Feb 22 2010 5:07pm

The Present of Genius

Micheal Moorcock

A Celebration of Michael Moorcock
The Godfather of Steampunk

Michael Moorcock is one of my favorite writers of all-time, so it’s (for lack of a better term) a dream come true to be working with him in any capacity. For the past forty years he’s left an undeniable stamp on storytelling. I have the honor of re-issuing Moorcock’s Dorian Hawkmoon Quartet this year and I wanted to take the first book’s publication as an opportunity to let as many people out there know (who don’t) how much Moorcock means to the world of storytelling. I’m not alone in singing his praises, far from it. 

Over the next month here on we will hear from many who cite Moorcock as an influence, friend, and without a doubt one of the greatest fantasists of all time, including Neil Gaiman, Tad Williams, and even some words from Moorcock himself. We hope to give a new generation some insight into who the authors they love read to get their imaginations charged.

To compliment the posts and conversations we will be showcasing excerpts and art from Tor’s new edition of his 1967 novel The Jewel in the Skull, Book One of the Dorian Hawkmoon Quartet (the other three—The Mad God’s Amulet, The Sword of Dawn and The Runestaff—will be released throughout 2010). Each excerpt will be accompanied by a new visual imagining by Vance Kovacs. But rejoice. It doesn’t end here. Besides a backlist worth combing completely, Moorcock is currently working on new trilogy that Tor will launch next year.

If you have never read Michael Moorock consider it a gift to you, indulge. If you have, react, chime in. It’s a celebration.

Eric Raab is an editor at Tor Books

1. LouWW
Let's bring back into print all Michael Moorcock's books! Now!
2. Alex Freed
Oh, Hawkmoon.

I first encountered the Hawkmoon novels in the beautiful hardcover omnibuses of Moorcock's work White Wolf put out in the mid-90s. (Still trying to complete my collection of those...) Some of those collections spoke to me, others didn't, but Hawkmoon is probably the Moorcock work that touched me the most.

It's certainly not the best thing Moorcock has ever written. The flaws are many and, frankly, pretty obvious. But the highlights are so incredibly high. The fantastic imagery (everything in Granbretan itself, but particularly the laboratories and the hall of the King-Emperor); the mood of desperate heroism and overall intensity; the final chapter (as stunning as any ending I can think of, and one that still surprises me--it half has the feeling of a tired author just getting it over with, but it works); the names (yes, the names--who doesn't love Asrovak Mikosevaar and his DEATH TO LIFE banner?)

I could go on. I won't. You get the point.

Glad to see these back in print.
eric orchard
3. orchard
There are few living authors that deserve to be lauded as Mr. Moorcock. I'm still reeling from those slim volumes packed with some of the most amazing fantasy ever written. It's great to see the new additions on the shelves graced by John Picacio artwork.
4. nigelski
Readers of Richard k Morgan can also see what an influence that Moorcock had on him--from the body swapping of Jerry Cornelius in the Cornelius Chronicles to the eerie similarities of the Sword in The Steel Remains to that of Moorcock's Stormbringer. Advanced tech has helped Morgan to flesh out Moorcock's ideas in believable ways, but there is no doubt that it is Moorcock's work and genius that guided the other man's path...

The Corum Chronicles, Hawkmoon and Elric were teen faves of mine, as was the game Stormbringer, an underrated rpg that had the best magic and combat system available at the time. I don't role play anymore, but I recently re-read the Elric saga, and I found it had lost none of the lustre that I remember it having. I wish I could pick Mr Moorcock's brain for a while; it would be a real pleasure to talk to the man who influenced so many, the man who set the fantasy genre on its ear. His work added a much needed darker side to the genre, and it stands the test of time, IMO.
5. k012957
From the Runestaff and Castle Brass series, through Elric and the various manifestations of the Eternal Champion (and the Eternal Champion's companion), through the Dancers at the End of Time, to Jerry Cornelius, I have read and reread the books many times.

Yes, some are rougher than others, but the storylines and the pulp-like readability has always brought me back.
Colin Hamilton
6. UsefulIdiot
If you wish to enter the realms of deep fantasy I could not recommend 'The Dancers At The End Of Time' any higher. This was truly an imaginative tour-de-force that has long remained in my memory since I first read it in the early '80s.

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