. I was having trouble with the image pasting and in the frenzy left out a paragraph:
                        In particular, I can remeber my mom and dad getting in a fight (as usual) when he came to pick us up for the weekend and putting on my oversized earphones and playing my only record (besides a doctor who 45) - Heavy Metal. I was in second or third grade.
                        Home schooling is the only way. What moralists are you refering to?

                        Also, who were Corums race modeled after? Which ancient myth? For some reason I keep thinking the Mabignogian though I've never read it...

                        Are you a doctor who fan? BBC just did an excellent recreation of Douglas Adam's Shada episode. It's on their Doctor Who Classic web site.

                        I always swore I couldn't write a story wth a juvenile protagonist and then decided to have a go anyway with the last Elric..
                        Are you refering to Dreamthief? I definately felt it was a young adult read. The earlier Elric books were aimed at which age group?

                        As for the violence, etc. I went through a period of watching horror movies and reading Clive Barker (Hellraiser fame). There just came a time where I didn't want to find out why they were creating this stuff. Call it opinionated, I just suddenly found the entire horror genre worthless. I think it had something to do with realizing real life horror, for truth is many times much more horrible than any fiction.

                        Elric and Corums triumphs and trials became a channel where I could pray my actions were as worthwhile and nobel and heroic and meaningful, that the tragedies in my life were things even the great hero must suffer through. Maybe we all want to see Jesus fight back, if it wouldn't be sacreligious to say.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I prefer the Michael Whelan covers over the "white or grey border" ones, the covers for those as said, a lil' too "tame" its like asking to see Tor do a Conan cover without him ready too bash something's skull in :D

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by VeteranOfThePsychicWars
                            Sorry, I don't know the names of the artists. I assume the Gaughan is the second image in my last post. Now which is Whelan and which is Gould?

                            Maybe Gould the last and Whelan the first?
                            Nopey-no! First is Jack Gaughan, then Robert Gould and Michael Whelan.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hmmm. Seem to have lost my last post here. Briefly, Gould was my choice, even though I thought the Whelan paintings splendid, because he seemed to capture Elric's ambiguities better. I never saw myself as a writer about violence, as such, even though there is of course a lot of violence in my stuff. Probably comes from my interest in symbolism from an early age, where I saw violence as, I suppose, a sort of kinetic symbolism! Sounds like bullshit, but there it is. I find Conan ultimately boring., admiring Howard more for his vivid scene-painting than what some of his contemporaries saw as his repetitive action sequences. But then my favourite author, who has to be Elizabeth Bowen, probably doesn't have a violent scene in a single novel! :) Even now I'm inclined to skip or fast forward over violent scenes. And this from someone who was once castigated by a moral group for offering youth the most violent work there was, outside of Japanese comics... :)

                              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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