Amazon.co.uk Trade-In Store
Did you know you can trade in your unwanted old books for an Amazon.co.uk Gift Card? This offer is available on thousands of titles--visit the Books Trade-In Store for more details. Learn more.
The Amazon description isn't accurate - this ISN'T "another novel" from Michael Moorcock, but a collection of short fiction from the 1960s, most of which saw original publication in New Worlds.
The stories in question are:
The Time Dweller Escape from Evening The Deep Fix The Golden Barge Wolf Consuming Package The Ruins The Pleasure Garden of Felipe Sagittarius The Mountain
Fans of Moorcock's numerous fiction cycles should note these are non-series tales, though "The Pleasure Garden..." was later revised to fit into the Von Bek sequence. If pushed, I'd say they fall into that elusive category "science fantasy", but that's more because they don't really fit anywhere else rather than any because of any positive ID traits. The quality is variable, as is always the case with collections and anthologies, and your preferences may well differ from mine. For what it's worth, I particularly cared for the title story and its sequel "Escape from Evening", exquisite "Dying Earth" far-future stories with a dry, ironic tone. "The Deep Fix", a very early (1963) attempt to reboot traditional SF with a bracing dose of Burroughs (W.S., not E.R.), is raw and a tad obvious, but it's gripping nevertheless and a key point in the development of the UK New Wave. My favourite is "The Pleasure Garden...", an enigmatic and haunting psychedelic fable that looks at European history from a particularly oblique perspective.
Although these are (mostly) accessible SF/fantasy tales, the tone tends towards the thoughtful, so they'll probably appeal at least as much to fans of Moorcock's "serious" fiction as to the sword and sorcery crowd. Ultimately, they're apprentice work from a then-young writer still finding his voice (which may be why echoes of other writers, such as Vance, Peake and Borges, as well as the more predictable Ballard and Burroughs, are notable throughout). It's hardly an essential work, but it's a well-written, interesting and intelligent selection: well worth reading if you can find it easily, though not really worth a lot of effort to hunt down. Though every open-minded SF reader ought to seek out "The Pleasure Garden of Felipe Sagittarius".Read more ›