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Your Top 5 Moorcock books?

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  • Doc
    replied
    Originally posted by Pietro_Mercurios View Post
    Well, today, I choose:

    1. The Whispering Swarm
    2. Mother London
    3. King of the City
    4. Byzantium Endures
    5. The History of the Runestaff

    Tomorrow, The Life & Times of Jerry Cornelius, could be in there. I would really, really, love to read the next part of, The Whispering Swarm, someday, 🤞
    King of the City is pretty underrated. It’s a great read,
    and I feel somehow wiser and more worldly for having read it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Doc
    replied
    Originally posted by J-Sun View Post
    Mike is my favorite writer hands down. ...

    I think “my favorites” and “his objective best” are two different lists. I think I can separate the two. I think the Pyat books are amazing. They’re dark, weighty, and thus not in my top 5, but at least one Of them deserves to be in his five best.
    i agree with this. Some of the Elric books aren’t objectively great, even though they are certainly innovative (especially for when the stories started) and Elric is obviously an amazing character. Probably half of Mike’s readers would list at least one in their top five favorites.

    Mother London, in the other hand, is a hard read (I remember hearing Linda say that everyone who gets through the first 80 pages is heroic and rewarded), but it deservedly won a great deal of critical praise and was shortlisted for several literary awards. Many people I know appreciate it without loving it or thinking of it as a favorite.

    Some of the Cornelius books hit that sweet spot of good and favorite, and Dancers and Gloriana, too, but I certainly see the difference between great books and favorite books. And I also agree that Mike is the kind of author whose work makes that distinction clear. Some of his greatest are favorites, but so are some of his less ambitious, his experimental ones, and his obscure ones. I guess that’s why we’re here. 🤔



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  • Jack Of Shadows
    replied
    I'm so looking forward to the sequel to The Whispering Swarm!

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  • J-Sun
    replied
    He better be polishing off the sequel to Whispering Swarm. He’s got me nervous on that one. Pyat took 30 years to finish; White Friars has me biting my nails.

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  • Pietro_Mercurios
    replied
    Well, today, I choose:

    1. The Whispering Swarm
    2. Mother London
    3. King of the City
    4. Byzantium Endures
    5. The History of the Runestaff

    Tomorrow, The Life & Times of Jerry Cornelius, could be in there. I would really, really, love to read the next part of, The Whispering Swarm, someday, 🤞

    Leave a comment:


  • J-Sun
    replied
    Mike is my favorite writer hands down. Other than a couple stories in the latest anthologies, I have all his books. And there’s a reason for that. He’s just so good. That doesn’t mean there aren’t one or two books that didn’t grab me the way they grabbed others. Just like most people don’t put Sundered Worlds in their top 5. But... they’re all good, and picking favorites is so difficult, especially because they all tie together so much.

    And I think it’s that consistency that makes it hard to pick, and why there’s such variance. But I also suspect our own circumstances affect it too. I liked Bane of the Black Sword in part because I really liked to see the moody angsty hero who is his own worst enemy find a cute girl and settle down happily for a bit. That resonated with me. Letters From Hollywood was read at an enjoyable time in my life. There were some stresses as well, but the book was a happy escape from those. And so I think our favorites have in part to do with us and where we’re at when we read them. Reading Sundered Worlds is just a happy memory for me.

    now... I do think there are some that particularly stand out. I’m not surprised Warhound ranks so high. Even if it doesn’t make my top five, I get why it’s there.

    I think “my favorites” and “his objective best” are two different lists. I think I can separate the two. I think the Pyat books are amazing. They’re dark, weighty, and thus not in my top 5, but at least one Of them deserves to be in his five best.

    Leave a comment:


  • Doc
    replied
    I’m using Jack of Shadow’s (brilliantly named and brilliantly conceived) multiversal loophole and counting series.

    The second ether (Blood, et al)
    Cornelius Quartet
    Von Bek (all of it)
    Behold the Man
    Mother London

    honorable mentions to Elric, Pyat, Brothel in Rosenstrasse, and Breakfast in the Ruins.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jack Of Shadows
    replied
    Originally posted by Sir Sorcerer View Post
    Come to think of it, what this thread illustrates is hardly consensus, as I happened to write maybe a bit optimistically in my last post. It actually feels more like an almost complete disagreement as to what are Moorcock's best works :)

    Opinions are of course always subjective, anyway it gives food for thought that nearly 50 ! different titles came up as possible top 5 candidates, with only a few of them overlapping. Having only read a few of his books myself, I can't help to wonder why the opinions are so diverse. I haven't experienced this with any other author I can think of.

    Is it because his books are somehow so similar that any preferences become a matter of idiosyncracy or chance? Or on the contrary because the books are so different from one to the next that they divide the audience in strongly felt opinions for or against? Or simply because he has written so much? I am confused.
    I think it is because he has written a vast number of books that cover a wide range of genres and writing styles, some of which fall into multiple genres at the same time. For me, the more of Mike's books I read I find new ones becoming favorites. So what I picked as my personal top 5 back in 2014 has changed a bit in 2020. That's not to say I no longer enjoy those books I picked back then, but having read far more of his works since I now have a wider pool of books to choose from. Who knows by this time next year my top five might change as I still have a large of amount of Mike's books on my "to be read" list. I will not have a concrete top five until after I have read all of Mike's works, which is going to take me a while.
    Last edited by Jack Of Shadows; 09-05-2020, 05:44 PM.

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  • Sir Sorcerer
    replied
    Come to think of it, what this thread illustrates is hardly consensus, as I happened to write maybe a bit optimistically in my last post. It actually feels more like an almost complete disagreement as to what are Moorcock's best works :)

    Opinions are of course always subjective, anyway it gives food for thought that nearly 50 ! different titles came up as possible top 5 candidates, with only a few of them overlapping. Having only read a few of his books myself, I can't help to wonder why the opinions are so diverse. I haven't experienced this with any other author I can think of.

    Is it because his books are somehow so similar that any preferences become a matter of idiosyncracy or chance? Or on the contrary because the books are so different from one to the next that they divide the audience in strongly felt opinions for or against? Or simply because he has written so much? I am confused.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jack Of Shadows
    replied
    Originally posted by J-Sun View Post
    You get to count the whole quartet as one book?!?!
    I feel robbed. Change my Steel Tsar to the whole Nomad Trilogy. And change my Sundered Worlds to the white wolf omnibus that had Sundered Worlds and Silver Warriors! 🙃😜
    Yeah I figured the quartet is one book that just happens to have four novels in it, so why not?...you can call it a multiversal loophole!

    Leave a comment:


  • J-Sun
    replied
    You get to count the whole quartet as one book?!?!
    I feel robbed. Change my Steel Tsar to the whole Nomad Trilogy. And change my Sundered Worlds to the white wolf omnibus that had Sundered Worlds and Silver Warriors! 🙃😜

    Leave a comment:


  • Jack Of Shadows
    replied
    My top five have changed a bit since the last time I posted to this thread, but as before these are in no particular order...

    The Cornelius Quartet
    Byzantium Endures
    Behold The Man
    The Warlord Of The Air
    The Whispering Swarm

    Leave a comment:


  • J-Sun
    replied
    Without looking at that list, my top 5 are:

    The Sundered Worlds
    Blood: a Southern Fantasy
    The Bane of the Black Sword
    The Steel Tsar
    Letters From Hollywood

    leaving Mother London and Silver Warriors off is heartbreaking but here we are. Top five it is. 🤷🏻‍♂️

    Leave a comment:


  • Sir Sorcerer
    replied
    So if one were to translate this to the recent MM Collection volumes the consensus top 5 list of most popular books (again: in 2012-14) would look something like this I suppose?

    1. Behold the Man.
    2. Von Bek: The War Hound and the World's Pain, The City in the Autumn Stars.
    3. The Cornelius Quartet: The Final Programme, A Cure for Cancer, The English Assassin, The Condition of Muzak.
    4. The Nomad of Time: The Warlord of the Air, The Land Leviathan, The Steel Tsar.
    5. The Dancers at the End of Time: An Alien Heat, The Hollow Lands, The End of all Songs.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sir Sorcerer
    replied
    I spent some time counting the votes in this old thread. If my calculations are right, here is the list of most favored MM books by members of this site back in 2012-14. The opinions are surprisingly diverse, but a few titles stand out. I wonder how the poll would look today.

    9 votes:
    Behold the Man (1969)

    6 votes:
    The War Hound and the World's Pain (1981)

    5 votes:
    Stormbringer (1965)
    A Cure for Cancer (1971)
    Gloriana, or, The Unfulfill'd Queen (1978)
    The Dancers at the End of Time (1981)

    4 votes:
    The Warlord of the Air (1971)
    The Cornelius Chronicles (1977) / The Cornelius Quartet (1993)

    3 votes:
    The Sailor on the Seas of Fate (1976)
    The City in the Autumn Stars (1986)
    Mother London (1988)
    The Nomad of Time (1982) / Oswald Bastable (1992) / A Nomad of the Time Streams (1993)
    Into the Media Web: Selected Short Non-Fiction, 1956-2006 (2010)

    2 votes:
    The Stealer of Souls (1963)
    The LSD Dossier (1965)
    Elric of Melnibone (1969)
    The Chinese Agent (1970)
    The Chronicles of Corum (1978)
    Byzantium Endures (1981)
    Letters from Hollywood (1986)
    The Fortress of the Pearl (1989)
    Interview: Death Is No Obstacle (1992)
    King of the City (2000)
    Pyat Quartet / Between the Wars (1981–2006)

    1 vote:
    The Jewel in the Skull (1967)
    The Wrecks of Time (1967) / The Rituals of Infinity (1971)
    The Sword of the Dawn (1968)
    The Final Programme (1968)
    The Ice Schooner (1969)
    The Eternal Champion (1970)
    Phoenix in Obsidian (1970) / The Silver Warriors (1973)
    The Sleeping Sorceress (1971)
    The Queen of the Swords (1971)
    The English Assassin (1972)
    Breakfast in the Ruins (1972)
    The History of the Runestaff (1974) / Hawkmoon (1992)
    The End of All Songs (1976)
    Moorcock's Book of Martyrs (1976)
    The Weird of the White Wolf (1977)
    The Brothel in Rosenstrasse (1982)
    The Retreat from Liberty: The Erosion of Democracy in Today's Britain (1983)
    The Revenge of the Rose (1991)
    Blood: A Southern Fantasy (1995)
    Earl Aubec (1999)
    Silverheart (2000)
    The Dreamthief's Daughter (2001)
    The White Wolf's Son (2005)
    The Best of Michael Moorcock (2009)
    London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction (2012)

    Leave a comment:

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