Michael Moorcock

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Michael Moorcock (born 18 December 1939) is a prolific British writer and editor, long known for his SF and fantasy works and now also for literary novels.

Michael Moorcock, 2006


Short fiction[edit]

To Rescue Tanelorn... (1962)[edit]

Originally published in Science Fantasy magazine, December 1962. Page numbers from the author’s final revised version included in the omnibus trade paperback edition The Eternal Champion published by White Wolf Publishing
  • Everything means nothing—that is the only truth.
    • p. 472
  • The subtlest lie of all is the full truth.
    • p. 474

London Bone (1997)[edit]

Originally published in the anthology New Worlds edited by David Garnett. Page numbers from the story included in the mass market paperback edition "Year's Best SF 3" edited by David G. Hartwell
  • Americans need bullshit the way koala bears need eucalyptus leaves. They’ve become totally addicted to it. They get so much of it back home that they can’t survive without it.
    • p. 423
  • What the local politicians actually meant was that they hoped to claim the land in the name of the public and then make the usual profits privatizing it. There was a principle at stake. They had to ensure their friends and not outsiders got the benefit.
    • p. 443

The Sundered Worlds (1965)[edit]

Page numbers from the author’s final revised version included in the omnibus trade paperback edition The Eternal Champion published by White Wolf Publishing
  • “He was a fool,” said Willow calmly to Klein. “There are many who refuse their responsibilities. Fooling themselves they search for a ‘higher ideal’. He was a fool.”
    “What are responsibilities?” said Klein laconically. “He knows. Responsibility, my dear, is another word for self-interest. For survival.”
    She looked at Klein uncomprehendingly.
    • Chapter 4 (p. 206)
  • The time has come for the dismantling of fantasies. That is already happening to our universe. Now that we have this one chance of survival we must finally rid ourselves of fantasies and seize that chance!
    For centuries our race has built on false assumptions. If you build a fantasy based on a false assumption and continue to build on such a fantasy, your whole existence becomes a lie which you implant in others who are too lazy or too busy to question its truth.
    In this manner you threaten the very existence of reality, because, by refusing to obey its laws, those laws engulf and destroy you. The human race has for too long been manufacturing convenient fantasies and calling them laws. For ages this was so. Take war, for instance. Politicians assume that something is true, assume that strife is inevitable, and by building on such false assumptions, lo and behold, they create further wars which they have, ostensibly, sought to prevent.
    We have, until now, accepted too many fantasies as being truths, too many truths as fantasies. And we have one last chance to discover the real nature of our existence. I am prepared to take it!
    • Chapter 7 (pp. 229-230)
  • He existed in all the many dimensions of the multiverse. Yet he, in common with all others, was bound by the dimension of Time. He had cast off the chains of space but was tied, as perhaps all denizens of the multiverse would always be, by the imperturbable prowl of Time, which brooked no halt, which condoned no tampering with its movement, whether to slow it or to speed it.
    Time, the changer, could not be changed. Space, perhaps, the material environment, could be conquered. Time, never.
    • Chapter 15 (p. 290)

The Eternal Champion (1970)[edit]

Page numbers from the author’s final revised version included in the omnibus trade paperback edition The Eternal Champion published by White Wolf Publishing
  • If the people at the top think that reaching for a gun will solve the problem, why shouldn’t the people at the bottom think the same?
    • Introduction (p. viii)
  • I felt sorry for him at that moment. He only wanted what every man wanted—freedom from fear, a chance to raise children with a reasonable certainty that they would be allowed to do the same, a chance to look forward to the future without the knowledge that any plans made might be wrecked forever by some sudden act of violence.
    • Chapter 3 “The Eldren Threat” (p. 15)
  • I stared at the water and saw the clouds reflected in it, saw them break to reveal the moon. It was the same moon I had known as John Daker. The same bland face could be made out staring down in contentment at the antics of the creatures of the planet it circled. How many disasters had that moon witnessed? How many foolish crusades? How many wars and battles and murders?
    • Chapter 9 “At Noonos” (p. 50)
  • It’s getting late. I must return to my ship or my men will think I’ve drowned and be celebrating.
    • Chapter 10 “First Sight of the Eldren” (p. 58)
  • There must be countless forms of love. Which is the form which conquers the rest? I cannot define it. I shall not try.
    • Chapter 15 “The Returning” (p. 91)
  • The problems for which I could find no solution in fact had no solution.
    • Chapter 23 “In Loos Ptokai” (p. 137)

Phoenix in Obsidian (1970)[edit]

Page numbers from the author’s final revised version included in the omnibus trade paperback edition The Eternal Champion published by White Wolf Publishing
  • Nothing is known for certain, Isarda. All knowledge is illusion—purpose is a meaningless word, a mere sound, a reassuring fragment of melody in a cacophony of clashing chords. All is flux—matter is like these jewels. (She throws a handful of gleaming gems upon the golden surface; they scatter. When the last jewel has ceased to move, she looks up at him.) Sometimes they fall into a rough pattern, usually they do not. So as this moment, a pattern has been formed—you and I stand here speaking. But at any moment that which constitutes our beings may be scattered again.
    • Prologue (p. 321)
  • Here, I thought, I had found the human race in its final stages of decadence—perverse, insouciant, without ambition. And I could not blame them. After all, they had no future.
    • Book 2 “The Champion’s Road” Chapter 3 “The Lord Spiritual” (p. 354)
  • All Empires fall,
    All ages die,
    All strife shall be in vain.
    All Kings go down,
    All hope must fail,
    But Tanelorn remains—
    Our Tanelorn remains...
    • Book 2 “The Champion’s Road” Chapter 5 “The Black Sword” (p. 365)
  • Destiny’s Champion,
    Fate’s fool.
    Eternity’s Soldier,
    Time’s Tool.
    • Book 3 “Visions and Revelations” Epigram (p. 394)
  • “I would be grateful if I was allowed to work out my own destiny for once,” I said. “For good or ill.”
    • Book 3 “Visions and Revelations” Chapter 4 “The Lady of the Chalice” (p. 416)
  • Because I had sought to challenge Destiny, Destiny had taken vengeance.
    • Book 3 “Visions and Revelations” Chapter 5 “The Waking of the Sword” (p. 421)


  • A whole tangle of series, possibly including everything Moorcock's written, not excluding his grocery lists, but I'm not sure; certainly includes most of his fantasy. Various subseries are declared complete every so often, as for example in an ad for the Last Elric Book in the current issue of F&SF; such declarations sometimes prove true, but on the other hand, I've seen several previous Last Elric Books.

External links[edit]

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