Savoy Books, a small avant-garde SF British publishing house with connections to Michael Moorcock, has just published a gigantic collection of his essays. At about 800 pages and $75 a copy, plus postage, it's neither for the faint of heart nor the casual fan, so the review in last week's Spectator will probably have to serve for most of us.
Lots of cool quotes:
......he has ‘never been much at ease’ with science fiction. A natural writer, from the age of eight he was steeped in Dickens, Wodehouse and Richmal Crompton’s William books — but it is ‘probably fair to say that I owe my career to Edgar Rice Burroughs’. At 14 Moorcock produced a fanzine called Burroughsania, and by 16 he was a regular contributor to Tarzan Adventures magazine. ‘Between the ages of 17 and 20,’ he recalls, ‘I was able to earn almost any amount of money by writing … and became a fairly dissolute teenager for a while.’ It was only at 20, when he was blacklisted for bolshieness at IPC, that he was ‘forced to turn to science fiction’.
.......in ‘Epic Pooh’ he writes that he is unconvinced of Sauron’s evil, since ‘anyone who hates hobbits can’t be all bad’
He is very funny about his stint as a script writer in Hollywood, and interestingly prefers LA to San Francisco. (‘Only Geneva and Amsterdam are neater.’)
Moorcock is elegant and aggressive (‘badly educated people are suspicious of ambiguity’), consistently entertaining, and frequently wise and generous. He is generally sound on religion and politics, despising Blair more than Thatcher, for example.