Interzone 211 - more Moorcock than you can shake a stick at!
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Author:  AndyHedge [ Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Interzone 211 - more Moorcock than you can shake a stick at!

Interzone 211 is a special edition featuring the work of Michael Moorcock, the writer described by the late Angela Carter as “a lord of misrule, whose work is the nearest thing we have in English to a never-ending carnival.”

Moorcock’s name will trigger a host of associations for Interzone readers. In a career spanning half a century he has given us the albino warrior Elric of Melniboné; the multiverse-traversing trickster-victim Jerry Cornelius; the genre-bending voyages of the Von Bek dynasty; a masterful secret history of the twentieth century related by the self-deceiving Colonel Pyat; an unforgettable examination of the impulses for faith and martyrdom in Behold the Man; the exploits of steampunk time traveller Oswald Bastable; and the book I’d take to a desert island if Kirsty Young allowed me just one – Mother London, his magnificently mythic, affecting and optimistic celebration of life in the city.

To name but a few of his creations. I haven’t even mentioned the Hawkmoon books, the Dancers at the End of Time cycle or the Chronicles of Corum – in part a satirical response to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

And, as editor of New Worlds (1964–1971), Moorcock encouraged sf with greater narrative and linguistic complexity: under his stewardship the magazine focused on the way we were living at the end of the twentieth century – examining our morality, our psychology and our sexuality.

A never-ending carnival indeed. But there’s a lot more to Moorcock’s work than its variety. While David Pringle, former editor of Interzone, was spot-on with his praise for “the consummate professional entertainer,” what makes Moorcock unique is his ability to combine dazzling, compelling and accessible storytelling with relentlessly challenging moral exploration.

Writing in 1999, Alan Warner (Morvern Callar and These Demented Lands) chose Moorcock’s Jerry Cornelius Quartet as one of his ‘essential classics for the next 100 years’, saying: “Because of his lack of elitism, no other contemporary English writer seems to capture the moral dilemmas around us with such wry good humour, vigour and style in such a richly modernist way.”

The moral focus Warner talks about has always been a defining aspect of Moorcock’s work, but it has become more concentrated, more intense as he has honed his craft over the years. In 1982, as Interzone began publication, Moorcock was entering a new phase with his searing examination of sexual obsession, escapism and alienation, The Brothel in Rosenstrasse. Since then we’ve had the final three quarters of the Pyat quartet; the wonderful Mother London, an angry but hilarious outing for Jerry Cornelius in The Alchemist’s Question; the savagely satirical fable King of the City; and an underrated but, in my case, hugely influential polemic, The Retreat from Liberty.

And, talking of polemics, wait till you read Moorcock’s Guest Editorial for IZ 211, The March of the Whiteshirts. It’s a fascinating dissection of the deadening effect of cultural stasis and conformity over the past 40 or so years, and a plea for a vibrant counterculture that can challenge the domination of the Whiteshirts. It’s an inspiring start to what we think is a cracking Moorcock special: there’s an extensive interview; a compelling short story; a long extract from a novel in progress, telling the story of the Sedentary Jew, London, My Life!; and a piece from Lovers, his forthcoming memoir of Mervyn and Maeve Peake.

Interzone 211 will be out early/mid July: we think you’ll enjoy it!

Andy Hedgecock

Author:  Paul Raven [ Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Interzone 211 - more Moorcock than you can shake a stick

AndyHedge wrote:
...a piece from Lovers, his forthcoming memoir of Mervyn and Maeve Peake.


That alone makes me proud to be a subscriber and contributor. Looking forwards to this one.

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