Hooray for Michael Moorcock!
I had the pleasure of meeting and greeting Michael years ago when he did an appearance and signing at the original SF Bookstore in NYC. (I loved that store; it was tiny, dark and smelled of pulp. It was jam-packed with SF goodness and I never failed to find something to read.)
Mr. Moorcock certainly deserves to be elevated to SFWA’s pantheon; he was one of the pillars of the new wave/British invasion of the 60s, edited Britian’s most influential magazine (New Worlds), championed the cause of many who would become well-established authors in their own right and has provided us with a huge body of work that almost defies description:
The Elric stories, the Jerry Cornelius stories, the Oswald Bastable stories, Behold the Man (which I first read as a graphic tale in the comic book Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction – while studying for my religious education degree – talk about synergy…), An Alien Heat, Gloriana and so much more.
Moorcock plays with myths and archetypes, time and reality like no other. Much of his work (The Cornelius Chronicles in particular) can be described as psychedelic fantasy. You have to be careful when reading him, as he has a way of getting inside your head and twisting things in strange ways. Its best to make sure you’re firmly grounded in reality before cracking open one of his tales, because you are going to go on a trip, man!
If you are new to Grandmaster Michael Moorcock and wondering how and why someone you may never heard of, someone with such an outrageous last name could win SFWA’s highest honor – now is your excuse to read some of his stuff. If you’re an SF fan, I’d ease into him with Warlord of the Air, The Land Leviathan and The Steel Tsar, three interconnected ‘alternate reality’ tales. For more advanced readers, start with Behold the Man, his award-winning novel. If fantasy is your game, pick up Stormbringer, the first of the Elric of Melnibone novels.
If you’re totally whacked, or want to be, try and read the Cornelius Chronicles(fans of Patrick McGoohan’s The Prisoner will feel right at home).