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DANCERS where are your followers?

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  • DANCERS where are your followers?

    I was always ardently enthusiastic about the "Dancers at the End of Time"-Series!
    I say: Think of Christmas, fellas - make someone happy with " An Alien Heat" , "The Hollow Lands", "The End of All Songs" and so on.

    Why - I often asked myself - don't these delightful stories of the End of Time which are so extremely enjoyable (Saki's in there with his special view on vanity, and much more) have a stronger following on these boards, the old Q&A site and this one, or most others I came across? Which (emotional) deficit, I ask provocatively, do Elric and the other Champions cater to the Dancers don't? Is it lack of HEROES?


    Don't get me wrong, I started off on my own Moorcock-frenzy with Hawkmoon and the others and they are still great, but the worlds of Jherek Carnelian, Mrs Underwood (and their long, long courtship), Lord Jagged and all the others are so much more anarchist ... and freer, less haunting.
    Could it be (has anybody observations to support this?) they have less the quality of ERSATZ-religion, so to speak, in times when our own (real?) heroes and myths are showing wear?

    Anyway - it is still time to get those books as most enjoyable Xmas gifts, right?

  • #2
    Re: DANCERS where are your followers?

    I read those stories with interest, but found that I didn't connect with them strongly. I think it's because I wasn't familiar with the various characters' connections to the ideas they relate to. I'm not very well read and so the cast of characters were very foriegn to me. But it was still interesting as they relate to how the multiverse works.

    The Second Ether Trilogy has a similar feel. The characters are self-referential and so I have to imagine a context as opposed to borrowing one. That makes it difficult to read, but once you evoke that context in a natural way, the characters start to make a kind of sense. Between the groups of characters I find a kind of natural logic or relationship. A similarity.

    The cast of DANCERS and the cast of THE SECOND ETHER all seem like free spirits to me. They are characters that seem to be following the same narrative we do. They seem to match my expectations of a rock & band having a far out time. The only problem they seem to have is that the universe is collapsing and there are those who greedily consume what's left of that universe's resources. Er, multiverse's.

    Originally posted by L'Etranger
    I was always ardently enthusiastic about the "Dancers at the End of Time"-Series!
    I say: Think of Christmas, fellas - make someone happy with " An Alien Heat" , "The Hollow Lands", "The End of All Songs" and so on.

    Why - I often asked myself - don't these delightful stories of the End of Time which are so extremely enjoyable (Saki's in there with his special view on vanity, and much more) have a stronger following on these boards, the old Q&A site and this one, or most others I came across? Which (emotional) deficit, I ask provocatively, do Elric and the other Champions cater to the Dancers don't? Is it lack of HEROES?


    Don't get me wrong, I started off on my own Moorcock-frenzy with Hawkmoon and the others and they are still great, but the worlds of Jherek Carnelian, Mrs Underwood (and their long, long courtship), Lord Jagged and all the others are so much more anarchist ... and freer, less haunting.
    Could it be (has anybody observations to support this?) they have less the quality of ERSATZ-religion, so to speak, in times when our own (real?) heroes and myths are showing wear?

    Anyway - it is still time to get those books as most enjoyable Xmas gifts, right?
    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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    • #3
      I must be the odd one out here, because I didn't get into MM through Elric or Corum. I started with the Nomad of Time omnibus (The Warlord of the Air, The Land Leviathan, The Steel Tsar) and then moved onto Dancers. And the original dancers trilogy is still one of my favourites.

      I quite like that what we see in the Dancers trilogy could almost count as a slice of life. It makes a welcome change from the usual scenario in so many fantasy books -- a world torn assunder, and a cast of characters forced to line up on either side of a great conflict. Instead, Jagged, Carnelian, Mongrove and the rest are just doing what comes naturally to them -- intriguing, playing games, building follies, collecting specimens. The story rises out of that. Sometimes I appreciate not being bludgeoned over the head with high drama, which, too often I feel, comes across as a brand of Chicken Little-ism ("The sky is falling!").

      But the characters appeal to me most. They're all colourful and larger than life. And completely dotty in some cases. But that's absolutely right. You can imagine those millennia of uninterrupted, carefree self-indulgence that have exagerated their eccentricities and made them what we see.

      It reminds me a bit of Spike Milligan's autobiographical novel, Adolph Hitler: My Part in his Downfall. It's a fiction of eccentricity. It's fun, not because it's full of one liners and surrealistic jokes (like a Terry Pratchett novel), but because its full of wonderfully skewed characters. And they're convincing characters too, because plenty of real people have their little eccentricities. I've known one or two Mongroves in my time -- and one or two Li Paos, for that matter.

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      • #4
        [quote="Kinsley Castle"]

        -shortened -
        ... the characters appeal to me most. They're all colourful and larger than life. And completely dotty in some cases. But that's absolutely right. You can imagine those millennia of uninterrupted, carefree self-indulgence that have exagerated their eccentricities and made them what we see.
        ... -end of quote-


        Yes, the characters are great. Larger than life certainly, but also in a way most real. Imagine a time when all our big struggles are behind us, ideologies chewed over and over, and spat out again, no differences because of what you're born as, Bushs and Bin Ladens forgotten and dust, all gadgets invented and no longer needed: what will probably still remain in this absolute freedom: human weaknesses, vanity, jealousy, desire to be different, and desire (if that's a weakness at all). Very conforting I find and good stuff to laugh about especially when depicted by Michael. In a way maybe his most optimistic work.

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        • #5
          The Dancers series was one of the first series that I read to completion, and really loved it. I'm even more fond of the series for introducing me to George Meredith, who was, I believe, a great influence in the feel of it.

          After becoming a great Meredith fan, I went back to the Dancers series and enjoyed it even more! A great portion of one's appreciation for books, at least with certain types of books, is in direct ratio to the effort put in. Essentially, in a good book, the more you look, the more you get...

          Ahem. But yes, I like Dancers. A lot.

          Max Wilcox

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          • #6
            Hmmm. The Dancers books aren't exactly unpopular. There are two different editions in the UK at the moment and they've always sold very well. I think there's a French edition and an edition coming out in Russia, while there have been other editions, I seem to recall, over the years. They have also been well received in the US. Maybe they're not so popular amongst confirmed fantasy fans who expect a certain buzz -- a certain generic familiarity ? They are often the books which a general reader enjoys first of mine. If they belong to any genre it's more to that associated with the likes of the fin de siecle, with the plays of Shaw and Wilde, the novels of Furbank and of course Saki. Maybe it helps if you can hear the voices, as in the plays of Noel Coward, for instance. I'm not comparing myself otherwise with these various geniuses, but that's, if anything, the context in which the books were written. I know that when I came to write the last book in the main
            trilogy, The End of All Songs, I actually forgot to put the sf element in, I had become so involved with the fate of the characters. I had to rewrite the book to deliver the sf goods! I've written other comedies, of course, but two of those aren't in print because most publishers associate me so strongly with generic fantasy or 'mainstream' literary fiction -- and those are my Jerry Cornell stories, The Chinese Agent and The Russian Intelligence. When those books ARE published, they do very well. Odd.

            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


            • #7
              Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
              Maybe they're not so popular amongst confirmed fantasy fans who expect a certain buzz -- a certain generic familiarity ?
              That makes sense. I tend to find generic familiarity just a little bit boring. I like it when a writer can surprise me and do something with the material I haven't seen before -- and that's certainly a quality I appreciate in a lot of your work, including Dancers. Maybe it's just that I've been reading the genre for too long, and I've become a bit jaded? Now I'm settling in to attempt a novel of my own, I tend to think, why would I want to write the same novel that's already been written better by somebody else?

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              • #8
                i love the Dancers trilogy...Jherek is one of my favorite characters

                i think what i initially loved about it is it gives a completly different twist on the multiverse. who said the Lords of Law and Chaos are omnipotent godlike beings...maybe they are just ordinary beings blessed with extreme boredom and a better understanding of science...

                maybe Sepirez got it right all along??? all posibilities exist in the multiverse.

                the beauty about the each and every book about the multiverse is that they give insight into each other. Are the Lords of Chaos and Law Lords, Gods, Dancers at the End of Time, Dreamthieves, jugadors, mukhamirs, Corsairs, lost souls, or something completly different. It all depends on how much you've read, and how much you read into it.

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                • #9
                  U.S. Fan!!

                  I am a huge fan of Non Fiction,Fiction,Horror, Fantasy, and Dark Fantasy!
                  In essence, I love to read interesting things.

                  I started off reading your Elric series, in the U.S. version done by White Wolf Publishing.Then found your Corum series by the same company!(one of my favorite by the way)!

                  But -Dancers at the End of Time- is such an awesome story that I would'nt know where to begin.
                  It is just such a change which gives you the feelings of having no bounds!You can completely release yourself and flow with the story.

                  To me this is fantasy meets reality to the fullest.
                  There is no hero- meaning, good guy/ bad guy-just an utter love and lust for the exploration of life being lived, and a total lack of concern for the consequenceses(sp?) to that which happens!

                  I love a story where the bounds of reality hold no sway!, and I have yet to see one so well written as this one!

                  Thank you for a wonderful story Mr. Moorcock.

                  -Berserker-

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