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Glorianna

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  • Glorianna

    Quite possibly the best way to get you girl/boyfriend to read good high-fantasy.

  • #2
    I've just recently read it for the first time myself. And now I have finally seen what everyone raves about. I'm glad the Fantasy Masterworks series has reprinted a lot of classic Moorcock books, because I haven't seen them on the shelves hereabouts for years, and I missed quite a few the first time around.

    I agree Jarett, that it would be a good book to introduce someone to Mike's work, especially if they're used to reading mainstream books. And it also stands as a good example of what's possible in the genre, at a time when we could use a good example or two.

    But then, I guess it's impossible to convince some people. It's like Dave Langford points out -- all SF is rubbish, according to some people, and if you show them something that's not rubbish, they'll tell you it's not SF.

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    • #3
      I have just started reading this one (am now around page 100 or so), but strangely I have some trouble to get a grip on that one.
      I don't even know what exactly gives me this trouble, just that it doesn't feel comfortable to read somehow.
      But maybe that's just because I am reading the translated version...

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      • #4
        Re: Glorianna

        Originally posted by Jarrett Crader
        Quite possibly the best way to get you girl/boyfriend to read good high-fantasy.
        :idea:
        Hmmmmmmmmmm, maybe all of us who've read a lot or all of M's work should debate how to get new readers attracted. Especially of the younger generations to whom a number of the conflicts in these stories might appear either too distant, too alien, too dark, possibly too demanding.
        What books should one suggest?
        :?: :?:

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        • #5
          Personally, I would suggest Hawkmoon, since it is a science-fantasy novel. It is alien, yet retaines some things of our worlds... (names of places?)
          I started with Elric, which managed to keep my interest for a long time, but it might be hard for a fantasy neophyte.

          I dunno, you could also say Jerry Cornelius, but I never was able to relate to the hero...

          Just a thought,

          alex

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          • #6
            Re: Glorianna

            Originally posted by Jarrett Crader
            Quite possibly the best way to get you girl/boyfriend to read good high-fantasy.
            Very amusing you should say that, as thats the very book that I first lent to my then future, to-be partner of many a year. As long as its not the first, unedited edition. (only joking!)

            But seriously, it is indeed perhaps one of the best "literary" / fantasy cross-over books around. Except Gormenghast, of course. Though, calling it a cross-over is really not even remotely doing it justice - and I certainly don't personally think of it as such, but in common book shop genre parlance thats what I'd call it.

            Max Wilcox

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            • #7
              Yeah, it's odd seeing my stuff discussed in terms of genre. When I first started writing fantasy there wasn't much of a genre at all and most publishers called it 'science fiction' or possibly 'Gothic' fiction. Nobody knew how to classify the first Elric books. The Hawkmoon books were published as science fiction. So what's happened to me is that a genre -- or a number of sub-genres -- have grown up around me. I didn't think of Gloriana as belonging to any category, really. Certainly it didn't follow any of the generic conventions which had developed since I first did the Elric stories (or even The Golden Barge). But then neither did Lord of the Rings or Gormenghast when they first came out and now they find themselves in sometimes rather strange company, one categorised as 'High Fantasy' and the other as 'Dark Fantasy'. I'm reminded of readers of detective stories who expect a certain form and are disappointed if they don't get it. While Hammett's 'hard-boiled' stories did pretty well from the start, the readers of, say, Agatha Christie felt almost threatened by them. They were not 'proper' detective stories. They were, in the words of Ed Hamilton, urban adventure stories. This urban element is perhaps what characterises a lot of the 'new fantasy' currently being written but still somewhat marginalised when it's shelved with generic fantasy of the kind
              turned out by various Terries (not Terry Pratchett, I hasten to say) and
              R. Jordan and Co. These books don't appeal to me at all -- they seem rather like degenerated Xeroxes -- just as late Westerns are too formulaic to be interesting to me. But some people enjoy the comforts of repetition and as I've often said people wouldn't like music if they didn't like repetition. It just doesn't happen to be to my taste. I started off writing fantasy that was 'uncomfortable' or a bit different to the stuff that was around at the time and I continue to try to write something that's a bit different. Some people feel best by taking the same bus to work every day. When I travelled to work I used to vary the journey as much as I could. It's just a question of temperament. I don't say, as some writers say, that the books are 'meant' to make you uncomfortable, but they do try to be a bit different and I wouldn't have dedicated Gloriana to Mervyn Peake if I didn't mean it to fbe something of an homage to a writer who felt that creativity had a fair bit to do with breaking windows...

              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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              • #8
                Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
                I'm reminded of readers of detective stories who expect a certain form and are disappointed if they don't get it. While Hammett's 'hard-boiled' stories did pretty well from the start, the readers of, say, Agatha Christie felt almost threatened by them. They were not 'proper' detective stories.
                That's one of those little cultural differences that trips me up every time. I'm from a country where the local publishing industry (and the music industry, for that matter) is small enough that everyone's rubbing shoulders, and you get a lot of cross fertilisation. For example, an Australian writer like Peter Carey will think nothing of blending SF tropes into a story, and an Australian best of SF anthology will have no qualms about reprinting it (even though he's a "mainstream" writer).

                So it always strikes me as slightly absurd when people make a big deal over definitions and categories. What does it matter? Are you really going to avoid reading a good book because someone said it's magical realism and you prefer urban fantasy? I once suggested to a group of aspiring writers that fantasy stories don't necessarily have to have a magic systems, or wizards, or elves. Going by the awkward silence that followed, you'd think I'd slapped somebody's grandma or something.

                I just don't get it.

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                • #9
                  So what is glorriana about then is it heroic,? fun? fantasy, like elric ,corum ,and hawkmoonn, or like other things.I dont know what to think. I like fantasy books with lots of magic and enchantment and heroics and stuff, not boring. I always think people who dismiss fantasy and sci fi so vehmently are in need of a preconception smashing. are they so afraid of being seen as diferent by their boring friends that they only read what the control freaks in pr and promotion say is good? Romantic books suck and all that boring misery in those books, like bridget* braindead*diary What gives?Harry potter etc did a lot for fantasy, Sci Fi. I hope fantasy and sci fi eclypse certain other types of books the less rubbish the better.

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                  • #10
                    Well on the cover it says a "Romance".. which it is ...but ...its a damn good story is all you need to know.

                    I personally only read this about 2 years ago after seeing it an a 2nd hand store..Its a great read

                    If you see it buy it. I find I have to buy MM`s books online as prices in NZ are just crazy, I find it hard to justify to my better half 3 hrs work for one paperback

                    Shaeve out

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                    • #11
                      Ah - Gloriana!!

                      As an old git, I well remember back to 1978 (it seems like 77 but wasn't) and being thrilled to see MM on a TV book review programme with Melvyn Bragg, being subjected to a stream of bile from Yehuddi Menuhin, who regarded Gloriana as an attack on all that was decent, especially our beloved Betty2, who had just had her silver jubblies. So I went out and bought it, and loved it. MM seems to regard the book as a failure (see Death Is No Obstacle), but it is an ambitious failure if it's that, and takes a lot more re-reading than the EC books in my humble opinion.

                      Add to that the temporal coincidence with the Sex Pistols and the previous year's Jubilee, Derek Jarman's Jubilee film, and it's a heady nostalgic brew for me.

                      However ... What's it about? Dreams and ideals, corruption and deceit, honesty and compromise. A Spencerian detective story, a sanguine farce, a masque of masks, a fantasy with roots in English history and a sardonic foot in the present. I like it. :lol:
                      \"Killing me won\'t bring back your apples!\"

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                      • #12
                        Those of you in the US may want to know that Gloriana has just been reissued in large size paperback by Warner. I've seen it in at least three book stores this week; Borders is stocking it, and I imagine B&N will follow suit. It's also available for 20% off on Amazon.

                        It includes a comment by MM, an alternate version of a key chapter (explained by MM in the comment), and some lyrics for a projected musical version that never panned out.

                        This is MM paying tribute to Spenser and Peake, and really kicking his mature style into gear. I read this when I was a teenager and absolutely didn't get it; now I understand it at least a bit better. If you like Mother London and the Byzantium books, this may be your cup of tea.

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                        • #13
                          Oops! :oops: Forgot to log in before I posted the release news above. Sorry ...

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                          • #14
                            Doug North

                            Would you believe the fella that got me into Moorcock hadn't realised that Glorianna and the Golden Barge were connected! And the look on his face when I told him in passing!
                            brilliant.

                            Glorianna is a fantastic read. Talbot and his Luther Arkwright follow a very similar feel of deep conscious English history - things that lurk in the back of our minds about what we think is history.

                            here's to ya, Doug!
                            "What do you think you're doing? This is a closed set!"

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                            • #15
                              Re: Doug North

                              Originally posted by muckyshoe
                              Would you believe the fella that got me into Moorcock hadn't realised that Glorianna and the Golden Barge were connected! And the look on his face when I told him in passing!
                              brilliant.

                              Glorianna is a fantastic read. Talbot and his Luther Arkwright follow a very similar feel of deep conscious English history - things that lurk in the back of our minds about what we think is history.

                              here's to ya, Doug!
                              How are they connected? I never knew that.

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