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Suggested MM [Series] Reading Orders

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  • #31
    I must admit that I find it funny to imagine planning a reading order of the EC books that would make or need to make linear sense. Back in those pre-internet days I just read them in the order I could find them in WH Smiths, which was kinda messy, but it worked out okay. The Elric books were read in an almost random order, with Elric of Melniboné being read last of the books that were available at the time (EoM being impossible to find due to some reason I can't recall if I remember David saying ages ago). The Corum books I bought individually, one after the other and in order. I'm pretty sure most of the rest (Rune Staff, Dancers, Brass, Nomad) I got in omnibuses. I never read Erekose or Von Bek until my 20s (the former left me cold the latter I loved). The only time it cause confusion was when things strayed into major EC crossover territory, like in Sailor and the Seas of Fate. Tbh these more multiverse-orientated stories were never really my thing. I think all of them read better as individual series, but with a shared cosmology. Indeed, I'd suggest that instead of a 'what to read first list,' a 'what to read until later (much later)' list would be more useful for an interested newbie. Certainly Sailor and Castle Brass need to be kicked into the long grass for the newbie.

    I think Stealer of Souls and Stormbringer make the best intro to Elric, although I guess EoM could be added into the mix with no harm done. Other than that I'd suggest reading them in the order that appeals the most: if you like it then you'll probably struggle on with a confused but happy look on your face, as I did as a 12 year old when I read Sailor as my second MM book after Sojan... I didn't have a clue what was going on! In fairness, you're on fairly safe ground with the omnibuses as even if there's a confusing book included, there's sure to be something that is fairly self-contained as well.

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    • #32
      The premise of Blood is intriguing; are there any novels that are absolute must-reads before I begin The Second Ether sequence? I have read all the novels found within The Chronicles of the Last Emperor of Melnibone, The Cornelius Quartet as well as the Dream Quest sequence.

      Also, given the nature of the Multiverse, I don't see why The Jade Man's Eyes can't be considered canon.


      • #33
        What a brilliant thread, thank you!! I read many of the stories out of order and decided a while ago to try and work out some kind of 'correct' chronology for the books I have. As I have a mixture of US and UK editions, this has proved quite a challenge. Not to mention the many different versions of the reading order available online.

        This list will help me enormously. Thanks for taking the time to compile and post it.



        • #34
          Another great reference as a bibliography of Mike's work from 1949-1979, when you can find it, is The Tanelorn Archives by Richard Bilyeu:

          Tanelorn Archives.jpg

          This softcover book was published in 1981 by Pandora Books and is packed with lists of not only Mike's books but all of the editions of each book as well as the music he worked on and a nice section on manuscripts and magazine publications.

          I found my copy on Ebay and it's become one of my go to references.
          "He found a coin in his pocket, flipped it. She called: 'Incubus!'
          'Succubus,' he said. 'Lucky old me.'" - Michael Moorcock The Final Programme


          • #35
            Hi David,
            thanks for this comprehensive list, with it's alternatives and straight forward advice. Like many I'm a looong time fan. I read the Elric saga (del rey publications) when I was 11 or 12, I had been slogging through Lord of the Rings, but my adolescent brain just needed better stimulus. One of my friends who read Lord of the Rings and basically noted all the chapters where the fighting occurred lent me his Elric and Hawkmoon Del rey editions. So over the years I've read the cycles of the big three: Elric, Hawkmoon and Corum at least half a dozen times as well as some of Michael's other books in the series, Oswald Bastible, Dancers at the end of time (one of my favorites) or the Jerry Corneliuos Quartet which I just couldn't even finish for lack of interest in the characters and fragmented story! Recently I dug out the books I had, the ones mentioned above as well as some others, and realised I was missing just perhaps half the books in the Omnibus collections to have a comprehensive collection of the entire Eternal Champion cycle. So I've been collecting the "missing" books these past months and now I have the entire cycle. I chose as a reading order the UK Omnibus collection, adding in his other books where I thought it looked good on my shelf! Now I've just finished Von Bek, and I'm like a happy kid again discovering this unique universe and Michael's incredible craft. Cheers!