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I'm about halfway through The Fireclown...

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  • I'm about halfway through The Fireclown...

    Have to say, it's one of the smartest books I've ever read from a political and philosophical point of view. Feels like it was written by a sane man in a mad world, probably because it was. Any other enthusiasts? I probably shouldn't have started this thread until I finished the book but I am just so amazed by it that I had to.

  • #2
    According to the Wikiverse, it was based on Coningsby by Benjamin Disraeli. Not sure where that assertation originated from, though.
    You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

    -:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-

    Image Hive :-: Wikiverse :-: Media Hive

    :-: Onsite Offerings :-:


    "I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it." Moondog, 1964

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    • #3
      Coningsby is now on my to-read list. Just read a brief plot synopsis and it does seem plausible that Mike used elements from it in The Fireclown.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Governor of Rowe Island View Post
        Not sure where that assertation originated from, though.
        From Mike himself. He also readily acknowledges lifting the plot of Conrad's The Rescue for The Ice Schooner. In fact it's one of his tips to new writers: borrow an existing plot and write your own take on it.
        _"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
          Thanks, David, I knew Mike'd referred to Conrad re: TIS. I only wondered here because there wasn't a note linking to a quote on the forum (or somesuch).
          You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

          -:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-

          Image Hive :-: Wikiverse :-: Media Hive

          :-: Onsite Offerings :-:


          "I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it." Moondog, 1964

          Comment


          • #6
            Here you go, Guv:
            Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post
            Oddly, The Fireclown was based firmly on Disraeli's political novel CONINGSBY! I wrote it during the period I was writing political pamphlets and speeches for the Liberal Party!


            (I've updated the Wiki article accordingly.)
            _"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."

            Comment


            • #7
              The Fireclown (as Winds of Limbo) was one of the first books of Mike's that I read, along with The Shores of Death. Both impressed me and led me on to reading more.
              'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

              Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)

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              • #8
                It was a good read but it felt like it declined in quality in the second half. A lot of plot contrivances and coincidences distracted from the themes of the novel. Alan Powys just happening to find out about the conspiracy and the group in the Mayfair slums etc. I'm glad I read it but I wish it could have kept the same momentum it started out with. Maybe there is a later revised edition? Mine is a U.S. edition from 1967,

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Winds Of Limbo (as it's also known) was the first thing I ever read by Mike. I was perhaps a little too young to appreciate it's style but it didn't grab me and I didn't get hooked on everything MM until I read the first Corum trilogy a few years later.
                  Originally posted by Octo
                  Maybe there is a later revised edition?
                  According to the Wikiverse, there was a revised edition in The Roads Between The Worlds, where Alan Powys became Alain von Bek. I suspect the rest of the revisions consisted of 'retconning' as opposed to revising any passages or bodies of text. Hopefully someone with a copy will enlighten us.
                  You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

                  -:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-

                  Image Hive :-: Wikiverse :-: Media Hive

                  :-: Onsite Offerings :-:


                  "I am an observer of life, a non-participant who takes no sides. I am in the regimented society, but not of it." Moondog, 1964

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Some background info on The Fireclown here from an old thread. As can be seen in Mike's 1974 letter linked to in the first post, he wasn't very fond of the book back then, though he doesn't hold quite the same view now.
                    'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

                    Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The plot isn't the most important aspect of the book so I should give it a pass on some of the coincidences. The Fireclown is a brilliant and ingenious symbol of a cause people will rally behind or against because they've nothing better to do. The more I think about the book the more I start to appreciate it again. It's highly intelligent from a political point view, cynical of the things we ought to be cynical of and optimistic in the same way.


                      I really want to read the retconned one now.

                      Comment

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