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Michael Moorcock’s Elric Appreciation

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, BloodyJollyRoger said:

I don't follow what the thesis of this article is supposed to be.  Was it supposed to refute the idea that Elric is not what could be called "classically good?"  Because it offers no real evidence and there is seemingly no conclusion either.

From what I can tell, all it says is, essentially, "you can call Elric a lot of things" which seems like a rather facile point, so trivially true as to advance nothing at all as far as I can tell.

Edited by .H.

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47 minutes ago, .H. said:

I don't follow what the thesis of this article is supposed to be.  Was it supposed to refute the idea that Elric is not what could be called "classically good?"  Because it offers no real evidence and there is seemingly no conclusion either.

From what I can tell, all it says is, essentially, "you can call Elric a lot of things" which seems like a rather facile point, so trivially true as to advance nothing at all as far as I can tell.

I don't think the article has a thesis. It's just a shortish musing on Elric's appeal as a character - the thing isn't really any detailed analysis.

Honestly, I think most of the people in this thread could write a more thorough analysis of Elric than what the OP has linked to thus far.

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On 7/29/2020 at 3:32 AM, Heartofice said:

I remember reading these books about 20 years ago. I still have them somewhere. 
 

I really loved the concept, and the idea of Stormbringer really caught my imagination.. and clearly that of a lot of other people given how often it is used. 
 

I have to say I never really enjoyed the books however. Parts of it felt VERY 60s fantasy, and I could help but imagine people in bright cheaply made costumes out of a Star Trek episode. And the stories didn’t really grab me as much as I wanted them too either, it took me years to get through many of them.

So yeah, loved the ideas and the concept, didn’t really enjoy the actual books so much.

It WAS 60's.  First Elric story, the Dreaming City, appeared in 1961 in Science Fantasy and continued to be a presence there and in novella form through 1964.  The novels followed starting in 1972.  

 

On 7/29/2020 at 3:49 AM, Ran said:

They're very pulp, some of the Elric stories, but Moorcock has a way of conveying weird, fantastical landscapes. I was always dubious of attempts to adapt them to live action, as here. I think animated adaptations, along the lines of Warren Ellis's Castlevania for Netflix, or Batman Ninja -- both which are steeped in Japanese anime visual language, which seems to me like it really suits -- would be fruitful. 

In fact, the comics medium has worked pretty well with Moorcock. P. Craig Russell's done some gorgeous work with Elric, Mike Mignola's distinctive, angular art suited Corum really well... And for illustration, Yoshitaka Amano has done some spectacular work, which has even been translated into the 3D medium via model kits that are just jaw-dropping to me.

Elric holds a special place, but I think the Corum stories are my favorite Eternal Champion tales in general, and in particular the Ulrich von Bek novel The War Hound and the World's Pain -- with its harrowing, apocalyptic depiction of the Thirty Years' War, as well as its pulling in some Arthuriana -- may be my favorite novel of his.

Honorable mention to the Bastable steampunk novels, with their sharp, incisive political and social critique.

Wendy and Richard Pini of Elfquest fame did a treatment for an animated movie years ago.  I've got a monograph for it floating around here somewhere. 

I've read most of the Eternal Champion books - have not been successful in slogging through the Dancers at the End of Time stuff with Jharek Carnelian (sp?) or the Jerry Cornelius books (these are definitely books of their time).  Corum was excellent, and I really dug Elric but I think I was a bit more partial to Hawkmoon.  The post apocalyptic fantasy was in my wheelhouse.   That said, the War Hound and the World's Pain was really terrific.  I actually played von Koln in a BRPS Eternal Champion game at GenCon +/-30 years ago - won players choice for my depiction (which was good, because, his accouterments, were no match for the other Champions present.    

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On 7/29/2020 at 8:37 PM, Ran said:

Erikson really likes Elric, doesn't he? Rake, Osseric, and Silchas Ruin are all basically homages to him.

On Facebook just yesterday Erikson said he'd never read a single Moorcock fantasy story, and had only read one of his later, non-EC novels. He did note that Esslemont created Dragnipur, but he'd never asked him if he'd read Moorcock.

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2 hours ago, hauberk said:

Wendy and Richard Pini of Elfquest fame did a treatment for an animated movie years ago.  I've got a monograph for it floating around here somewhere.  

Elfquest developed as an animated series and would be sick as fuck, imo.

It's been decades since I read through though, yet don't feel it would be particularly dated? Hard to imagine it working if they trimmed it back to appeal more to the YA market, but I could be wrong. I mean, the violence wasn't viscerally extreme... thinking more of the sexual content.  

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2 hours ago, Werthead said:

On Facebook just yesterday Erikson said he'd never read a single Moorcock fantasy story, and had only read one of his later, non-EC novels. He did note that Esslemont created Dragnipur, but he'd never asked him if he'd read Moorcock.

How about Stephen R Donaldson and Glen Cook?  I see lot's of influence from both of them.  I get tones of Bloodguard and their Vow and both Dread Empire and Black Company (and the Taken). 

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37 minutes ago, hauberk said:

How about Stephen R Donaldson and Glen Cook?  I see lot's of influence from both of them.  I get tones of Bloodguard and their Vow and both Dread Empire and Black Company (and the Taken). 

Is the Dread Empire stuff even in print? I've always wanted to read it, but the only stuff of Cooke's I've found here in Australia is the Black Company books (which are *awesome*, for those of you who haven't read them).

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1 hour ago, IlyaP said:

Is the Dread Empire stuff even in print? I've always wanted to read it, but the only stuff of Cooke's I've found here in Australia is the Black Company books (which are *awesome*, for those of you who haven't read them).

They did TPB sized collections a few years ago in a similar treatment to the collections of the Black Company books. 

ISBN-13: 978-1597801041

ISBN-13: 978-1597801003

ISBN-13: 978-1597801881

IIRC, there's what seems to be a strong inspiration for Kruppe in it as well.  

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13 hours ago, hauberk said:

IIRC, there's what seems to be a strong inspiration for Kruppe in it as well.  

If you're referring to Mocker, who is quite the character, yes, absolutely. 

 

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15 hours ago, IlyaP said:

Is the Dread Empire stuff even in print? I've always wanted to read it, but the only stuff of Cooke's I've found here in Australia is the Black Company books (which are *awesome*, for those of you who haven't read them).

Glen Cooke and The Black Company books are definitely way up in my favorite author and books list. I so love his style. Dude can paint a scene with a few strokes, fires of sentences like fucking bullets. Cynical. Funny. And full of character. 

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Just now, JEORDHl said:

Glen Cooke and The Black Company books are definitely way up in my favorite author and books list. I so love his style. Dude can paint a scene with a few strokes, fires of sentences like fucking bullets. Cynical. Funny. And full of character. 

That he absolutely can. The guy is tops at conveying a lot with a little.

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Never read the Dread Empire  books for some reason, but I read several short stories in some collections and they were fantastic, visceral writing. I feel like his work is hard to find in part because he doesn't seem to have managed to make the jump to digital. Whether this is because he can't be bothered or his publisher is refusing or what, I do not know. A lot of writers have gotten the rights back to out of print books and arranged to get them up onto Amazon and other e-book sellers, but Cook isn't among them.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ran said:

Never read the Dread Empire  books for some reason, but I read several short stories in some collections and they were fantastic, visceral writing. I feel like his work is hard to find in part because he doesn't seem to have managed to make the jump to digital. Whether this is because he can't be bothered or his publisher is refusing or what, I do not know. A lot of writers have gotten the rights back to out of print books and arranged to get them up onto Amazon and other e-book sellers, but Cook isn't among them.

Fuck, I just noticed I wrote Cooke instead of Cook. That's an egregious lapse from a serious fan.

The Dread Empire books are good. I don't know if they're quite up there with my estimation of The Black Company books or some of his one shots like The Tower of Fear or the Swordbearer though. I have the entire collection [Dread Empire] in print, but checking and I do see them on Kindle too.  

Edited by JEORDHl

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2 minutes ago, JEORDHl said:

 I have the entire collection [Dread Empire] in print, but checking and I do see them on Kindle too.  

Can you link that? It may be not available for Swedish IPs, because I can't see it when looking. The Instrumentalities of Night series, Black Company, Garrett PI, yes, Dread Empire, no.

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Posted (edited)

Here

 

Those are the big collections, but most of the individual books in the series are also available [to Canadians, anyway].

 

edit: weeeeeird. the link changed. can you see it @Ran?

Edited by JEORDHl

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40 minutes ago, JEORDHl said:

Here


Those are the big collections, but most of the individual books in the series are also available [to Canadians, anyway].

Yep, I see it. "Currently unavailable", it tells me. I think the rights aren't available in Sweden, then.

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58 minutes ago, Ran said:

Yep, I see it. "Currently unavailable", it tells me. I think the rights aren't available in Sweden, then.

That sucks.

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2 hours ago, Ran said:

Never read the Dread Empire  books for some reason, but I read several short stories in some collections and they were fantastic, visceral writing. I feel like his work is hard to find in part because he doesn't seem to have managed to make the jump to digital. Whether this is because he can't be bothered or his publisher is refusing or what, I do not know. A lot of writers have gotten the rights back to out of print books and arranged to get them up onto Amazon and other e-book sellers, but Cook isn't among them.

If you're a supporter of the House of Bezos, they're all available on Kindle.  

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Just now, hauberk said:

If you're a supporter of the House of Bezos, they're all available on Kindle.  

Yeah, but as noted, they apparently can't sell them to people resident in Sweden. Must be a rights issue. :(

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Just now, Ran said:

Yeah, but as noted, they apparently can't sell them to people resident in Sweden. Must be a rights issue. :(

Yep.  I hadn't gotten that far down the string when I posted.  

 

I'd also note that his SF work is pretty solid.  Dragon Never Sleeps is quite good.  I've only read the first volume of Starfishers, but quite liked it.  I got to meet him back in 2001 at ArchCon when GRRM was in attendance.  He was working the exhibit floor selling used books - got my Black Company books autographed and picked up some Dread Empire.  I've not done the Garrett PI books - urban fantasy has never really appealed.  

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