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Selected Mike Moorcock quotes concerning his books

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  • Selected Mike Moorcock quotes concerning his books

    These quotes were selected from the Q&A Archives.

    We hope these are helpful to you.

    Some answers to frequently asked questions about Mike and his books can be found here.


    Thank You.



    (What was Gloriana about?/Was Gloriana about your ideas on politics?) Michael Moorcock wrote:
    The book was really a discussion of pre-Enlightenment politics and didn't really reflect my own views, save one that's common in all my books -- the search for the balance between Law and Chaos, Vice and Virtue and so on. The book, as I explain in the upcoming new Warner edition, was more a dialogue with Spencer of The Fairy Queene than a description of my own ideal State. It's neo-Platonic, that culture, you'll notice, in keeping with certain late Renaissance thinking.01-24-2004, 02:03 PM
    Last edited by lemec; 08-30-2006, 06:47 AM.

    "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
    - Michael Moorcock

  • #2
    (What are your greatest music influences?) Michael Moorcock wrote:
    My biggest musical influence is Mozart. I also like most classical music, but not baroque, much 'modern' music (Schoenberg, Ives, Berg, Mahler and so on), some minimalist music. I also relax to light music such as operetta, jazz singers like Mel Torme, Chet Baker (music and voice),Stan Getz, Dixieland (Armstrong, Beiderbeck and so on), big bands (esp. Ellington), Rogers and Hart (more than Rogers and Hammerstein) and my favourite modern show writer is Sondheim. I like folk and 'folk' (protest, whatever) especially Dylan and Guthrie (also Jack Elliot) and I like rock and roll -- Gene Vincent, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Beatles, Stones, Who, Small Faces (i.e. pre-Rod), also singers like Bowie, Lennox and so on. I like Joe Ely (and the Flatlanders), Willie Nelson, Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf and most of the great blues singers, don't like Italian opera much, but like Mozart, Wagner, Berg operas. Very fond of Weill.But in the end it's Mozart I use for structuring mostly. I tend to play music all the time while working, but it depends what I'm writing as to what I'll be listening to. I tend to get the 'music' of a story in my head before I start writing the story. This tends to dictate much else, including structure, characters and choice of location.01-29-2004, 01:39 PM
    Last edited by lemec; 08-30-2006, 06:49 AM.

    "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
    - Michael Moorcock

    Comment


    • #3
      (How long did it take you to write your first book?/ Were you satisfied with it when finished?) Michael Moorcock wrote:
      I have always been a fast writer, presumably because of my journalistic background working to daily or weekly schedules so that a monthly schedule always seemed like a holiday. I can't remember how long it took to write my first novel, The Hungry Dreamers, which was, as I've said, eaten by rats in a basement, so I'll never know if I was satisfied with it or not. My second book was The Golden Barge and only took me a week or two to write, I'm sure. The first Elric books were written for Science Fantasy magazine, which was appearing monthly, so I wrote each story or episode for that monthly schedule, probably in a couple of days a piece. When I came to write the Hawkmoon books I took three days a piece and most of my fantasy novels have been written in a matter of days. The current books take me longer because I have to keep setting higher technical goals and so forth as the genre keeps catching up with me, as it were. One of the reasons for my speed, I think, is that initially there were virtually no other books being written of the kind I was writing. Now, to continue to be original, I have to thinkharder! Satisfied ? Yes, I think I was satisfied with the Elric books,but probably not The Golden Barge, since I made no attempt to publish it and it wasn't published until Dave Britton and Mike Butterworth of Savoy found it amongst my papers and suggested publishing it. I must have been satisfied with the Hawkmoon books, too. You have to remember that I rarely reread any of my own work and have never, for instance, read the Hawkmoon books, even after I wrote them. They were done in first draft, read by a friend for typos and such, then sent to the publisher, unread by me! I don't use that system any longer, of course. Again, perhaps because of my journalistic background, I was satisfied if the publisher was satisfied -- but especially if the reader was satisfied.02-05-2004, 08:23 AM
      More Information At: http://www.multiverse.org/fora/showthread.php?t=262
      Last edited by lemec; 08-30-2006, 06:49 AM. Reason: needed a quote

      "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
      - Michael Moorcock

      Comment


      • #4
        (What was your part in the Hawkwind novels?) Michael Moorcock wrote:
        I think I wrote the opening paragraph of the first book.The publisher insisted on putting my name on it bigger thanMike's and that annoyed me, since one of the objects was to promote Mike's own work. That's since been rectified.But I never had any intention of writing the books and essentially see the entire project as being between Mike Butterworth and Hawkwind.It would be nice to see the whole trilogy appear one day!03-10-2004, 10:30 AM
        Last edited by lemec; 08-30-2006, 06:50 AM.

        "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
        - Michael Moorcock

        Comment


        • #5
          (Who are some of your favourite writers?) Michael Moorcock wrote:
          Actually, as far as fantasy writers go, you'll find my favourites are the ones I've reviewed (see Guardian Books). I don't read that many fantasy writers. Favourite novelists at the moment (i.e. those still producing), including Iain Sinclair and Alan Wall. Favourite writer from 19th century is George Meredith (if you don't count Dickens and Eliot,whom I like as much) and favourite writers from 20th century includeRonald Firbank, Elizabeth Bowen, Virginia Woolf, Henry Green and Angus Wilson. As I've said before, I tend to 'default' into Elizabeth Bowen. She tends to be the modern writer I return to again and again, though, oddly, I haven't read any of her supernatural stories, as far as I can remember.03-27-2004, 03:06 PM
          Last edited by lemec; 08-30-2006, 06:55 AM.

          "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
          - Michael Moorcock

          Comment


          • #6
            (Will the Cornell books be reprinted?) Michael Moorcock wrote:
            One of my beefs with Anthony Cheetham, then head of Orion, was that he'd agreed to do an omnibus of the Cornell books (together with some I'd started with Jack Trevor Story) and then reneged on it. That's why 'Comic Capers', listed in the UK books, never appeared. One way or another the books will be reprinted, I suspect. Not sure when, however. They've always sold well, but because they are neither literary fiction nor imaginative fiction, publishers have believed they wouldn't appeal to my readers, whereas my experience is that my readers tend to enjoy them.05-14-2004, 01:59 PM
            Last edited by lemec; 08-30-2006, 06:55 AM.

            "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
            - Michael Moorcock

            Comment


            • #7
              (How did Mike come up for the idea for Tanelorn?) Michael Moorcock wrote:
              I don't know how I came up with it. It first appears in a story I wrote for Science Fantasy between Elric tales -- To Rescue Tanelorn. It just seemed a nice idea... I've always liked the idea of 'sanctuaries' in place of strife -- Sporting Club Square in London, for instance -- andArab water gardens in busy cities, that sort of thing. I like to be near the action, but I want to be able to get away from the noise and bustle of it sometimes. Derry and Toms Famous Roof Garden used to be like that for me. As it is for Jerry C.06-22-2004, 12:27 PM
              Last edited by lemec; 08-30-2006, 06:57 AM. Reason: need to add quotes

              "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
              - Michael Moorcock

              Comment


              • #8
                (What was your experience with The Land That Time Forgot?) Michael Moorcock wrote:
                I was very lucky in being given the authority by Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc to write a movie as close to the first part of the book as possible, but even then the producer managed to stick a volcano in, which I had insisted not be in the movie (making it difficult to continue the series according to the books!). Jim Cawthorn broke the book down into scenes and I wrote the script. We used the German submarine commander as the biologist on board who could explain the theme, rather than have a stereotypical U-boat German of the period (WW1) when the books were written. Even then his dialogue had to be overdubbed by Anton Dolin (I think) who had a rather more convincing voice than the actor who played the commander. Given the budget, I thought they did pretty well, using glove-puppet dinosaurs mostly. They got the atmosphere of the sub finding the secret way into the island very well, I thought. My main trouble with the dinosaurs was the fixed wing pterodactyl and there was also a certain amount of dimensional problems here and there. All things considered, however, I thought it came out pretty well. Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc for some reason didn't exercise the same control over the sequel. After learning what the producers intended, Jim and I left the project, whereupon one of the producers took it over. Milton Subotoski was a nice guy, but he was incapable of writing a decent script, as many of his movies attest. For really awful films, I would recommend his Last Siege of the Saxons, which used so much library footage I reckoned it covered something like fifteen hundred years of history, forcing the actors to dress up in the costumes which were in the library footage -- including what was evidently an old Robin Hood movie! Robin Hood, calling himself King Arthur, fights the Viking invaders!12-01-2004, 09:12 AM
                Last edited by lemec; 08-30-2006, 06:58 AM.

                "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                - Michael Moorcock

                Comment


                • #9
                  (Why does Gloriana have the changed ending?) Michael Moorcock wrote:
                  People seem very divided on this. It was my own idea to change it. I didn't want the book to appear to justify rape, under any circumstances.With the current (Warner) edition, I had the chance to include both endings, so the reader's well aware I'm not justifying rape but can make their own choice of preferred ending. Glad you liked the rewrite.02-03-2005, 03:47 PM
                  Last edited by lemec; 08-30-2006, 06:59 AM.

                  "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                  - Michael Moorcock

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    (What was the song The Great Sun Jester about?/Was it about The Fireclown?) Michael Moorcock wrote:
                    The Great Sun Jester was for Bill Butler and had different origins.07-27-2005, 06:34 AM/...But it wasn't strictly in relation to The Fireclown, just in relation to Bill Butler, about whom the whole thing was written. Bill had recently died. He'd always wanted me to write a rock and roll song about him. And that seemed the most appropriate moment... Sorry. That's why I'm the worst person to ask about my own work most of the time!07-29-2005, 01:18 AM
                    more song information:
                    Most of my songs are about my own experience or about friends. The Great Sun Jester, for instance, was about Bill Butler, who died of an overdose in 1977 -- and it was also for him, since he'd always wanted a rock song written about him. Obviously a few are not autobiographical but are sardonic, like Another Quiet Day in Auschwitz...11-03-2005, 07:39 PM
                    Last edited by lemec; 08-30-2006, 06:59 AM.

                    "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                    - Michael Moorcock

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      (Is there a reading order?/Which series first?) Michael Moorcock wrote:
                      Happily, there's no preferred order. I tend to design series so that you can begin pretty much anywhere, though readers do have suggestions from time to time. The reason I originally did the omnibus editions was to answer that question as best I could, putting the books into a suggested order because so many readers seemed to want that. With 2nd Ether, of course, All Is Explained, as far as reading order is concerned, so in some ways it's almost the best series to start ANYTHING with (although I tend to recommend MM"s Multiverse for that, since it has an introduction explaining the nature of the multiverse!). Hope you enjoy whatever series you wind up reading first!09-26-2005, 07:32 AM
                      Last edited by lemec; 08-30-2006, 07:00 AM.

                      "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                      - Michael Moorcock

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        (What is Mike's method when he is creating characters?) Michael Moorcock wrote:
                        Thanks. The characters are usually 'there' in my head. All I do is describe them. Sometimes a major character, like Colonel Pyat, will develop from a minor one. But I don't make notes about them, as such. I suppose I have them fully imagined and so they'll talk and act as the individuals which present themselves to me. As I've said elsewhere, one of the reasons I don't need notes for the EC series is that the stories are essentially character based and all I do is remember the characters and the rest comes naturally. Lucky me, eh ?11-14-2005, 11:35 PM
                        Last edited by lemec; 08-30-2006, 07:02 AM.

                        "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                        - Michael Moorcock

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          (Why was Gloriana revised?) Michael Moorcock wrote:
                          I put the revised chapter as an Appendix. Nothing to do with a happy ending, as such, but to do with rape having a positive consequence.I realised after I'd written the book that that sequence MIGHT be used to justify rape and indeed similar arguments HAD been used to justify rape, so I changed it. Given the opportunity to discuss the issue, and thus state in an afterword that nothing justifies rape, I returned the original ending, but published the revised one, also. Otherwise, there were no changes made from the first edition through subsequent editions, even though The Encyclopedia of Fantasy claims that there were and that, by implication, my 'feminism' spoiled that and other books. I was extremely annoyed that John Clute, a friend of many years, should not only make that assumption, which showed he hadn't read the revised book, but that he insisted on retaining the 'charge'. It probably doesn't seem very important, but I was surprised that he should insist on a lie. The issue, sadly, brought that friendship to an end. This does not, of course, make me admire Clute's work any less, but it made me suspicious of many of the other value judgements which to my mind marred that particular book and were not evident in, say, the first Encyclopedia of SF, which remains the premier reference book in the SF world. So that's the whole background story, for what it's worth. What has surprised me elsewhere are male responses to that particular issue. I don't know if it's still on Amazon, but there's one piece raving away at my 'feminism' which makes me wonder just how addicted to sex and violence some people are!11-23-2005, 03:54 PM
                          additional information:
                          Originally Posted by Michael MoorcockIt wasn't Colin Greenland who suggested flaws in Gloriana but Andrea Dworkin, who otherwise said she loved the book. Even then, she wasn't asking me to revise it. I revised it after conversations with her and other feminists, since the last thing I wanted to appear to be doing was to suggest that rape did anyone 'good'.
                          and
                          Originally Posted by Michael MoorcockWith Gloriana, publishing both versions emphasises my moral position but respects all the readers who begged me to put the old ending back because they believed it had more integrity. Of course, my original reason for changing the ending was because some readers had objected! In the end it was best (just like the Hawks movie) to offer both versions
                          Last edited by lemec; 08-30-2006, 07:03 AM.

                          "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                          - Michael Moorcock

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            (What does Mike write first?-The Plot or The Title?) Michael Moorcock wrote:
                            I think I've pretty much always come up with story (song) first. Usually more than one title. Currently I'm wavering between Pete's Rules and The Conditions of the Island for my novel in progress. I also tend to have a liking for Victorian type titles which merely give the name of the protagonist or central event. The Ice Schooner and several other titles were done according to this idea. For me the title has to add a bit to the story, just as sub/headings and chapter titles should do, as in Mother London, where each sub-section makes a narrative reference as well as offering an image. It's the old NW training, trying to pack as much narrative into the page as possible... 07-12-2005, 03:00 AM
                            Last edited by lemec; 08-30-2006, 07:04 AM.

                            "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                            - Michael Moorcock

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              FAQ-general book to eternal champion Qs.

                              Book Questions-


                              Which of his characters/books does Mike like best?
                              Michael Moorcock wrote:
                              I have a number of favourites, depending which genre you're talking about. I like Dancers at the End of Time but probably Gloriana's my favourite fantasy. Elric's my favourite fantasy character. Mother London is my celebration of London and it's probably my favourite book, though I think the Pyat sequence is probably the best thing I've done in that I had incredibly high ambitions for it and do believe I pulled it off (which I wasn't sure I could do). Then there's Jerry Cornelius. Mrs Cornelius is my favourite character. It's really like asking a mother to choose between her children. They all have things I love about them (apart from some of the sf titles), all for different reasons....
                              Why are some of the books censored or revised?

                              Gloriana-

                              Michael Moorcock wrote:
                              Gloriana's a case in point, because I was worried about it containing an implicit message that rape could be positive. Of course, I didn't believe that, but I could see how the book could be used to justify rape, especially as I also heard from a reader on the old site that she was raped by someone identifying with Elric! I can't control how bad people use my books, of course, but I can do my best to make sure that bad people don't do bad things justified through my books. This has always been a problem for me. I rewrote The Steel Tsar because I knew the end was hasty and not properly done, because at the time I wrote it my domestic circumstances were pretty hairy and it was hard to concentrate on the book. Generally, however, I don't do much rewriting, nor do I think it's a good idea. Minor revisions are usually done for consistency of plot or consistency between series, usually when they're pointed out to me by a reader.
                              Originally Posted by Michael Moorcock
                              It wasn't Colin Greenland who suggested flaws in Gloriana but Andrea Dworkin, who otherwise said she loved the book. Even then, she wasn't asking me to revise it. I revised it after conversations with her and other feminists, since the last thing I wanted to appear to be doing was to suggest that rape did anyone 'good'.
                              Originally Posted by Michael Moorcock
                              With Gloriana, publishing both versions emphasises my moral position but respects all the readers who begged me to put the old ending back because they believed it had more integrity. Of course, my original reason for changing the ending was because some readers had objected! In the end it was best (just like the Hawks movie) to offer both versions
                              Michael Moorcock wrote:
                              I put the revised chapter as an Appendix. Nothing to do with a happy ending, as such, but to do with rape having a positive consequence.
                              I realised after I'd written the book that that sequence MIGHT be used to justify rape and indeed similar arguments HAD been used to justify rape, so I changed it. Given the opportunity to discuss the issue, and thus state in an afterword that nothing justifies rape, I returned the original ending, but published the revised one, also. Otherwise, there were no changes made from the first edition through subsequent editions, even though The Encyclopedia of Fantasy claims that there were and that, by implication, my 'feminism' spoiled that and other books. I was extremely annoyed that John Clute, a friend of many years, should not only make that assumption, which showed he hadn't read the revised book, but that he insisted on retaining the 'charge'. It probably doesn't seem very important, but I was surprised that he should insist on a lie. The issue, sadly, brought that friendship to an end. This does not, of course, make me admire Clute's work any less, but it made me suspicious of many of the other value judgements which to my mind marred that particular book and were not evident in, say, the first Encyclopedia of SF, which remains the premier reference book in the SF world. So that's the whole background story, for what it's worth. What has surprised me elsewhere are male responses to that particular issue. I don't know if it's still on Amazon, but there's one piece raving away at my 'feminism' which makes me wonder just how addicted to sex and violence some people are!
                              11-23-2005, 03:54 PM
                              More on Censored books-

                              Michael Moorcock wrote the following:
                              It's not the current Four Walls edition of the JC Quartet, it was the first US edition in the 60s. Worse censored was Byzantium Endures in the Random House edition, which cut out much of the antisemitism and other distasteful references for fear they would give offence.
                              I have not had a single Jewish person take offence at those books, because it's clear to anyone that the central character's views aren't mine, but Random decided otherwise... I suspect the book had gone to a lawyer or two...

                              I'd forgotten about that abominable edition. Una Persson and Catherine Cornelius also got censored. That was mainly for sexual content!
                              I think they'd hoped to sell Jerry in Wal-Mart by doing that!
                              The US has a habit of self-censorship which is quite remarkable for a modern democracy. You see it in most media and it's alarming to me.
                              Still, I suspect the net has a way of circumnavigating the commercial media, to a degree.


                              Warlord of the Air was 'censored' in the UK but not in the US!
                              The legal department at the publisher didn't want the stuff about Reagan, Jagger and so on in, so asked for it to be changed. Knowing the US edition was there and that I could soon bring out the regular edition inthe UK I didn't worry too much. Warhound, however, was never censored!
                              Just a very few, as mentioned, were.
                              In some novels (such as The Steel Tsar) I've rewritten, where I wasnt happy with the original, but the omnibus sets represent the definitive editions as far as I'm concerned.
                              Of course, in my retirement, and with almost all the books deliberately out of print here for a while, I could start rewriting EVERYRTHING again. Hee hee. Give the poor bibliographers something to do, eh ?


                              A ludicrous glitch at Orion with the first hardback edition and trade edition, in which most of a novel was accidentally left out of the book!. All later editions are okay.

                              Which books have alternate titles?

                              -from David Mosely:

                              How many of Michael Moorcock’s books have had more than one title?
                              A number of Mike’s books have appeared with more than one title. Often this is just a case of US and UK publishers preferring different titles for their specific market, but occasionally it happens because a book has been substantially rewritten since its original publication.


                              The Sundered Worlds = The Blood Red Game
                              The Fireclown = The Winds of Limbo
                              Warriors of Mars = City of the Beast
                              Blades of Mars = Lord of the Spiders
                              Barbarians of Mars = Masters of the Pit
                              The Twilight Man = The Shores of Death
                              The Wrecks of Time = The Rituals of Infinity
                              Sorcerer’s Amulet = The Mad God’s Amulet
                              The Secret of the Runestaff = The Runestaff
                              The Dreaming City = Elric of Melniboné (unauthorised US edition)
                              The Silver Warriors = Phoenix in Obsidian
                              The Sleeping Sorceress = The Vanishing Tower
                              Dying for Tomorrow = Moorcock’s Book of Martyrs
                              A Messiah at the End of Time = The Transformation of Miss Mavis Ming

                              Two titles were heavily revised from their original publication to the extent they are effectively different novels:
                              Printer’s Devil = The Chinese Agent
                              Somewhere in the Night = The Russian Intelligence


                              What non-fiction did Mike write?

                              Starship Stormtroopers, Wizardry and Wild Romance, Epic Pooh.

                              Was Mike's first book The Golden Barge?

                              Michael Moorcock wrote:

                              I was 17 or 18. Believe me, it's noticeable to Europeans that Americans aren't particularly engaged with politics in their teens the way so many of us used to be (I can't speak for the present generation, of course). We were all sort of amazed when Jerry Rubin, for instance, came over, and started lecturing us about politics. We'd been expecting this sophisticated political dude we'd heard so much about and frankly he was naive and condescending, with no clear idea of politics. This wasn't always true in America, however. The WW2 generation, essentially before McCarthy got everyone running scared, was far more politically sophisticated, but there seems to me to have been a serious dumbing down in politics in the US really from McCarthy on. There was a resurgence in the 60s, of course, but it never seemed to gather momentum. One of the reasons I miss living in Europe is the way in which so many reasonably sophisticated political ideas are part of the common discourse. You don't have to be a communist or a right libertarian or whatever to take part in discussions, but at least you tend to know the logic behind another person's arguments. I knew American Stalinists as well as American Constitutional Fundamentalists when I was growing up.
                              They enjoyed a lively debate but one didn't demonise the other, the way so frequently happens now. I've told the story of my saying that I'd voted socialist (or so I thought) in the first election which got Blair in, in a Texas bar and the bar going deathly still... As it happened, Texans being Texans they saw that more as moxy than demon-worship and all ended well, but it seems all an American politician has to do to get ideas buried is to accuse them of being 'socialism'. Phil Gramm did this with the Clinton health-care plans when I first came to live in Texas. I heard a stream of lies coming from his mouth about what would happen if people voted for the health-care bill and of course he word 'socialism' was enough to scare a lot of people off. I'd love to see this country getting back to its old poliical sophistication some day! But as for Golden Barge, what can I say, I was a bit of an infant prodigy. Chances were I wasn't even sure what I was talking about half the time. I'd written another novel before that one, which was probably more romantic and 'beat' called The Hungry Dreamers which, as I like to tell, was actually eaten by rats (in the basement I'd stored it in). Bits of that were done in a fanzine I did, which might emerge some time.



                              Where can I find/purchase Mike's books?

                              You should be able to have a local shop order the books.
                              www.amazon.com and www.amazon.co.uk carry some titles.
                              you can find used and new books on www.ebay.com and www.ebay.co.uk
                              or www.abebooks.com has book exchange.

                              Why are some of the books out of print?

                              There's a couple of reasons here. In the US, Mike has permitted all his Eternal Champion novels to go out of print on the advice of his agent, who feels that with the Elric movie currently in development it's better to hang back until the film is ready and then put them back on the market. On the other hand, books like The Vengeance of Rome don't currently have a publisher in America because the type of book Mike writes is at odds with the sort of books publishers want to publish. Specifically, Pyat's anti-semitism puts off some publishers who seem unable to distinguish between the author's voice and what his characters say.

                              Perhaps a good sign of an author's popularity is how many of their books sell on places like eBay, since this indicates that there is still a market for their novels.



                              Is "Behold the Man" an attack on Christianity?

                              Michael Moorcock wrote:

                              As I've said elsewhere, I grew up in an almost wholly secular environment. It scarcely occurred to me, when I wrote BTM, that there still WERE people who took all that stuff literally. I was writing about
                              demagogues, not Christianity as such. I had no intention to offend. I didn't know there was anyone left TO offend...
                              Michael Moorcock wrote:

                              In my experience those shock inventions usually come from people who are already involved with religion and get some kind of buzz or release from doing something shocking with Jesus (or nuns or whatever). Since BTM is essentially about an imitation of Christ (rather more literal, of course, than some) many Christians have seen the book as essentially pro-Christian. It certainly wasn't produced as an anti-Christian text.
                              I DO have problems with some of the more superstitious bits of ritual and so on but I also have considerable respect for those who practice what most of us regard as 'real' Christianity. I don't believe that the religiosity of America is actually 'Christian' in any real sense. As I said a while ago, I always thought Christ was supposed to be an example, not a weapon to attack others with.
                              Michael Moorcock wrote:

                              Thanks. I've said elsewhere that I was brought up in an almost wholly secular environment, except for my exposure to Anthroposophy which did to a degree influence my fiction but didn't impinge much on my life.
                              My interest was in demagoguery and how a demagogue is created by the will/need of the crowd. In this respect, I suspect the book was of its time (I think of A Face in the Crowd, for instance, which I must admit I haven't seen since it came out, but was about that subject -- in this case as applied to American politics). Much of the rest of the book was drawn from my own experience and I sort of exhausted all the unhappy episodes of my childhood -- that's pretty much all of them, including some invented ones! When the book came out I received excellent reviews for it in the religious press. People saw it as an 'imitation of Christ' theme rather than an attack on Christianity or its values. Clearly, the Southern fundamentalists weren't too happy with it and from them came the death-threats. If they included an address with their threat I would apologise for the book not being to their taste and sendi them a dollar (the price of the book, plus postage, in paperback) as seemed right and proper given the customer's extreme dissatisfaction. But I also had fan mail from nuns and priests and other persons of the cloth, so clearly many Christian intellectuals understood the book's intention and its discussion. I was rather surprised by the impact of the book -- indeed of the impact the book still gets. It's being republished in the US in about a year and it's still in print in many parts of the world, including China. I suspect the Chinese like it because they see it as debunking Christianity, which was not my intention. I am inclined to see most religion in terms of superstition while respecting people's need for faith and indeed their outstanding moral behaviour, in many cases. It's not so much the hypocrisy, whcih exists in most religions, including various branches of Buddhism, which makes me wary of religion as the politics. I believe that once a religion becomes organised it ceases to be predominantly religion and becomes a political institution. That seems particularly evident today with the behaviour, say, of the Southern Baptist Convention.
                              more information regarding Behold the Man:

                              Michael Moorcock wrote:

                              Hmm. Mysteriously my last posting disappeared. In short I said I had a profound respect for Christianity and my own belief system is clearly a development of Christianity but I have an equally profound antagonism to the kind of debased, supersitious religiosity which passes for Christianity amongst the likes of George Bush and his followers. My belief is that that 'religion' continues to spread through the US because it is precisely NOT Christianity, as most of the world understands it. As far as my book goes, it has never given offence to Christians of any denomination because it deals with problems of faith and of following in the footsteps of Christ.
                              Michael Moorcock wrote:

                              I also said in my original post that the kind of people who suggested I should be killed for writing Behold the Man are about as far removed from Christianity as it's possible to get. If they were honest, they would call their religion something else, the way the Mormons do. Reactionary Judaism probably wouldn't really suit them as a title, but essentially that's the nearest I can get to a description of what they claim as Christianity. This is what they have in common with reactionaries of several other major faiths -- including Hinduism. The profound beliefs which Huxley called 'the perennial philosophy' also have much in common and are equally far removed from what the likes of George Bush practice. The irony is that these reactionary elements actually have more in common, whether Jews, Moslems or Christians, than anyone else. They use the same rhetoric and do equal damage to the rule of law and to the cause of common justice.





                              Has Mike written any books with other authors?

                              Yes, with Storm Constantine.

                              What is Mike's opinion on audio books and book readings?

                              Michael Moorcock wrote:

                              I've had a lot more experience than most writers and have worked at my reading technique, learning from radio people, for instance. There is an art to it and you have to be more melodramatic than you would feel comfortable being in real life. I do enjoy reading my own work, most of the time, if I am reading something I like (sometimes I start reading a piece and don't think that much of it, but that's another story). I think it's possible to find bits of my reading online. I did the introduction to the Elric of Melnibone audio book and have read from Mother London, King of the City and various other pieces. When I toured Byzantium Endures, I worked with an actor, Freddie Earlle. Freddie played Pyat so that I could then play against him to show people that Pyat's outpourings were not my own opinions. That seems to have been a success. There is actually a tape of Freddie doing this performance but sadly it was VERY badly produced by a guy who frankly didn't know what he was about. But you can get a hint of what Freddie was like at his best, when we were touring it. I found Libby's readings good, but you can always catch someone on an off-day. MJH is a very self-conscious writer and I always found him at his best in public conversation rather than when he was reading his own work. He can be a very persuasive and eloquent speaker. There's also a series of short readings, I've just remembered, called Live at the BBC which Nomads put out on CD a few years ago. Extracts from Elric stories.
                              And, of course, there was the declamatory rhetoric you can hear on various Hawkwind tracks. People call this 'poetry' but I don't!
                              Michael Moorcock wrote:

                              Talking books can be problematical, especially where a classic is concerned and interpretation might not be all it should be. I've heard some pretty dire versions of the classics, but also some good ones. It seems to me to be best for contemporary genre novels. I think Martin Jarvis is astonishing, of course. He seems to read about half of everything that's out there. I also like the idiosyncratic readings like Kenneth Williams's reading of the William stories, though again Jarvis is probably the best for those, too! I have no hard and fast opinions, in other words. Depends entirely on the work in hand. Some people don't like an American reading the Elric books, for instance, but I don't mind those versions. I have some wonderful early takes of Fenella Fielding reading from the Dancers at the End of Time! And my favourite of all is probably P.J.Proby reading The Wasteland by Eliot. A genuinely worthwhile reading, offering a fresh approach. Savoy Books, of course!
                              What are some of Mike's thoughts on his science-fiction novels?

                              The Blood Red Game-

                              Michael Moorcock wrote:

                              ...That was the first, and one of the rare, science fiction novels I wrote, also called The Sundered Worlds, in which I introduced a number of ideas. Most of them came from theoretical physics and from my own metaphysical interests of the time, but it was primarily straight out of my subconscious and onto the page. As I always did in those days, I wrote it in about four days in two parts, originally as a two-parter for Science Fiction Adventures. What I did find was that the conventional genre of sf wasn't entirely suitable for some of the ideas I was trying to carry and so most of the work I did after that was fantasy, which seemed to me to be more easily adapted to my ideas, or mainstream fiction -- or indeed the Jerry Cornelius books, the first of which I wrote almost directly on the heels of The Sundered Worlds, as I recall. The other sf I did around the same time was mainly as serials for New Worlds, though The Fireclown was actually rejected by Carnell when he thought the magazines were closing, and published directly into paperback. The Wrecks of Time and The Shores of Death were both done as serials, as was The Ice Schooner, written as a serial for Science Fantasy when Keith Roberts was editor. Keith was helpful about certain aspects of sailing a giant schooner across the ice but liked the series so much he wrote one or two short stories with the same background. Barry Bayley thinks The Sundered Worlds was the first sf novel to refer to black holes, as well as to current
                              theoretical notions concerning branes and strings and so forth. I was flattered that the new Oxford English Dictionary quotes me as the first person to use the term 'multiverse' in relation to an infinity of alternative versions of our own universe but I was personally a bit disappointed in myself. It always cheers me up to hear someone's enjoyed it! So thanks again!
                              Last edited by lemec; 08-30-2006, 07:48 AM.

                              "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                              - Michael Moorcock

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