For years now, Michael Moorcock is my favourite author, and his work changed my way of conceiving the world around me. It's why I choosed Erekosė, the darkest and the most enigmatic character of Moorcock as a nickname. I had (and still have) a page about fantastic literature, and Moorcock has a big place on it. But when I re-discovered Moorcock some time ago (I bought some books I've never found before), I choosed to make a single page about him, because I thought the article on my literature page was ridiculous compared to the importance his work has in my life. And as I'm probably the only french-speaking Moorcock fan who has a page about him on the Net, I'll try to make you discover him by a latin-european-cultured-webauthor (me!).
I structured this page in smaller sections : Wow ! I can't imagine I've read all of them ... Err, I must warn you : if you decide to read the Eternal Champion Cycle, please read The Quest for Tanelorn at the end, because it's the last book in the chronological (?!) order...
The Books I Own The Eternal Champion Cycle The Others The Multiverse The Gods Tanelorn The Black Sword The Eternal Love Moorcock on the Net Credits
The Elric Cycle Elric of Melniboné The Tower of the Pearl The Navigator on the Seas of Fate The Weird of the White Wolf The Vanishing Tower The Bane of the Black Sword Stormbringer Other Elric Related Books The Revenge of the Rose Elric at the End of Times, and other short stories Tales of the White Wolf The Hawkmoon Cycle The Legend of Hawkmoon The Jewel in the Skull The Mad God's Amulet The Sword of the Dawn The Runestaff The New Legend of Hawkmoon Count Brass The Champion of Garathorm The Quest for Tanelorn Erekosė's Quest The Eternal Champion The Silver Warriors The Dragon in the Sword The Corum Cycle The Knight of the Swords The Queen of the Swords The King of the Swords The Bull and the Spear The Oak and the Ram The Sword and the Stallion The Nomad of the Time Stream Warlord of the Air The Land Leviathan Von Bek The War Hound and the World's Pain The City in the Autumn Stars Other Books The Ice Schooner The Chaos Knight
(Moorcock Anthology, by J. Goimard)
Gloriana or The Unfulfill'd Queen The Shores of Death
Wow ! I can't imagine I've read all of them ... Err, I must warn you : if you decide to read the Eternal Champion Cycle, please read The Quest for Tanelorn at the end, because it's the last book in the chronological (?!) order...
In most of the Michael's books, the hero of the story has something very special : he's (or she's) the Eternal Champion incarnated. Who is he? He's the central point of the Moorcock's work. He's someone doomed by the Upper Powers (Gods if you prefer), and his fate is to fight, even if he doesn't want to. He must fight for the Cosmic Balance equilibrium, to seal his destiny and try to save the Universe. He is not only fighting with Good against Evil (Law against Chaos, in Moorcock's mythology), sometimes he may fight the entire Human Race (Erekosė), he may be the henchman of Lucifer (Von Bek), or just destroy the Earth to let a new Aeon come (Elric). All of these heroes must fight something or someone, and don't like what they do. They just want to be with their Eternal Love, and live in Peace.
Sometimes, different incarnations of the Eternal Champion can meet each other. The best example is the meeting between Elric, Corum and Erekosė. The complete story of this extraordinary moment is told in The Navigator on The Seas of Fate, but in Corum and Erekosė's cycle, some words talk about this meeting.
The clearest incarnation of the Eternal Champion is with no possible doubt Erekosė, because he can remember all his past lives, and he can't forget all the slaughters he did. He's going from a world to another one, eternally searching Ermizhad, his Eternal Love.
The Eternal Champion is my favourite fantasy character, of all the books I've ever read in my life. Probably because they are numerous, but also because I can recognize myself in this doomed poor hero..
Moorcock developed much more heroes in his work, and all of them are not the Eternal Champion. For example, I can tell you about Jhary-a-Conel, the Eternal Companion, the one who is the friend of the Eternal Champion. He is incarnated in a lot of stories of Moorcock, and always helps the hero to reach his aim, even if he must die for it. Some strange characters appears sometimes in the books too : Gaynor the Damned,who eternally fights for the Chaos, Jermays the Crooked, a bad looking man who sometimes helps the Champion, the Blind Helmsman who drives the Champion to his Destiny, Miss Una Persson, the time travelling woman ... These characters go from one book to another one, sometimes help him, sometimes fight against him. The Moorcock work must be read entirely to be understood well.
Excepted the Eternal Champion Cycle, Moorcock wrote a lot of books or short stories in SF magazines. The best of these ones, in my humble opinion, is The Ice Schooner, because the world in which the hero is involved is the most exciting.
The theory of Michael about the universe is quite exciting, and it's the part I prefer in his work. It is told that our universe is only a part of something very huge, called the Multiverse, which is mastered by the Cosmic Balance. There is many other universes (also called worlds or planes), where some people can travel, with the help of magical powers or technology. There is a Eternal Champion in each plane, that's why they sometimes can meet each others, because they are a part of these "plane-travellers", thrown over there by the Chaos, the Law or their Eternal Weapon.
The opportunity for these heroes to visit a infinity of strange worlds is probably a unique thing in literature. This state of facts can create paradoxes (someone meeting himself...), infinite sadness (someone loosing someone else in a plane, with no possibility to go back...), or impossible miracles (someone was killed and came back to life...). That cosmic view allows the most extraordinary possibilities and the most cynical hopes to exist.
This view of the world is now almost "classical" in Heroļc Fantasy books or Roleplaying games. But when Moorcock wrote these books, he was maybe the first to think about it...
The Gods, or the Upper Powers, in the Moorcock work, are taken from the Zoroastrism, and a book Moorcock really loved (Three Hearts, Three Lions). It is supposed that everything is mastered by two different powers : Law (symbolized by a simple upwards arrow) and Chaos (symbolized by an arrowed hub pulsing). Law symbolizes the order, the peace, the rules, the rightness of everything. The Chaos is the creation, the changes, the violence. The Law and the Chaos are mastered by the Cosmic Balance, the Ultimate Power, which tries to maintain the balance in all the universes. Both Law and Chaos are needed to let the world grow, but only the Law knows that. Chaos believes that it is the only power needed.
The Powers of Law and Chaos have their own heroes, or gods. The most known of them is with no possible doubt Arioch, the Hell Duke. He is the Master of Elric, and Stormbringer, the Black Sword, came from Chaos. In all the different universes, these Powers have different powers. For example, Arioch (him again!) is the most powerful Chaos Duke in Elric's world (The Young Kingdoms), but he's the least powerful in Corum's plane. Xiombarg, his sister, is more powerful in the Vadhagh's world, but she's just a maiden in the time of Von Bek. Only the Balance knows all the secrets of these mysteries ... and the Eternal Champion is his knight ...
At the beginning of Time, Chaos made a weapon so powerful that it can destroy the Balance. This weapon is the Eternal Champion's Sword, commonly called The Black Sword, because of it's dark power. The Black Sword "incarnation", if it can be said, is differently powerful following the part of the planes and the time where it is. The most known of these swords is Stormbringer, the damned sword of Elric. It's a stealer of souls, and gives power to its owner. Even if it came from the Chaos, the Black Sword can fight it, and restablish the equilibrium of the Balance.
Sometimes the black sword is not unique, and it has a twin sword. It's the case for Stormbringer and its twin sister, Mournblade. It is said that at the beginning of this Aeon, a Smith made two weapons out of one, because it was so powerful it can destroy all the Universes...
For Elric, Stormbringer symbolizes the only way to be powerful, because he's an Albino. Kanajana, Erekosė's sword, is lethal if it is touched. The Sword of the Dawn, Hawkmoon's sword, is the weapon of the RuneStaff.
Love is eternal. The Champion has always a pretty young woman which he's in love with. Sometimes the hero becomes depressing or mad because he's far away from her, or he doesn't know if he will be able to see her again.
Elric falled in love with her cousin, Cymoril, but Stormbringer killed her. Hawkmoon has his dear Yisselda, and he becomes mad when he believes she's dead. Corum met Rhalina when he was slaughtered by the Mabdens, and he changes a lot when she died. And Erekosė was grabbed by the crual hand of the Cosmic Balance, and is far away from Ermizhad, his Eternal Love...
This theme is probably the most important of all the themes of Moorcock, in my opinion. Because man is unhappy because he's searching for someone he will probably never meet (again), he is able to become much stronger to fight against his doom, and against the Gods themselves. The worst life is nothing if you know that Love (with a big L) is at the end of the tunnel. The cynical attitude is to say that we are not sure Love will be there some day...
In Elric of Melniboné, Moorcock explains that the character of Elric is some sort of another Moorcock when he wrote these stories. He was Elric, a friend of him was Moonglum, and even Cymoril was a secret love. But, as Elric murdered Cymoril using Stormbringer because he could not control it, Moorcock acted very badly to the young woman, because he was too impulsive and he could not control this love. Some sort of psychotherapy...
We are several people that are fans of Moorcock on the Net. The most important site is my friend Jhary-a-Conel's one, Tanelorn. There you'll find all the links you need to find something about Moorcock on the Internet (the newsgroup alt.book.mooorcock, the eternal champion mailing-list, ...). Most of us are also on ICQ, so you can chat with us by this way.
The Million Spheres is the Eternal Champion Webring. I'm the author of it's black sword :]. Here it is...
All the Erekosė's Michael Moorcock Tribute was made by Stéphane Defreyne (aka EREKOSĖ), pictures excepted. Feel free to write if you need help, or if you have some suggestions to make.
I just want to thank R. Matthews and W. Siudmak for their extaordinary paintings, that realized the magic of Moorcock's Universe.
[Back to Erekosė's Home Page]
[Back to Erekosė's Second Home]