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Thread: Regarding Michael Moorcock

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    Chapter Master Khaines Wrath's Avatar
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    Regarding Michael Moorcock

    Hi all.

    I recently had the rare joy of discovering a new author whose work I adore, Michael Moorcock. I had a copy of The Nomad of Time collection on my shelf for nearly two years, which I had picked up purely because I had been in a alternate history mood after reading Bring the Jubilee by Ward Moore and Philip K Dicks The Man in the High Castle. I fell in love with it and ever since I've been buying everything he has written online. I recently finished the entire Hawkmoon series and the incredible Behold the Man.

    Upon some research of the man I found Mr Moorcock had a truly impactful effect in the world of fantasy and science fiction.

    - He was one of the early founders of Steampunk.
    - He was the pioneer of the literary concept of the multiverse.
    - He infamously rejected Tolkien fantasy and created the entire genre of "New Age Fantasy".
    - His work influenced the likes of Garth Nix, Neil Gaiman, George R R Martin, Tad Williams and more, his work even had some influence in the creation of Warhammer Fantasy.

    But the weird thing is...I don't know anyone who has ever heard of him or his work. Among my reader friends, some of them with seemingly immense knowledge into the world of fantasy and science fiction not one has heard of Michael Moorcock.

    So I ask this question.

    Is this just a weird regional thing, or even an Australian thing, or has Michael Moorcock been forgotten?

    Any general thoughts are welcome, your opinions of his work, your favourite books, your least favourite book.
    Last edited by Khaines Wrath; 10-05-2016 at 11:53.
    "Whom the Gods notice they destroy...be small and you will escape the jealousy of the great" The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick.

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    Admin blackcherry's Avatar
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    Re: Regarding Michael Moorcock

    It may be a regional thing, or else he has faded in time.

    In the UK, he's regularly quoted as the influence for a lot of things and popular with the alternative crowd of a certain generation. He was a writer who came up with lots of concepts that he forgot to copyright/trademark. Hence (allegedly) GW liberally took a lot of his ideas on Chaos and incorporated it into early WFB and called it their own. Though GW aren't the only ones - Alan Moore and Grant Morrisson have admitted they pretty much used his work as a basis for a lot of what they went on to write.
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    Chapter Master Khaines Wrath's Avatar
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    Re: Regarding Michael Moorcock

    Quote Originally Posted by blackcherry View Post
    It may be a regional thing, or else he has faded in time.

    In the UK, he's regularly quoted as the influence for a lot of things and popular with the alternative crowd of a certain generation. He was a writer who came up with lots of concepts that he forgot to copyright/trademark. Hence (allegedly) GW liberally took a lot of his ideas on Chaos and incorporated it into early WFB and called it their own. Though GW aren't the only ones - Alan Moore and Grant Morrisson have admitted they pretty much used his work as a basis for a lot of what they went on to write.
    It's terribly unfortunate. I noticed the heavy influence he had on the very concept of Warhammer's Chaos Gods, the eight pointed star symbol of Chaos Undivided is a complete replica.

    I'm noticing his influence in a lot of things actually.

    I've attempted unsuccessfully to post several times as to why I think Bioshock Infinite was inspired by The Nomad of Time. Unsuccessfully because of the post length.

    But the amount of thematic similarities and similar ideas is intriguing.
    Last edited by Khaines Wrath; 10-05-2016 at 13:25.
    "Whom the Gods notice they destroy...be small and you will escape the jealousy of the great" The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick.

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    Chapter Master zoggin-eck's Avatar
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    Re: Regarding Michael Moorcock

    Ha, pretty brave mate! I think you're one step away from telling us this Tolkien bloke and the Battle of Five Armies* may have influenced fantasy wargaming... You're right though. Weirdly unappreciated even among WHFB fans. For more recognition, you might want to hang around the Oldhammer forum or similar.

    There's the "and thanks to Michael Moorcock, whose fault all this is" dedication in the Wharhammer Fantasy 2nd edition rulebook.

    Goes without saying the GW made a decent range of Eternal Champion models and sold an RPG, with Melniboneans becoming elves as they lost the license. I still love the White Dwarf I have with the Stormbringer cover and article on the artwork.

    I must admit that I've only read a few of his books, even owning a few I haven't read yet. The Dancers at the End of Time is sitting on the shelf right now. I went through a phase of keeping an eye out for any of his books at op-shops.

    Enough has been said about Moorcock and GW's borrowing of chaos, especially the star symbol. It's funny, he's been needled a few times on his forums before about GW, but never quite took the bait.

    Quote Originally Posted by Khaines Wrath View Post
    Is this just a weird regional thing, or even an Australian thing, or has Michael Moorcock been forgotten?
    Hey, as for an Australian thing, at least one person is fighting it! Did you know that Nic from Eureka Miniatures holds a license to produce miniatures for Hawkmoon/The Jewel in the Skull (or is it Moorcock in general?). He sells (but doesn't yet advertise, as the range isn't finished) a number of 28mm miniatures, some of which I own. I painted a Granbretan insect mask bloke this afternoon! There's also a 10mm range, possibly on the back-burner though, and the 28mm models seem to have been a long time coming. Hopefully there will be some at Little Wars Melbourne at the end of the month?

    * Speaking of which, for a fictional battle that had so many early fantasy wargamers converting historical rules to play, it was sad to see GW completely ignore it when they had another chance to do it justice.
    Quote Originally Posted by Darnok View Post
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    Chapter Master Khaines Wrath's Avatar
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    Re: Regarding Michael Moorcock

    I have seen some awesome Granbretan minis floating around online. I had assumed they were fan made but all I could think was what a sweet tabletop game this would make. The Vulture Legion, Order of the Fly, Order of the Mantis, Order of the Boar, Order of the Wolf....oh the potential paint jobs...

    Oh and swords and laser guns "I mean flame lances" can mix in my fiction any day of the week.

    I may crack and even buy the models, they looked fairly decent. Now if they can makes Count Brass and Huillem D'Averc I'll be sweet.
    Last edited by Khaines Wrath; 10-05-2016 at 13:34.
    "Whom the Gods notice they destroy...be small and you will escape the jealousy of the great" The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick.

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    Chapter Master zoggin-eck's Avatar
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    Re: Regarding Michael Moorcock

    I'm not sure if there are professional photos of the unpainted models, but you could email Eureka. Their prices are pretty fair for individually sold miniatures, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Khaines Wrath View Post
    Now if they can makes Count Brass and Huillem D'Averc I'll be sweet.
    Looks like there's a Count Brass, though I don't recall seeing him for sale:

    http://this28mmlife.blogspot.com.au/...f-figures.html
    Quote Originally Posted by Darnok View Post
    Please don't support the lazy klick-bait from sites like Natfka.
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    The following are not real words: alot, abit, afew, ofcourse, atleast, addon, aswell...

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    Big Scary Robot Wintermute's Avatar
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    Re: Regarding Michael Moorcock

    Quote Originally Posted by Khaines Wrath View Post
    But the weird thing is...I don't know anyone who has ever heard of him or his work.
    There have been several threads about Moorcock on WarSeer over the years and no he hasn't been forgotten. How could he be especially as he is still writing and his works are in the process of being republished, again. The entire Eternal Champion series is being republished, again - (I have the 1990s 14 volume set) as are the most recent Elric novels, albeit with new titles.

    His greatest creation was recently referred to in the Game of Thrones tv series. At Joffrey's wedding he was presented with a sword and he asked for suggestions for a name for it. Of course someone shouted out 'Stormbringer'.

    Don't forget Moorcock's influence also extended to music especially to Hawkwind who he worked and performed with and Blue Oyster Cult.
    Quote Originally Posted by philbrad
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    Chapter Master Khaines Wrath's Avatar
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    Re: Regarding Michael Moorcock

    Quote Originally Posted by Wintermute View Post
    There have been several threads about Moorcock on WarSeer over the years and no he hasn't been forgotten. How could he be especially as he is still writing and his works are in the process of being republished, again. The entire Eternal Champion series is being republished, again - (I have the 1990s 14 volume set) as are the most recent Elric novels, albeit with new titles.

    His greatest creation was recently referred to in the Game of Thrones tv series. At Joffrey's wedding he was presented with a sword and he asked for suggestions for a name for it. Of course someone shouted out 'Stormbringer'.

    Don't forget Moorcock's influence also extended to music especially to Hawkwind who he worked and performed with and Blue Oyster Cult.

    I'm aware of all of this but it doesn't change the fact that I can't seem to find a single person in my general life who got the Stormbringer reference or had heard of his influence in music. I have no doubt he is remembered by people, that's the part of it I'm having trouble understanding, why so few people I know have heard of him considering his titanic influence on the genre's they love.

    I'd like to say its a generational thing but that seems too simple, maybe if we got an Elric movie somewhere along the line his popularity would resurge like Tolkiens did.

    It could also be a distribution thing in my area. Book stores falling like dominos for a few years to the point that there are only two dedicated bookstores in my area, both about half an hour to 45 minutes away. But while I remember seeing the odd single copy of an Elric story in the fantasy section I never recall seeing his work on display like Tolkiens and or George R R Martins.

    A morbid part of me wonders if he will get the shelf space once he passes away, much like Terry Pratchett who now swamps the fantasy sections here.

    I just think its a shame. Of course I enjoy reading the books myself.
    "Whom the Gods notice they destroy...be small and you will escape the jealousy of the great" The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick.

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    Chapter Master mrtn's Avatar
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    Re: Regarding Michael Moorcock

    I'm sure Pratchett swamped the fantasy section even before his death, even in Australia. I'm pretty sure I remember Australian Discworld conventions being held numerous times.

    Weirdly enough I found Hawkwind through Moorcock, and now they're one of my favourite bands.

    Some Moorcock was published in Swedish during the RPG boom of the 80s, so that's when I found Elric and Hawkmoon. Didn't read anything else until later, and in English.

    The Warlord of the Air was fun to read. I had a harder time with Byzantium Endures which I still haven't finished, possibly because there's nothing Byzantine in it, but just a Russian boy inventing the aeroplane.

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    Re: Regarding Michael Moorcock

    Quote Originally Posted by mrtn View Post
    Weirdly enough I found Hawkwind through Moorcock, and now they're one of my favourite bands.
    .
    Other than by accident, I know of no other way to find Hawkwind. It is actually the least weird way. At least one of Moorcock books I own has a 'hey, check out this band that I sometimes play with' page at the beginning or end of the book.

    Quote Originally Posted by Khaines Wrath
    I'd like to say its a generational thing but that seems too simple,
    I suspect it is a generational thing. That and his body of work... hmm. I can't think of a good way of phrasing it. Most of the Eternal Champion titles have a visceral appeal, but did shades of grey and anti-heroes that were often downright nasty before the Fantasy market knew how to cope with that complexity, but a lot of the rest is very intellectual (some on one side or the other of pretentious), which often doesn't sell well on the mass market even now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wintermute View Post
    There have been several threads about Moorcock on WarSeer over the years and no he hasn't been forgotten. How could he be especially as he is still writing and his works are in the process of being republished, again. The entire Eternal Champion series is being republished, again - (I have the 1990s 14 volume set) as are the most recent Elric novels, albeit with new titles.
    .
    Oh, excellent. I have most of that series, but for some reason didn't finish it off. Never got the second Corum book, which is the one I really missed having. Now I can track it down.
    Last edited by Voss; 28-05-2016 at 02:20.
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    Big Scary Robot Wintermute's Avatar
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    Re: Regarding Michael Moorcock

    Quote Originally Posted by Voss View Post
    Other than by accident, I know of no other way to find Hawkwind. It is actually the least weird way.
    Other than listening to a Hawkwind track on the radio and trying to find out more about them or trying to find out what the piece of music was used on an advert for Ford a couple of years ago (Masters of the Universe), or trying find details out where Motorhead got their name from or even looking into to who the hell this band who a few weeks ago had a top 40 album in the UK?
    Quote Originally Posted by philbrad
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    Chapter Master Khaines Wrath's Avatar
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    Re: Regarding Michael Moorcock

    Quote Originally Posted by Voss View Post


    I suspect it is a generational thing. That and his body of work... hmm. I can't think of a good way of phrasing it. Most of the Eternal Champion titles have a visceral appeal, but did shades of grey and anti-heroes that were often downright nasty before the Fantasy market knew how to cope with that complexity, but a lot of the rest is very intellectual (some on one side or the other of pretentious), which often doesn't sell well on the mass market even now.


    Oh, excellent. I have most of that series, but for some reason didn't finish it off. Never got the second Corum book, which is the one I really missed having. Now I can track it down.

    I agree, anti heroes have a certain mass appeal today but intellectual themes rarely seem to survive the scrutiny of the almighty dollar.

    The tv show based on Arthur C Clarke's At Childhood's End is case in point, admittedly I haven't seen much of it but it seems to have missed the point completely.


    I recently obtained a copy of Corum the prince with the silver hand at the Australian online bookstore Booktopia. It's where I've been getting the majority of his books since trying to special order them seems to always be a futile effort, at least for the editions I'm currently collecting. About 10 more books and I'll have the whole set
    "Whom the Gods notice they destroy...be small and you will escape the jealousy of the great" The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick.

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    Re: Regarding Michael Moorcock

    Quote Originally Posted by Wintermute View Post
    Other than listening to a Hawkwind track on the radio and trying to find out more about them or trying to find out what the piece of music was used on an advert for Ford a couple of years ago (Masters of the Universe), or trying find details out where Motorhead got their name from or even looking into to who the hell this band who a few weeks ago had a top 40 album in the UK?
    Er, what? I seriously can't imagine any of those things. I know them solely as embarrassingly campy guys who do Moorcock-story-themed songs and nothing else. I didn't even know the band was in circulation any more in any form. I tend to forget Brits have their own music scene that doesn't transfer to the rest of the world, beyond horrible things like Robbie Williams.
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    Chapter Master StygianBeach's Avatar
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    Re: Regarding Michael Moorcock

    Well sadly I have much less of Michael Moorcock than I like, but what I have read I very much like. Love that Earthship.

    What is cool is that when you look at the 3 edition Warhammer Elves you can clearly see the Moorcock influence, they look like Melnibonians. I really like how the feather was used when depicting Dark Elves (5th edition and back) and you can still see it today in the current day Dark Elf, even though it is not really a feather anymore. I think it was during 6th edition that they tried to move away from Moorcock imagery.

    Recently I have been listening to Agents of Power by the band Skeletor. If skip the first few songs the rest of album is about Elric of Melnibone.

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    Big Scary Robot Wintermute's Avatar
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    Re: Regarding Michael Moorcock

    Quote Originally Posted by Voss View Post
    Er, what? I seriously can't imagine any of those things. I know them solely as embarrassingly campy guys who do Moorcock-story-themed songs and nothing else. I didn't even know the band was in circulation any more in any form. I tend to forget Brits have their own music scene that doesn't transfer to the rest of the world, beyond horrible things like Robbie Williams.
    You'll be telling me next you didn't know Lemmy was in Hawkwind.
    Quote Originally Posted by philbrad
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    Re: Regarding Michael Moorcock

    Thanks for reminding me of this. Now I can finish the Hawkmoon series I once found a very old Polish edition of the first story and enjoyed it. I thought this series were so old that they have not made it into ebooks. My bad. "I recognise my failing and will be sure to correct it."

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    Chapter Master mrtn's Avatar
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    Re: Regarding Michael Moorcock

    Quote Originally Posted by Karak Norn Clansman View Post
    Was it by any chance Moorcock who took up fantasy without elves, dwarfs and orcs? Just curious.
    I'd think the Tolkien-esque many-race fantasy is the exception, and not the rule. There's been loads of other types of fantasy with just humans and/or magic and dragons etc. I can't remember any orcs or dwarfs in any of the Moorcock books I've read, but that's hardly unique.

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    Chapter Master Khaines Wrath's Avatar
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    Re: Regarding Michael Moorcock

    Quote Originally Posted by Karak Norn Clansman View Post
    Was it by any chance Moorcock who took up fantasy without elves, dwarfs and orcs? Just curious.
    Largely yes. He also differentiated from Tolkien by creating morally grey protagonists who could at times be considered evil. Moorcock opted for chaos vs order as opposed to the less ambiguous good vs evil of Tolkien inspired fantasy. Though of course it could be said that these comparisons aren't entirely fair. Tolkien does have some characters with grey motivations like Smeagol/Gollum, Frodo and Boromir and Moorcock does occasionally present what could be considered objectively good vs evil stories, particularly the ones of Hawkmoon: History of the Runestaff.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrtn View Post
    I'd think the Tolkien-esque many-race fantasy is the exception, and not the rule. There's been loads of other types of fantasy with just humans and/or magic and dragons etc. I can't remember any orcs or dwarfs in any of the Moorcock books I've read, but that's hardly unique.
    My understanding is it was unique during a time where the modern fantasy industry was heavily influenced by Tolkien's many race fantasy setting.
    "Whom the Gods notice they destroy...be small and you will escape the jealousy of the great" The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick.

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    Chapter Master StygianBeach's Avatar
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    Re: Regarding Michael Moorcock

    Quote Originally Posted by Karak Norn Clansman View Post
    Was it by any chance Moorcock who took up fantasy without elves, dwarfs and orcs? Just curious.
    I thought Melnibonians were a kind of elf?

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