Announcement

Collapse

Welcome to Moorcock's Miscellany

Dear reader,

Many people have given their valuable time to create a website for the pleasure of posing questions to Michael Moorcock, meeting people from around the world, and mining the site for information. Please follow one of the links above to learn more about the site.

Thank you,
Reinart der Fuchs
See more
See less

Books you were introduced to by Moorcock

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Books you were introduced to by Moorcock

    I am just reading Black Gods and Scarlet Dreams a collection of short stories about Jirel of Joiry and Northwest Smith by C L Moore. This is a writer I discovered because Mike mentions her. I first came across her writing her some years ago when in a second hand book shop in Sherringham. They had lots of old SciFi and Fantasy and I also picked up The Well of the Unicorn, Three Hearts and Three Lions and The King of Elfland's Daughter. The collection I picked up was called Shambleau, a title I recognised from one of Mike's introductions. Late one evening I began to read the first story in the collection Black God's Kiss. I was quite sleepy and when I awoke the next day I was unsure if I had read what I remembered or if it was a particularly vivid dream. Those who have read the story and its sequel Black God's Shadow will know of the curious dream like quality, a quality also found in many of the Northwest Smith stories such as Scarlet Dream or The Tree of Life. I very strongly recommend these stories. Later I found another Jirel story in a story collection called The Barbarian Swordsmen and then Fantasy Masterworks released a collection with most of the Jirel and Northwest Smith stories. Oddly enough the main one missing was The Quest of the Starstone which features both characters, though I later found that story Quest of the Starstone on Amazon. Jirel was the first post Conan heroic fantasy protagonist published in Weird Tales and the stories deviate from what later became the norms of the Sword and Sorcery genre. They are set in a world that is recognisably late medieval France and include recognisably Christian themes. For example Jirel visits a hellish world in some other dimension but remains unable to see there until she removes her crucifix. The Northwest Smith stories are space stories set in a solar system where many planets are inhabited. However the themes are those of fantasy horror with little hard sci fi involved. Smith and Jirel are in may ways more pragmatic than heroic so that when they do meet up they find themselves set against each other in trying to serve their own interest until . . . well I won't spoil that. All six Jirel stories can be found here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jirel-Joiry...3&sr=8-1-fkmr0

  • #2
    I like this thread!
    ive been using Cawthorn and Moorcock’s 100 Best Fantasy to create something of a bucket list for reading. I picked up the Fafhrd & Grey Mouser collection, and I picked up Poul Anderson’s broken sword. There’s others like the Joiry books I want to get, but I have to save something for my Christmas wish list.

    offhand I’m not sure if I’ve read anything Mike said to read... yet. But I just realized I wanted to start doing that. London Peculiar made me want to do that. I guess I’m late to the party, but I’ll get there.
    "Self-discipline and self-knowledge are the key. An individual becomes a unique universe, able to move at will through all the scales of the multiverse - potentially able to control the immediate reality of every scale, every encountered environment."
    --Contessa Rose von Bek, Blood part 4, chapter 12

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by J-Sun View Post
      I like this thread!
      ive been using Cawthorn and Moorcock’s 100 Best Fantasy to create something of a bucket list for reading. I picked up the Fafhrd & Grey Mouser collection, and I picked up Poul Anderson’s broken sword. There’s others like the Joiry books I want to get, but I have to save something for my Christmas wish list.

      offhand I’m not sure if I’ve read anything Mike said to read... yet. But I just realized I wanted to start doing that. London Peculiar made me want to do that. I guess I’m late to the party, but I’ll get there.
      I just finished reading the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser books again recently. I would say the earlier written ones are better and the later ones are spoiled a little by dodgy sex scenes - the Mouser is having non-consensual relationships with under aged girls and some parts like the ones with death's consort Pain are too weird for me. There are also dodgy aspects to some of Moore's stories, again some are around the theme of consent. The Broken Sword is great. I had some discussion with Mike about Anderson's editing of the book - there are things to be said for each of the versions in my view. I'd also recommend Three Hearts and Three Lions and The Merman's Children by Anderson.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have discovered Andrea Dworkin though MM who is a very good writer and I am glad I know who she is now! Fantasy novelists I have found through MM have been CL Moore, Leigh Brackett and Poul Andersson though I haven't read anything by Poul yet.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by postodave View Post

          I just finished reading the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser books again recently. I would say the earlier written ones are better and the later ones are spoiled a little by dodgy sex scenes - the Mouser is having non-consensual relationships with under aged girls and some parts like the ones with death's consort Pain are too weird for me. There are also dodgy aspects to some of Moore's stories, again some are around the theme of consent. The Broken Sword is great. I had some discussion with Mike about Anderson's editing of the book - there are things to be said for each of the versions in my view. I'd also recommend Three Hearts and Three Lions and The Merman's Children by Anderson.
          Really? That's quite concerning... puts me of reading Leiber's books. In Jirel of Joiry Moore seemed to condemn Guillaume's actions although I have only read the first two stories in the book. It still is quite a bad motivator though.

          Comment


          • #6
            I may return to this, because Mike’s editorial work has sent my reading in really interesting directions (like J-Sun, so I’m in good company 🙂)

            I read Jonathan Carroll on Mike’s recommendation and became a huge fan. There is some inconsistency in his work, but it is always interesting and full of insightful observations about people, and always a few sentences and turns of phrase that do not leave me.

            One of his books is dedicated to Mike as a mentor and wizard.

            And, for what it’s worth, I agree with the assessment that earlier Fafhrd and Grey Mouser are a little better.

            Comment


            • #7
              I rather like Jonathan Carroll but had no idea that Mike did. Bonus!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Rothgo View Post
                I rather like Jonathan Carroll but had no idea that Mike did. Bonus!
                Clearly you have great taste! 🤣 I think that Mike is the only author whose work I have loaned out more than Carroll’s.

                I’ll have to pull out my books, but I think it was Marriage of Sticks or From the Teeth of Angels that has Mike (and Stephen King!) in the dedication. The standard blurb on most U.S. editions is by Pat Conroy, but I’m fairly certain there’s at least one novel with a blurb from Mike.

                Re-reading Bones of the Moon right now, which is probably why it was right there on the top of my head.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Peacefulpie View Post
                  I have discovered Andrea Dworkin though MM who is a very good writer and I am glad I know who she is now! Fantasy novelists I have found through MM have been CL Moore, Leigh Brackett and Poul Andersson though I haven't read anything by Poul yet.
                  I have some of Brackett's books on my Kindle and have not read them yet. I'd certainly give Anderson a shot. There are two versions of The Broken Sword, the original and a later re-write that is shorter and smoother. Mike favours the original and after Anderson dies that one was republished in Fantasy Masterworks, they probably chose that one because Mike had championed it. I like both versions but the original has more soul.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Peacefulpie View Post

                    Really? That's quite concerning... puts me of reading Leiber's books. In Jirel of Joiry Moore seemed to condemn Guillaume's actions although I have only read the first two stories in the book. It still is quite a bad motivator though.
                    The earlier ones are better in my view. While I was re-reading them I wondered if anyone else had a problem with it and did an internet search and found they had. It's all run together a bit in my head but I think at one point it implies the Mouser has raped a 14 year old. He also get's turned on watching a three way non-consensual lesbian spank event, which is every bit as bad as it sounds.

                    The issue in Black God's Kiss is that although what Guillaume does is only a kiss it is non-consensual and then it turns out Jirel loves him but only realizes after she has killed him. Now people can end up loving their abusers but there is a sort of implication that this makes Guillaume sort of okay. As if strong women secretly want to be dominated. But I do feel it is all done in a fairly tasteful way and it can be put down as a realist depiction of a type of response to abuse rather than something the author is necessarily approving.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by postodave View Post

                      The earlier ones are better in my view. While I was re-reading them I wondered if anyone else had a problem with it and did an internet search and found they had. It's all run together a bit in my head but I think at one point it implies the Mouser has raped a 14 year old. He also get's turned on watching a three way non-consensual lesbian spank event, which is every bit as bad as it sounds.

                      The issue in Black God's Kiss is that although what Guillaume does is only a kiss it is non-consensual and then it turns out Jirel loves him but only realizes after she has killed him. Now people can end up loving their abusers but there is a sort of implication that this makes Guillaume sort of okay. As if strong women secretly want to be dominated. But I do feel it is all done in a fairly tasteful way and it can be put down as a realist depiction of a type of response to abuse rather than something the author is necessarily approving.
                      Yikes. Is Grey-mouser supposed to be a shit head character? If not Lieber is cancelled in my book. I also felt that Jirel was reacting to the abuse rather than condoning it with the Jirel of Joiry stories.
                      Last edited by Peacefulpie; 09-13-2020, 12:53 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Peacefulpie View Post

                        Yikes. Is Grey-mouser supposed to be a shit head character? If not Lieber is cancelled in my book. I also felt that Jirel was reacting to the abuse rather than condoning it with the Jirel of Joiry stories.
                        Leiber says something to the effect that the two heroes are not much better than the villains they fight if at all. I don't think we are meant to completely approve of the Mouser; he is conceited and both Fafhrd and the Mouser often get things wrong. Fafhrd is more down to earth and while the Mouser is underground watching his ex get one of her slave girls to spank the other he is on a sky ship with his ex having an orgy with nine aerial spirit girls; it is consensual though!

                        I was unsure with Jirel. I think having this strong and very human female lead outweighs any concerns I have and I am genuinely not sue whether the author is condoning Jirel's response or not - which makes for good writing I think.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by postodave View Post

                          Leiber says something to the effect that the two heroes are not much better than the villains they fight if at all. I don't think we are meant to completely approve of the Mouser; he is conceited and both Fafhrd and the Mouser often get things wrong. Fafhrd is more down to earth and while the Mouser is underground watching his ex get one of her slave girls to spank the other he is on a sky ship with his ex having an orgy with nine aerial spirit girls; it is consensual though!
                          That’s better I guess. Seems a weird book though.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Peacefulpie View Post
                            Seems a weird book though.
                            I love weird books; just about anything by William S. Burroughs, J. G. Ballard or Ronald Firbank could make my day and yes these were all writers mentioned favorably by Michael Moorcock.
                            Last edited by Kymba334; 09-13-2020, 04:04 PM.
                            Mwana wa simba ni simba

                            The child of a lion is also a lion - Swahili Wisdom

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by postodave View Post

                              Leiber says something to the effect that the two heroes are not much better than the villains they fight if at all. I don't think we are meant to completely approve of the Mouser; he is conceited and both Fafhrd and the Mouser often get things wrong. Fafhrd is more down to earth and while the Mouser is underground watching his ex get one of her slave girls to spank the other he is on a sky ship with his ex having an orgy with nine aerial spirit girls; it is consensual though!
                              .
                              As I understand it, theIr non-heroic natures (in the traditional sense) were partly the points of the characters. And of course, Leiber identified pretty strongly with Fafhrd, which might explain why he is slightly less outrageous than the Mouser.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X