Michael Moorcock Biography & Facts
Michael John Moorcock (born 18 December 1939) is an English writer, primarily of science fiction and fantasy, who has also published literary novels. He is also a successful musician. He is best known for his novels about the character Elric of Melniboné, a seminal influence on the field of fantasy since the 1960s and '70s.As editor of the British science fiction magazine New Worlds, from May 1964 until March 1971 and then again from 1976 to 1996, Moorcock fostered the development of the science fiction "New Wave" in the UK and indirectly in the United States, leading to the advent of cyberpunk. His publication of Bug Jack Barron (1969) by Norman Spinrad as a serial novel was notorious; in Parliament some British MPs condemned the Arts Council for funding the magazine. He is also a recording musician, contributing to the bands Hawkwind, Blue Öyster Cult, Spirits Burning, and his own project (Michael Moorcock & The Deep Fix).
In 2008, The Times named Moorcock in its list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".
Michael Moorcock was born in London in December 1939, and the landscape of London, particularly the area of Notting Hill Gate and Ladbroke Grove, is an important influence in some of his fiction (such as the Cornelius novels).Moorcock has mentioned The Mastermind of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Apple Cart by George Bernard Shaw and The Constable of St. Nicholas by Edwin Lester Arnold as the first three non-juvenile books that he read before beginning primary school. The first book he bought was a secondhand copy of The Pilgrim's Progress.Moorcock is the former husband of the writer Hilary Bailey by whom he had three children: Sophie b.1963, Katherine b.1964, and Max b. 1972. He is also the former husband of Jill Riches, who later married Robert Calvert. She illustrated some of Moorcock's books, including covers, including the Gloriana dustjacket. In 1983, Linda Steele became Moorcock's third wife.He was an early member of the Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America (SAGA), a loose-knit group of eight heroic fantasy authors founded in the 1960s and led by Lin Carter, self-selected by fantasy credentials alone.Moorcock is the subject of four book-length works, a monograph and an interview, by Colin Greenland. In 1983, Greenland published The Entropy Exhibition: Michael Moorcock and the British 'New Wave' in Science Fiction. He followed this with Michael Moorcock: Death is No Obstacle, a book-length interview about technique, in 1992. Michael Moorcock: Law of Chaos by Jeff Gardiner and Michael Moorcock: Fiction, Fantasy and the World's Pain by Mark Scroggins were published more recently.
In the 1990s, Moorcock moved to Texas in the United States. His wife Linda is American. He spends half of the year in Texas, the other half in Paris.
Moorcock's works are noted for their political nature and content. In one interview, he states, "I am an anarchist and a pragmatist. My moral/philosophical position is that of an anarchist." In describing how his writing relates to his political philosophy, Moorcock says, "My books frequently deal with aristocratic heroes, gods and so forth. All of them end on a note which often states quite directly that one should serve neither gods nor masters but become one's own master."Besides using fiction to explore his politics, Moorcock also engages in political activism. In order to "marginalize stuff that works to objectify women and suggests women enjoy being beaten", he has encouraged W H Smiths to move John Norman's Gor series novels to the top shelf.
Moorcock began writing while he was still at school, contributing to a magazine he entitled Outlaw's Own from 1950 on.In 1957 at the age of 17, Moorcock became editor of Tarzan Adventures (a national juvenile weekly featuring text and Tarzan comic strip), where he published at least a dozen of his own "Sojan the Swordsman" stories during that year and the next. At age 18 (in 1958), he wrote the allegorical fantasy novel The Golden Barge. This remained unpublished until 1980, when it was issued by Savoy Books with an introduction by M. John Harrison. At 19 years of age Moorcock also edited Sexton Blake Library (serial pulp fiction featuring Sexton Blake, the poor man's Sherlock Holmes) and returned to late Victorian London for some of his books. Writing ever since, he has produced a huge volume of work. His first story in New Worlds was "Going Home" (1958; with Barrington J. Bayley). "The Sundered Worlds", a 57-page novella published in the November 1962 number of Science Fiction Adventures, edited by John Carnell, became, with its sequel "The Blood Red Game" from the same magazine, the basis for his 190-page paperback debut novel three years later, The Sundered Worlds (Compact Books, 1965; in the U.S., Paperback Library, 1966).Moorcock replaced Carnell as New Worlds editor from the May–June 1964 number. Under his leadership the magazine became central to "New Wave" science fiction. This movement promoted literary style and an existential view of technological change, in contrast to "hard science fiction", which extrapolated on technological change itself. Some "New Wave" stories were not recognisable as traditional science fiction, and New Worlds remained controversial for as long as Moorcock edited it.
During that time, he occasionally wrote as "James Colvin", a "house pseudonym" that was also used by other New Worlds critics. A spoof obituary of Colvin appeared in New Worlds #197 (January 1970), written by Charles Platt as "William Barclay". Moorcock makes much use of the initials "JC"; these are also the initials of Jesus Christ, the subject of his 1967 Nebula Award-winning novella Behold the Man, which tells the story of Karl Glogauer, a time-traveller who takes on the role of Christ. They are also the initials of various "Eternal Champion" Moorcock characters such as Jerry Cornelius, Jerry Cornell and Jherek Carnelian. In more recent years, Moorcock has taken to using "Warwick Colvin, Jr." as a pseudonym, particularly in his "Second Ether" fiction.
Moorcock talks about much of his writing in Death Is No Obstacle by Colin Greenland, which is a book-length transcription of interviews with Moorcock about the structures in his writing.
Moorcock has also published pastiches of writers for whom he felt affection as a boy, including Edgar Rice Burroughs, Leigh Brackett, and Robert E. Howard. All his fantasy adventures have elements of satire and parody, while respecting what he considers the essentials of the form. Although his heroic fantasies have been his most consistently reprinted books in the United States, he achieved prominence in the UK as a literary author, with the Guardian Fiction Prize in 1977 for The Condition of Muzak, and with Mother London later shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize.Novels and series such as the Cornelius Quartet, Mother London, King of the City, the Pyat Quartet and the short story collec.... Discover the Michael Moorcock popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Michael Moorcock books.