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Showing posts by: Michael Moorcock click to see Michael Moorcock's profile
Thu
May 20 2010 9:40am
Excerpt

The Mad God's Amulet (Excerpt)

Chapter One
Soryandum

The city was old, begrimed by time. A place of wind-worn stones and tumbled masonry, its towers tilting and its walls crumbling. Wild sheep cropped the grass that grew between cracked paving stones, bright-plumed birds nested among columns of faded mosaic. The city had once been splendid and terrible; now it was beautiful and tranquil. The two travelers came to it in the mellow haze of the morning, when a melancholy wind blew through the silence of the ancient streets. The hoofs of the horses were hushed as the travelers led them between towers that were green with age, passed by ruins bright with blossoms of orange, ochre and purple. And this was Soryandum, deserted by its folk.

Tue
May 11 2010 9:30am
Reprint

The Lost Sorceress of the Silent Citadel

They came upon the Earthling naked, somewhere in the Shifting Desert when Mars’ harsh sunlight beat through thinning atmosphere and the sand was raw glass cutting into bare feet. His skin hung like filthy rags from his bloody flesh. He was starved, unshaven, making noises like an animal. He was raving—empty of identity and will. What had the ghosts of those ancient Martians done to him? Had they traveled through time and space to take a foul and unlikely vengeance? A novella of alien mysteries—of a goddess who craved life—who lusted for the only man who had ever dared disobey her. A tale of Captain John MacShard, the Half-Martian, of old blood and older memories, of a restless quest for the prize of forgotten centuries....

 

CHAPTER ONE

WHISPERS OF AN ANCIENT MEMORY

 

“That’s Captain John MacShard, the tomb-thief.” Schomberg leaned his capacious belly on the bar, wiping around it with a filthy rag. “They say his mother was a Martian princess turned whore, and his father—”

Low City’s best-known antiquities fence, proprietor of the seedy Twenty Capstans, Schomberg murmured wetly through lips like fresh liver. “Well, Mercury was the only world would take them. Them and their filthy egg.” He flicked a look toward the door and became suddenly grave.

Outlined against the glare of the Martian noon a man appeared to hesitate and go on down the street. Then he turned and pushed through the entrance’s weak energy gate. Then he paused again.

He was a big, hard-muscled man, dressed in spare ocher and brown, with a queer, ancient weapon, all baroque unstable plastics and metals, prominent on his hip.

Wed
Mar 24 2010 1:55pm

The Genesis of Hawkmoon

I’m not even sure what the year was. I’d had the outline for the series for a year or two, together with a couple of chapters, I think, when Larry Shaw of Lancer asked me for a new fantasy series to follow the first two Elric books and the Blades of Mars series. This would have been in 1965 or 6, I think. I had not actually planned to write any more, but I can rarely resist a request!

My old method of writing fantasy novels was to go to bed for a few days, getting up only to take the kids to school and pick them up, while the book germinated, making a few notes, then I’d jump out of bed and start, writing around 15-20,000 words a day (I was a superfast typist) for three days, rarely for more than normal working hours—say 9 to 6—get my friend Jim Cawthorn to read the manuscript for any errors of typing or spelling etc. then send it straight to the editor unread by me. I have still to read more than a few pages of the Hawkmoon books. The odd thing is that I’ve actually read almost none of my own books but I seem to remember the events as if I’d lived them. Some scenes are better remembered than others, of course. Similarly, I’ve reread almost nothing of the Elric, Corum or Eternal Champion novels.

[Read more...]

Wed
Mar 17 2010 2:56pm
Excerpt

The Jewel in the Skull Part Four: Chapters Five and Six

Chapter Five

The Awakening of Hawkmoon

Count Brass passed Dorian Hawkmoon a fresh cup of wine and murmured, “Please continue, my lord Duke,” as Hawkmoon told his story for the second time. In the hall of Castle Brass sat Yisselda, in all her beauty, Bowgentle, thoughtful of countenance, and von Villach, who stroked his moustache and stared at the fire.

Hawkmoon finished the tale. “And so I sought help in Kamarg, Count Brass, knowing that only this land is secure from the power of the Dark Empire.”

“You are welcome here,” Count Brass said, frowning. “If refuge is all you seek.”

“That is all.”

“You do not come to ask us take arms against Granbretan?” It was Bowgentle who spoke, half-hopefully.

“I have suffered enough from doing so myself—for the time being—and would not wish to encourage others to risk meeting a fate I only narrowly missed myself,” replied Hawkmoon.

Yisselda looked almost disappointed. It was plain that all in the room, save wise Count Brass, wanted war with Granbretan. For different reasons, perhaps—Yisselda to revenge herself against Meliadus, Bowgentle because he believed such evil must be countered, von Villach simply because he wished to exercise his sword again.

“Good,” said Count Brass, “for I’m tired of resisting arguments that I should help this faction or that. Now—you seem exhausted, my lord Duke. Indeed, I have rarely seen a man so tired. We have kept you up too long. I will personally show you to your chambers.”

Wed
Mar 10 2010 1:55pm
Excerpt

The Jewel in the Skull, Chapters Three and Four

Chapter Three

The Black Jewel

Next morning, Dorian Hawkmoon was taken to see Baron Kalan again. The serpent mask seemed to bear an almost cynical expression as it regarded him, but the baron said hardly a word, merely led him through a series of rooms and halls until they reached a room with a door of plain steel. This was opened, to reveal a similar door that, when opened, revealed a third door. This led into a small, blindingly lighted chamber of white metal that contained a machine of intense beauty. It consisted almost entirely of delicate red, gold, and silver webs, strands of which brushed Hawkmoon’s face and had the warmth and vitality of human skin. Faint music came from the webs, which moved as if in a breeze.

“It seems alive,” said Hawkmoon.

“It is alive,” Baron Kalan whispered proudly. “It is alive.”

[“Is it a beast?”]

Wed
Mar 3 2010 10:05am
Excerpt

The Jewel in the Skull, Part Two: Chapters One and Two

Those who dare swear by the Runestaff must then benefit or suffer from the consequences of the fixed pattern of destiny that they set in motion. Some several such oaths have been sworn in the history of the Runestaff’s existence, but none with such vast and terrible results as the mighty oath of vengeance sworn by the Baron Meliadus of Kroiden the year before that aspect of the Champion Eternal, Dorian Hawkmoon von Köln, entered into the pages of this ancient narrative.

— The High History of the Runestaff

Chapter One

Dorian Hawkmoon

Baron Meliadus returned to Londra, gloomy-towered capital of the Dark Empire, and brooded for almost a year before he settled on his plan. Other affairs of Granbretan occupied him in that time. There were rebellions to put down, examples to be made of newly conquered towns, fresh battles to be planned and fought, puppet governors to be interviewed and placed in power.

Baron Meliadus fulfilled all these responsibilities faithfully and with imagination, but his passion for Yisselda and his hatred of Count Brass were never far from his thoughts. Although he had suffered no ignominy for his failure to win the count to Granbretan’s cause, he still felt thwarted. Besides, he was constantly finding problems in which the count could have helped him easily. Whenever such a problem arose, Baron Meliadus’s brain became clogged with a dozen different schemes of revenge, but none seemed suited to do everything he required. He must have Yisselda, he must get the count’s aid in the affairs of Europe, he must destroy Kamarg as he had sworn. They were incompatible ambitions.

Wed
Feb 24 2010 9:15am
Excerpt

The Jewel in the Skull (Excerpt)

Book One

Then the Earth grew old, its landscapes mellowing and showing
signs of age, its ways becoming whimsical and strange in the manner
of a man in his last years…
—The High History of the Runestaff

Chapter One

Count Brass

Count Brass, Lord Guardian of Kamarg, rode out on a horned horse one morning to inspect his territories. He rode until he came to a little hill, on the top of which stood a ruin of immense age. It was the ruin of a Gothic church whose walls of thick stone were smooth with the passing of winds and rains. Ivy clad much of it, and the ivy was of the flowering sort so that at this season purple and amber blossoms filled the dark windows, in place of the stained glass that had once decorated them.

His rides always brought Count Brass to the ruin. He felt a kind of fellowship with it, for, like him, it was old; like him, it had survived much turmoil, and, like him, it seemed to have been strengthened rather than weakened by the ravages of time. The hill on which the ruin stood was a waving sea of tall, tough grass, moved by the wind. The hill was surrounded by the rich, seemingly infinite marshlands of Kamarg—a lonely landscape populated by wild white bulls, horned horses, and giant scarlet flamingoes so large they could easily lift a grown man.