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Sailor on the Seas of Fate

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  • Sailor on the Seas of Fate

    I read the Ace/ Berkley editions of the Elric saga about ten years ago. Elric of Melnibone was an excellent book and was excited to read the rest. The next book I read in the series was Sailor on the Seas of Fate. I was so confused by this book and did not enjoy reading it. Fortunately I continued to read the rest of the series which was incredible.
    My question is this. Why was this book included in that series?
    This book did not seem at the time to blend in at all with the other books.
    Did I miss something?

  • #2
    I think all of the books-- and they are separated as books within the books-- can exist as complete stories by themselves. So SOToFate can stand alone. But as part of a long saga, I think it does fit into a long continuous story of Elric. At the end of EoMelnibonأ©, Elric decides to leave his Kingdom to explore the Young Kingdoms to answer burning questions he has of life and the world(s), leaving Yrkoon as regent.
    So SoTSoFate picks up somewhere along his "quest" for knowledge while out in the Young Kingdoms. It is clearly described at the beginning that he was there and was not recieved well. They percieve Melnibone and her people as threats-- he was imprisoned and he escaped. That's the begining of the story, and then the plot continues revealing a great adventure he gets into. I think it's an excellent book because it reveals the Eternal Champion theme and has a lot of action. It's the first time you see Stombringer in action where Elric seems to have some control over the demon sword. It also contains the interesting sci-fi element of time paradox (Sailing to the Present, sailing to the future, sailing to the past) which is why Mike's work is more original than many others. He incorporates ideas that time and space are not rigid things; there is not just one universe, but multiverse; and there is such thing as a great, powerful, but tragic hero that exists in these different/ alternate universes. Perhaps that helps to see why it is good? ;)
    Actually I'm reading the book again, I remember the story with Earl Saxiff D. not being that exciting for me, but I will give it another try. :)
    --Jer
    \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
    Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

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    • #3
      Thank you for the reply. It has been a long time since I read the book. I do understand the multiverse concept and that is why I read Moorcock's books. I also understand that his books are written to stand alone as stories but at the time this book did not seem to flow as well as the others. Since that time I have read many of his books and enjoyed all of them. I guess this book just did not work for me at the time.
      I had at least 4 other people start to read the saga and they loved the first book but after they read SotSoF they stop reading the saga. They all had the opinion that it was too scattered. I agree. I do plan on reading those books again. Maybe this time I will enjoy the book since I understand more of the multiverse.

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      • #4
        Have you read "The Fortress of the Pearl"? It is the seventh Elric book but chronologically it falls between Elric of Melnibone and Sailor on the Seas of Fate. It helps to fill in a little of the gap between the two and also introduces some new concepts into the Multiverse as well one very very important occurance that leads directly into the newest Elric books ("Dreamthief's Daughter," "Skrayling Tree," and the third yet unwritten "Son fo the White Wolf"--if I remember Michael's title correctly). FotP is actually one of my favourite Elric stories, if you haven't read it I highly recomend doing so...especially if you plan on reading the new series.
        "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
        --Thomas a Kempis

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        • #5
          Sailor on the Seas of Fate is one of my favorite Elric books. The middle section is a little weak, but the opening and ending sequences are two of the best Elric stories. The battle with Agak and Gagak, the 4 who are 1, the Jade man's eyes, c'mon, the book is a freaking S+S masterpiece!!!

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          • #6
            No problemo, thefub
            That's the thing about MM's writing-- it's complex.
            Not everyone's gonna understand what's going on.
            I had an understanding of multi-dimensions already from
            my interest in dungeons and dragons, so when I read
            Sailor it wasn't confusing at all. For me it has a-- for lack
            of a better term-- magical atmosphere to it. I like the
            dark and mysterious qualities of Michael's writing.
            I hope it can be conveyed just as well on film

            --Jer
            \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
            Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

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            • #7
              Sailer on the Seas of Fate is one of my favorite books in the series as well ^_^
              Ultra Magnus to Sandstorm. \"I\'ve never seen anything this beautiful in the entire galaxy. . . Alright, give me the bomb.\"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by EverKing
                Have you read "The Fortress of the Pearl"? It is the seventh Elric book but chronologically it falls between Elric of Melnibone and Sailor on the Seas of Fate. It helps to fill in a little of the gap between the two and also introduces some new concepts into the Multiverse as well one very very important occurance that leads directly into the newest Elric books ("Dreamthief's Daughter," "Skrayling Tree," and the third yet unwritten "Son fo the White Wolf"--if I remember Michael's title correctly). FotP is actually one of my favourite Elric stories, if you haven't read it I highly recomend doing so...especially if you plan on reading the new series.
                Yes I have read FotP it is one of my favorite Moorcock books. I will have to go back and read SotSoF. Perhaps it will seem to fit a little better in the sequence. I have both "Dreamthief's Daughter"and "Skrayling Tree" but have not read them yet (it takes me a while to get around to reading sometimes) I am currently reading the "Eternal Champion" omnibus.
                I am sure when I go back and read SotSoF it will not seem so scattered.

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                • #9
                  I recently acquired a Quartet hardcover of SoTsoFate.

                  It was printed 1970-something. sorry don't have it in front of me.
                  I believe I ordered it through Abebooks.com.
                  The dust jacket art isn't anything spectacular, but it
                  has on the back a large close up photo of Mike when he was younger...
                  when he could be a double of Blackbeard the Pirate!
                  (sorry Mike, don't shoot me! I saw the opportunity and had to take it,
                  being the wannabe comedian I am!)

                  Having the book makes me feel good! A copy of Sailor that is a permanent part of my personal library! :D

                  --Jer
                  \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
                  Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Starscream
                    Sailer on the Seas of Fate is one of my favorite books in the series as well ^_^
                    Agreed. I had recently reread it after 10 yrs (scary I know) and was blown away. Great book!

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                    • #11
                      I read TSOtSoF right after Elric of Melniboné and although it did seem to be disjointed from the previous story, I enjoyed it thouroughly.

                      MM is great at allowing his stories to stand alone. The three "books" that make up TSOtSoF also stand on their own quite well. Agak and Gagak... that story was just too cool!
                      "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                      --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

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                      • #12
                        My main problem with 'Sailor of the Seas of Fate' is that the huge Multiverse-Shaking Battle in 'Quest for Tanelorn' is spoilt for us since we've seen it happen already in 'Elric:SOTSOF' (Since I read that before I read 'Quest for Tanelorn'). But while seeing the various Champions team up is kinda fun, seeing the same story twice from different perspectives does seem kinda cheap,though when we see it from Elric's POV (As in 'SOTSOF' and 'The Sleeping Sourceress') we don't get the whole story.

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                        • #13
                          Hey! that was kind of a spoiler for me!
                          I haven't read Quest for Tanelorn yet!
                          It's ok, no big deal ! :)
                          \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
                          Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

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                          • #14
                            man! spoiler for me also :(
                            blah not a big thing I think now it makes me want to read it more :D
                            seas of faith is one of my favorites, my first moorcock novels were the elric saga so it's fun on how things connect when I moved on to corum and hawkmoon and all that I just went aaaaaaaaahhhhh so THAT's what it means etc
                            plus it stands apart from others in the elric saga, it's mystical in it's own ways and different which is cool

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                            • #15
                              I think the battle with Agak and gagak works best from Elric's perspective- its like an externalization of the dark forces at work within his own psyche. It comes off as a horror story and not a straight S+S romp.

                              re spoilers:
                              Its hard to not give spoilers when we are discussing 30 year old books that many of us read a decade or more ago! I guess we could try harder though.

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