Terminal Café

Early Works - up to 1969

Sailing to Utopia - White Wolf anthology

 

 

The Hungry Dreamers
The Golden Barge
Caribbean Crisis
The Fireclown
The Sundered Worlds
The Twilight Man
The Wrecks of Time
The Ice Schooner
The Black Corridor
The Winds of Limbo

The Hungry Dreamers

(195?)

...a piece of maudlin self-promotion about low life in Soho...

From the introduction to Earl Aubec. London: Millennium, 1993.

This is Moorcock's first book, but the only beings to enjoy it were rats. That is, the rats in Moorcock's house in Ladbroke Grove ate it and it was never published. It wasn't all that good, so Michael tells us, but it would have been an interesting read, none the less.

The Golden Barge

(1958 - Published 1979)

The Golden Barge - Savoy

"City-troubled but untroubled, the river flooded silently through the dawn mist. Drifting banks or early fog shrouded the cluttered townscape: the twisting alleyways, the jagged spires and ant-heap tenements.

Soon, soon the sun would burn through and dissolve the looming morning mystery. But for the moment Jephraim Tallow could sit, look down at his misshapen, strangely proportioned body and wonder.

The Golden barge - NEL

Then it was that the golden barge, drifting but purposeful, emerged from the glowing haze, burning brightly with an inner light, to fade again, unexplained, silent.

Jephraim Tallow knew then that he had to follow, alone, that lure, the mystic enticement that would lead him down the river, deep into the fabled downstream lands of war, of famine and enchantment..."

The Golden Barge. London: New English Library, 1985.

Jephraim Tallow follows the Golden barge through many trials which not only test his humanity, but also bring into question the very tenets he constructed his views of humanity from. For more information, see An early work: The Golden Barge.

This book was just saved from being rat food (the fate of The Hungry Dreamers) by Michael Butterworth and David Britton of Savoy books, who discovered it in a laundry box in Michael's house in Yorkshire.

Caribbean Crisis

(1962)

With James Cawthorn - Moorcock under the house name of Desmond Reed.

He went on a lone mission to a sun-drenched island of violence and bloodshed, corruption and political intrigue...

Caribbean Crisis. London: Sexton Blake Library, 1962.

Caribbean Crisis is a book Moorcock wrote for the Sexton Blake Library - a group of books about the detective character Sexton Blake. Desmond Reed is credited on several other Sexton Blake books, but Michael more or less only edited them.

The Fireclown - White Wolf

The Fireclown

(1965)

This book was later printed as The Winds of Limbo.

The Fireclown

's The Fireclown was written two or three years ago, I believe; around the same time he was writing The Sundered Worlds and his Elric stories, yet it is untypical of this period. The first few pages, describing the Fireclown himself in his underground cavern, addressing a Hugo-esque rabble, are written in his familiar style, but then the writing becomes rather dull and both plot and style (though there are one or two other colourful and original scenes scattered here and there) seem vaguely reminiscent of Disraeli's Coningsby. This is a futuristic political novel in which a near-Utopian Earth finds itself clashing with the Fireclown, a mysterious, apocalyptic figure, a prophet of doom who accuses the world's population of 'renouncing Nature' in favour of an artificial way of life. For Moorcock it is in a minor key; the plot is very conventionally constructed (in terms of the mainstream novel)and it is by no means as ambitious as his other work.

Review by James Colvin (Moorcock) in New Worlds 158

The Sundered Worlds

(1965)

The main attraction of this story is the ideas with which it is packed. The Shifter System, eleven planets orbiting around a sun, which travels transversely through the dimensions which make up the multiverse, phasing into normal space-time for brief periods over many years, a refuge for criminals and others who wish to escape; Roth the ragged planet, part of the Shifter System, sections of which orbit through the multiverse in different directions to the others; the Blood-Red game, a ritual contest of sickness and self-revulsion, played for the highest stakes between human beings and the aliens of another dimension of the multiverse.

Unfortunately the ideas tend to get slightly in the way of the story. At times the natural flow of the action is stopped completely to examine the implications of a situation. THis tends to lead to over-emphasis on certain parts of the plot, which otherwise, would have been much less important. Nonetheless, this book sparkles with ideas, and makes very interesting reading. We see too that the multiverse of Moorcock has much in common with the inner world of Sellings. These books both show (Langdon is referring to Sellings' The Silent Speakers) that in science fiction, the macrocosm ultimately turns out to be identical the the microcosm. Inner space and outer space are in reality the same.

Review by Langdon Jones in New Worlds 149.

This was later re-titled as The Blood Red Game.

The Twilight Man

(1966)

The book was re-released in 1970 as The Shores of Death.

The Wrecks of Time

(1967 - USA Only)

The Wrecks of Time

Strange travesties of the Earth we know, the worlds of subspace hung in limbo, their existence perpetually threatened. They were the Wrecks of Time, and Professor Faustaff was pledged to preserve them as best he could. Steifflomeis, enigmatic, decadent, mysterious connoisseur of death, mockingly opposed the life-loving Faustaff. One fought to preserve, the other to destroy. Who would win?

Blurb on the Rear cover of New Worlds no 156.

This book was later retitled as The Rituals of Infinity.

It fires appeared as a serial in New Worlds issues 156, 157 and 158.

The Ice Schooner

(1969)

The Ice Schooner - Sphere

Across the frozen wastes of Earth lay the mantle of the new Ice Age, a mantle cut by the knife-edged runners of the mighty ice schooners, majestic relics of a dying epoch.

Konrad Arflane captained such a schooner when he saved the life of the Lord of Friesgalt, greatest of the cities of the Matto Grosso, he was offered a new vessel. The Ice Spirit was the finest of her kind, fleet and lovely, but with her came a strange commission: to sail the schooner north across the ice in search of the legendary city of New York...

The Ice Schooner. London: Sphere, 1975.

Steering their great vessels over frozen oceans, the hardy men of The Ice Schooner survive only by hunting monstrous land whales and seal-packs... A tale of heroic love and doomed obsession - Arflane and Ulrica playing out their passion as The Ice Schooner sails for the frozen wastes of fables New York.

Sailing to Utopia. London: Orion, 1993.

The Black Corridor

(1969)

with Hilary Bailey

When Chaos Broke Loose on the World...

One Man set out to find a new society in space.

The Black Corridor

The world was sick.
Leaders, fuhrers, duces, prophets, visionaries, gurus, politicians... everybody at everybody else's throat. Ryan chilled his family and packed them in cold storage, and set out for a planet called Munich 15040. Alone in space with the dormant hibernating lives of the people he loved most, Ryan aimed to colonise a New World - a new society, happier, healthier, saner and more decent.

He had been travelling through space for three years. He would be in space for another two years. He still could not see his destination.

Ryan was alone in space and he was beginning to crack up...

The Black Corridor. London: Mayflower, 1969.

The Winds of Limbo

(1969)

The Winds of Limbo - Sphere

Was the Fireclown a power-mad charlatan - or the last hope of Earth?

Where did this mysterious cosmic presence come from? Was he mortal - or the embodiment of some demonic force?

Winds of Limbo

When the Fireclown spoke, promising salvation and life to the dying planet, his listeners trembled. What was the secret of his hypnotic power? Did he plan to save Earth for all mankind - or to make it his slave-planet?

As the galaxy raced towards destruction, there was only one chance in a million to unearth the secret of the Fireclown and his Master Plan.

The Winds of Limbo

But was there one man to take that chance?

The Winds of Limbo. London: Sphere, 1970.

This is a re-titling of The Fireclown.

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