I-Lost-My-Cherry-to-a-White-Wolf-by-Michael-J-Ward

I Lost My Cherry to a White Wolf

MICHAEL J WARD ON MICHAEL MOORCOCK

 

There are many authors that have influenced my writing, but without a doubt, it was Michael Moorcock who really opened my eyes to the true potential of the fantasy/sci-fi genre. You see, in some ways before I stumbled on his works I was something of a literary virgin.

When I was a teenager I was a bit of an outcast. Having moved town at the age of eleven I found it difficult to make new friends. It probably didn’t help that I had absolutely no fashion sense whatsoever (did anyone in the eighties?), so the scruffy blue anorak and oversized spectacles probably weren’t going to get me invited to any parties.

Thankfully that wasn’t too much of a problem as I enjoyed my own company (well someone had to) and took to gaming and reading with a passion. When I wasn’t guiding my pixelated heroes to victory on my ZX Spectrum 48K (a beast of a machine at the time), I was devouring as much fantasy as I could – and of course, playing my fair share of gamebooks.

But like I said, I was a literary virgin. Having discovered the magic of role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, much of the fantasy literature I was drawn to at the time was written in a similar heroic mould. Series such as the Dragonlance Chronicles (Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman), The Shannara Trilogy (Terry Brooks) and The Belgariad (David Eddings) featured your usual likeable heroes, thrown together by fate to complete some epic quest. I’m not knocking that, it’s a tried and tested formula, but everything I was exposed to at the time had a similar feel. And I was happy with that. This was fantasy to me. I felt I knew the genre and much of my own scribblings at the time were very much my own attempts to replicate this D&D feel in storybook form.

Then I met another geek. We sort of gravitated to each other at school (No doubt our anoraks got tangled together at some point.) I’d often seen him reading cool-looking books and some were most certainly fantasy. When we finally got talking, he asked me what I was reading. When I told him he sort of snorted dismissively. I was hoping he just had a bad cold or perhaps some nervous condition, but it became clear that he was snubbing my reading tastes. He handed me a book entitled ‘Weird of the White Wolf’ by Michael Moorcock. The cover looked like something from a hard rock album, with an angst-ridden protagonist plunging his blade into the chest of a downed warrior. I was sold.

In fact, you could say I lost my cherry to that book. From the comparative safety of D&D and various Tolkein-esque worlds, I was suddenly plunged into the chaotic maelstrom of Michael Moorcock’s imagination, and what a wonderfully creative and awe-inspiring chaos it was. It was the literary equivalent of growing your hair long, getting seriously laid, smoking too many joints and then howling at the moon.

Gone were the sappy goody-goody heroes and plot-threads you could comfortably second guess in a second. Here was something different, unpredictable and a little bit dangerous. That blade-thrusting protagonist with the rock star attitude turned out to be Elric of Melniboné, one of the most fabulous literary creations I have ever come across. In many ways he was first true anti-hero, a brooding and introspective outcast (no surprises I felt right at home there) who was also a bit of a wimp. You see, his albinism has left him weak, forcing him to use drugs (sorry, herbs) to boost his ailing health. But once he discovers the sinister magical sword Stormbringer (the prototype for all bad-ass rune swords to come – yeah, Arthas, I’m looking at you), he is transformed into a blade-dancing mofo with serious attitude. If this all sounds a little like certain other recent popular characters then… well, I’ll leave that one for the lawyers to argue over.

‘Weird of the White Wolf’ served as my gateway to the rest of Moorcock’s canon, and what an amazing trippy world it was to explore – or worlds, I should say. You see, as well as Elric of Melniboné, Moorcock had created a whole pantheon of heroes, some based in different eras, others on completely different worlds (but all linked by his ‘eternal hero’ mechanic, a sort of fantasy equivalent of Dr Who’s incarnations).  All of these heroes, from the maimed Prince Corum to the gender-bending secret agent Jerry Cornelius, were multi-faceted and believable, most of them melancholy outcasts looking for their place in the world, victims of fate if you like. And fate (as well as the powers of Law and Chaos) would feature heavily across Moorcock’s works.

There are plenty of nods to the wondrous Michael Moorcock in my own DestinyQuest gamebooks – and his novel ‘The Ice Schooner’ (a work of sheer genius in my opinion) was a huge influence on my third book ‘The Eye of Winter’s Fury’.

I guess it goes without saying that I would urge any fantasy lover (and especially those gamers with a fondness for a certain ‘Witcher’) to check out his books. Even in today’s fantasy market, saturated with anti-heroes and dark fantasy, there are few writers in my opinion who can match the brooding majesty of Moorcock’s universe.

So here’s to you Michael John Moorcock. You burnt my anorak and blew my mind.

Peace man.

Gollancz

Elric of Melniboné and Other Stories

By Michael Moorcock
The Michael Moorcock Collection presents for the first time definitive editions of Michael Moorcock's most influential work, fully revised and updated by the author.

Gollancz is very proud to present the author's definitive editions of the saga of Elric, the last emperor of Melnibon?. Michael Moorcock and his long-time friend and bibliographer John Davey have collaborated to produce the most consistent and coherent narrative from the disparate novels, novellas, short stories and non-fiction about Elric. From his early life in Melnibon? all the way through to his final days, these seven volumes will be the definitive telling of the albino prince's story.

Elric is one of the great creations of modern fantasy, and has inspired legions of imitators. If you know his story already, then this definitive edition will finally let you read the entire saga in the author's preferred order. If you've never experienced the chronicles of the albino with the soul-sucking sword, then this is the perfect place to start.

Born in London in 1939, Michael Moorcock is the legendary editor of the influential NEW WORLDS magazine and a prolific and award-winning writer with more than eighty works of fiction and non-fiction to his name. He is the creator of Elric, Hawkmoon, Jerry Cornelius and Colonel Pyat, amongst many other memorable characters.Moorcock's Multiverse presents the SF & Fantasy of Michael Moorcock in newly updated, definitive editions.New introductions by Michael Moorcock and John Clute.Michael Moorcock has won the NEBULA, WORLD FANTASY, JOHN W. CAMPBELL and BRITISH FANTASY AWARDS and is a SFWA Grand Master.
Gateway

Elric: Stormbringer!

By Michael Moorcock
The Michael Moorcock Collection presents for the first time definitive editions of Moorcock's most influential work, fully revised and updated by the author.

Feared by enemies and friends alike, Elric of Melnibone walks a lonely path among the worlds of the multiverse. The destroyer of his own cruel and ancient race, as well as its final ruler, Elric is the bearer of a destiny as dark and cursed as the vampiric sword he carries - the sentient black blade known as Stormbringer.

Containing the novel which perhaps did the most to propel Elric to the forefront of the fantasy genre, along with associated short stories and other material, this volume is a vital part of any fantasy reader's library. With an introduction by Tad Williams, this collection presents Moorcock's greatest creation in a revised and approved order.

Born in London in 1939, Michael Moorcock is the legendary editor of the influential NEW WORLDS magazine and a prolific and award-winning writer with more than 80 works of fiction and non-fiction to his name. He is the creator of Elric, Hawkmoon, Jerry Cornelius and Colonel Pyat, amongst many other memorable characters.Moorcock's Multiverse presents the science fiction and fantasy of Michael Moorcock in newly updated, definitive editions.New introduction by Michael Moorcock.Michael Moorcock has won the NEBULA, WORLD FANTASY, JOHN W. CAMPBELL and BRITISH FANTASY AWARDs and is a SFWA Grand Master.More than 7 million Moorcock books sold worldwide!
Gollancz

Corum: The Prince in the Scarlet Robe

By Michael Moorcock
Moorcock's Multiverse presents for the first time, definitive editions of Michael Moorcock's most influential work, fully revised and updated by the author.

Prince Corum is the last of the Vadhagh, his family and people brutally slain by the Mabden. Vowing to wreak vengeance on the killers, Corum sets out on his terrible quest only to fall in love with a beautiful Mabden woman, and to confront the fury of the Lords of Chaos.

For they fear that he is the hero who could tip the balance in their cataclysmic war with the forces of Law and free his world from Chaos's vicious grip. His epic struggle against them and his ultimate victory is only bought at a considerable price.

Moorcock's evocation of a rich, dark world, a time of magic, phantasms, cities in the sky, oceans of light and wild flying beasts of bronze is one of the pinnacles of modern imaginative literature.

Contains THE KNIGHT OF THE SWORDS, THE QUEEN OF THE SWORDS and THE KING OF THE SWORDS

Born in London in 1939, Michael Moorcock is the legendary editor of the influential New Worlds magazine and a prolific and award-winning writer with more than eighty works of fiction and non-fiction to his name. He is the creator of Elric, Hawkmoon, Jerry Cornelius and Colonel Pyat, amongst many other memorable characters.Moorcock's Multiverse presents the SF & Fantasy of Michael Moorcock in newly-updated, definitive editionsNew introduction by Michael MoorcockMichael Moorcock has won the Nebula, World Fantasy, John W. Campbell and British Fantasy awards and is a SFWA Grand Master
Gollancz

The Cornelius Quartet

By Michael Moorcock
Moorcock's Multiverse presents for the first time, definitive editions of Michael Moorcock's most influential work, fully revised and updated by the author.

Jerry Cornelius is an English assassin, physicist, rock star, and messiah to the Age of Science. Written between 1965 and 1967, this sequence of four novels relating Cornelius's adventures has been credited with inspiring dozens of writers and artists to rethink the genre of science fiction.

Set in a shifting, fluid version of the counter-culture 1960s, these books were among the most prominent 'New Wave' SF books. Jerry Cornelius is one of the most remarkable and distinctive characters in Moorcock's work, and his time-travelling, trippy and bizarre adventures are must-reads.

Contains THE FINAL PROGRAMME, A CURE FOR CANCER, THE ENGLISH ASSASSIN and THE CONDITION OF MUZAK.

Born in London in 1939, Michael Moorcock is the legendary editor of the influential NEW WORLDS magazine and a prolific and award-winning writer with more than 80 works of fiction and non-fiction to his name. He is the creator of Elric, Hawkmoon, Jerry Cornelius and Colonel Pyat, amongst many other memorable characters.Moorcock's Multiverse presents the SF & Fantasy of Michael Moorcock in newly updated, definitive editions.New introductions by Michael Moorcock and John Clute.Michael Moorcock has won the NEBULA, WORLD FANTASY, JOHN W. CAMPBELL and BRITISH FANTASY AWARDs and is a SFWA Grand Master.