It is fitting to start if anywhere then here. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls – Mr Michael Moorcock. Or more correctly perhaps, Elric.
This will be a familiar story. If not then bear with us for whom it is, or apply as you will your own particular brand of influence. But I and still shy of double figures having exhausted the usual suspects of youth came upon and in my case The Sleeping Sorceress. This was my first Elric and this it is safe to say set me upon the rails of life upon which I now steam. I may and will doubtless continue to do so, slate, slag and otherwise complain about fantasy, about sword n’ sorcery (fish n’ chips) and good Cope above – heroic genre fiction, but you’ll have to excuse us. We’re an old and too-long married couple. It’s supported me financially for too long and in turn I’ve whored it out, to cast its darkly shining eyes at people who would take up a sword or roll a dice but never think of, the horror, reading.
It was Mike Moorcock that started this, and with as is typical Elric. Skinny, drug-taking Elric the antihero magician with the big, pulsing, rune-inscribed... sword. When other heroes would track down the likes of this the last Prince of Melnibone, Elric being just that would meet faithful new companions, venture into exciting new lands and fall into the passionate embrace of delicious lovers. And for the most part kill them by sucking their souls out whilst having a bit of a cry about it. I’ll get to Hawkmoon, Corum and egad Jerry Cornelius. I’ll roam with Bastable in passing and we’ll all debauch ourselves red-raw and giggling at the End Of Time. But we’ll do this and please note, another time.
So Elric that after the rather more pie-shaped adventures of Bilbo put his pale arm about my shoulders and took me away from childish things. But then when you’re blossoming into puberty and life as it ever will, is crap – then there was Elric and didn’t he know just how a boy felt? And because of Elric there was Fritz Leiber, and Poul Anderson and gaming, and then and let’s face it every single bloody job I’ve had since.
So for Michael Moorcock and as promised more of him anon, but more correctly for Elric – this is where we start. Because it was Elric that first saw the man that would be and took the time to stop by. And there was Hawkwind, and a hundred worlds, and all about 45,000 words and all done over a big shit and a long bath. So we start here. Because without Elric anyone of you that I know, I probably would not.
So now he doesn’t come round much. So we’ve moved on and apart and sometimes I hear about what he’s been up to but second, third hand. But sometimes we see one another across the room and spare a faint smile. And he knows, and he knows.