I encountered Jerry Cornelius at far too young an age



I encountered Jerry Cornelius at far too young an age, in a public library where all SF was kept together and regarded as obviously okay for children.  I was intrigued by the fact that one of Jerry's many alter egos had my surname.  The Cornelius books, for all their cracked prose, nevertheless had a feeling of utter narrative confidence about them, as if the world was actually cubist, and everyone else knew that except me, the junior reader.  They contributed to that SF Hitchcock zoom moment that hauls kids out of everday reality and sets them up to see life at a different angle. As I got more distance on the 1970s, I saw how they'd actually described that lead-fueled, incredibly violent decade extremely well.  Michael Moorcock being the writer who novelised The Great Rock 'n Roll Swindle sounds absurd now, but that book being a Cornelius novel about London, it actually makes enormous sense.  Moorcock is *loud*, the Hawkwind side of longhair.  I read that book, in its utterly non-punk mod cover, in 1979 at my Dad's insurance business, as skinheads leaned on his desk and threatened him about their no claims bonus.  I'd write my first Cornelius story four years later, and never managed to place it in a fanzine.  I finally got into print with Jerry in 2009, with a story in the When It Changed anthology, edited by Geoff Ryman.  (I think I should repeat that Moorcock insists on writers getting permission to use his creation.  Jerry isn't open source.)  Cornelius always seemed to me like an abstracted version of Mick Jagger, the ghost you'd find under the pavements of Ladbroke Grove, not caught up in a scene, but always walking away from one, always the predator rather than the victim.  I hope he's still disconnected from history, because dear God we need him at the moment.

Series: Jerry Cornelius

View all the books in the JERRY CORNELIUS series.

The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle

By Michael Moorcock
Michael Moorcock (1939-)
Michael Moorcock is one of the most important figures in British SF and Fantasy literature. The author of many literary novels and stories in practically every genre, his novels have won and been shortlisted for numerous awards including the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Whitbread and Guardian Fiction Prize. In 1999, he was given the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award; in 2001, he was inducted into the SF Hall of Fame; and in 2007, he was named a SFWA Grandmaster. Michael Moorcock is also a musician who has performed since the seventies with his own band, the Deep Fix; and, as a member of the prog rock band, Hawkwind, won a gold disc. His tenure as editor of New Worlds magazine in the sixties and seventies is seen as the high watermark of SF editorship in the UK, and was crucial in the development of the SF New Wave. Michael Moorcock's literary creations include Hawkmoon, Corum, Von Bek, Jerry Cornelius and, of course, his most famous character, Elric. He has been compared to, among others, Balzac, Dumas, Dickens, James Joyce, Ian Fleming, J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert E. Howard. Although born in London, he now splits his time between homes in Texas and Paris.

A Cornelius Calendar

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. Cornelius's adventures have 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. Here are a selection of shorter novels and novellas, ranging across time and space...

Contains 'The Adventures of Una Persson and Catherine Cornelius in the Twentieth Century', 'The Entropy Tango', 'The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle', 'The Alchemist's Question', 'Firing the Cathedral' and 'Modem Times 2.0'.

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.