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Jerry, von Bek, Bastable and Corum

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  • Jerry, von Bek, Bastable and Corum

    Hey guys, long time no post. I'm working on moving to another country right now and coming towards the end of a long visa application process, so I haven't had time to post here.

    Anyway, since my last visit I haven't read an awful lot because I've been working on moving etc, but I read The Bull and the Spear the other day and really enjoyed it. A nice homage to Irish folklore and it seems the second set of Corum novels are shaping up to be worthy successors to the original trilogy.

    Today I bought, Von Bek, The Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius, and The Nomad of Time trilogy. I'm about halfway through JC and loving it so far. In a way I'm glad I read Luther Arkwright recently because it mentally prepared me for the narrative style and concepts in JC.
    I'd been finding it difficult to focus on reading due to the distractions of life, but am starting to find my stride again and hope to digest another few Moorcock books in the coming weeks, so I will be popping on in hopes of discussing them : )

  • #2
    The Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius was excellent albeit a bit of a puzzle-piece since it was the very first Jerry-related story I've read other than an even more baffling one included in The Best of Michael Moorcock.

    I still loved it though. It was a lot darker and more abstract than I expected, having grown so used to Mike's more straight-forward, pulpy style of narrative in Hawkmoon, early Elric and Corum. Do some of the short stories take place between the novels? It felt like I was supposed to know who some of the characters were already. I loved the references to Mike's other works, quotations from Elric etc, it was very 'meta' for lack of a better word.

    But yeah, as stated before, Luther Arkwright really prepared me for Jerry, I would have been completely confused without it.I need to read all the JC novels now and go back and reread The Lives and Times again to see how that works out.


    I'm well into 'The Nomad of Time' now and thoroughly enjoying it so far. It feels more ambitious than the first Corum and Hawkmoon books.

    Can anyone advise me on how best to to tackle Jerry Cornelius? What books/editions should I get first etc

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    • #3
      I'd just work my way through the JC Quartet in order... I guess they could be read in any order, but, call me conservative, I'd start with The Final Programme and make my way through... This is a nice omnibus, although it appears to be out of print now... maybe Gollancz will reprint them now? After that I think you can dip in and out as you please...
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      • #4
        Originally posted by The English Assassin View Post
        maybe Gollancz will reprint them now?
        No 'maybe' about it.



        Those are the individual eBooks but there will also be a hard-copy omnibus edition.

        The thing with the Cornelius novels (imo ) is:
        1. The Cornelius novels (i.e. 'The Quartet') aren't, contrary to popular perception, 'genre' novels; certainly they're not SF novels (imo) and weren't originally written as such (this according to Mike)
        2. They're not related to each other (narratively speaking), instead they function more in the style of standalone novels and are best approached with that understanding in mind rather than expecting one novel to lead into the next/on from the last.
        3. Collectively though there is a sonata-style progression - Introduction, Exposition, Development, Recapitulation & Coda - in the novels if you read them in publication order so that overall the Quartet is greater than the sum of its individual parts
        4. The Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius can be read (and appreciated) separately from the main Quartet (and without knowing anything about the Quartet at all!)

        Good luck!
        Last edited by David Mosley; 03-05-2013, 08:24 AM.
        _"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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        • #5
          I think that's excellent news... those four JC books represent some of Mike's best work and haven't really been widely available in the UK for a while. I've never once seen the edition I linked to in a real bricks'n'mortar bookshop... while I have some problems with Gollancz editions (slightly dodgy covers, typos), they're always widely available and they have supported quality genre/genre-related authors over the years... for which they should be applauded.
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          • #6
            hey Octo I hope you are taking your books and comics with you! hey Will you ?
            "From time to time I demonstrate the inconceivable, or mock the innocent, or give truth to liars, or shred the poses of virtue.(...) Now I am silent; this is my mood." From Sundrun's Garden, Jack Vance.
            "As the Greeks have created the Olympus based upon their own image and resemblance, we have created Gotham City and Metropolis and all these galaxies so similar to the corporate world, manipulative, ruthless and well paid, that conceived them." Braulio Tavares.

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            • #7
              I haven't read the JC books, I am planning to buy them next year. I really liked Nomad of time so much, it is one the best books I ever read. I am reading Von Bek now, and loving it.
              "From time to time I demonstrate the inconceivable, or mock the innocent, or give truth to liars, or shred the poses of virtue.(...) Now I am silent; this is my mood." From Sundrun's Garden, Jack Vance.
              "As the Greeks have created the Olympus based upon their own image and resemblance, we have created Gotham City and Metropolis and all these galaxies so similar to the corporate world, manipulative, ruthless and well paid, that conceived them." Braulio Tavares.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by zlogdan View Post
                hey Octo I hope you are taking your books and comics with you! hey Will you ?
                I haven't decided on what to ship/take yet. I have so much stuff, it's gonna be hard to choose. Might wait a while and eventually ship everything by sea when I'm more settled in. I will definitely bring a few with me though. When I think of how much Moorcock I've read since November 2011 it's almost frightening lol. I'm halfway through The Oak and the Ram now, thoroughly enjoying that too. Von Bek is next on the list.

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                • #9
                  Check prices for sell this side / buy on the other vs. shipping while you are at it. That goes for everything, not just books!

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                  • #10
                    That's good thinking Rothgo, it would probably work out cheaper to rebuy some stuff than to ship it.
                    For some reason books and graphic novels seem to be an extortionate price in Canada compared to the UK and even Ireland, so I will probably ship most of my books, comics and graphic novels by sea, but not my electronics etc.

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                    • #11
                      It might be worth buying books again in the states... I've certainly bought a lot of books from the US and even with shipping the prices beat those in the UK... obviously depends on the books tho...
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                      • #12
                        Yeah I will probably buy most of my books form amazon.com to avoid Canada's anti-reading prices. I paid 20 bucks a piece for the Elric, Del Rey books in Canada!

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                        • #13
                          Did anybody else get a Ubik vibe from the the latter stories in Lives and Times?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Octo Seven View Post
                            Did anybody else get a Ubik vibe from the the latter stories in Lives and Times?
                            No, but I read L&T many years ago before I read Ubik... I can see a re-read happening in the near future!
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                            • #15
                              It has the same very nightmarish, very real sense that the world is ending and nothing is as it should be!

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