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The White Wolf's Son
Michael Moorcock
Warner Aspect, 339 pages

Michael Moorcock
Michael Moorcock has published over 70 novels in all genres. These include several series that share, to different extents, a common multiverse: the Cornelius Chronicles, The Dancers at the End of Time, Erekose, The Books of Corum, Hawkmoon: The Chronicles of Castle Brass, Hawkmoon: The History of the Runestaff and the classic Elric of Melnibone Saga. He has also edited an anthology of late Victorian science fiction, Before Armageddon. Under the pen name E.P. Bradbury, he published a series of novel-length pastiches of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom novels.

Moorcock was born in London in 1939 and began writing, illustrating, editing and printing fanzines under the MJM Publications imprint at a young age. He became the editor of Tarzan Adventures at 16 (some sources say 17), and later the Sexton Blake Library. In 1964 he became the radical editor of the experimental and frequently controversial British SF magazine New Worlds.

A multiple winner of the British Fantasy Award, Moorcock is also a World Fantasy Award and John W. Campbell Memorial Award winner for his novel Gloriana. He won the 1967 Nebula Award for his novella "Behold the Man." He has twice won the Derleth Award for Fantasy (for The Sword and the Stallion, and The Hollow Lands), and the Guardian Fiction Prize (1977) for The Condition of Muzak. He has been shortlisted for both the Booker and Whitbread prizes, Britain's most prestigious literary awards. Moorcock currently lives in London, Spain and Texas. Moorcock has also recorded music, both solo and with the progressive rock group, Hawkwind.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: The Dreamthief's Daughter
SF Site Review: Gloriana or the Unfulfilled Queen
SF Site Review: Behold the Man
SF Site Review: Michael Moorcock's Multiverse
SF Site Review: The War Amongst the Angels
SF Site Review: The Dancers at the End of Time
SF Site Review: Kane of Old Mars
SF Site Review: Sailing to Utopia
Michael Moorcock Interview
Michael Moorcock's Musical Contributions
Bio-bibliography: Michael Moorcock
Bibliography: Michael Moorcock
Vote for your favourite Moorcock novel
Michael Moorcock Tribute Site
Michael Moorcock Tribute Site
Elric of Melnibone site

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Steven H Silver

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The White Wolf's Son If you compare the character of Elric in Michael Moorcock's short story "The Dreaming City" to the Elric who appears in his latest novel, The White Wolf's Son, you would be excused for not believing them to be the same character. The man who sang "Blood and souls for my lord Arioch!" as he swung his Black Blade in "The Dreaming City" is now a more introspective character given to more clandestine activities.

The White Wolf's Son follows two other Elric adventures, The Dreamthief's Daughter and The Skrayling Tree, all of which take place while Elric is tied to the rigging of Jagreen Lern's flagship but has managed to send his soul out to the other realms of the multiverse, most notably our own world. However, while the adventure, which centers on the young Oonagh von Beck, starts in our world in the twenty-first century, it quickly departs, eventually landing Elric, Oonagh, their allies and enemies, Klosterheim and Gaynor the Damned, in the world of the Dark Empire of Granbretan.

Granbretan, of course, is the empire against which Dorian Hawkmoon rebelled in the History of the Runestaff and the Chronicles of Count Brass. While Hawkmoon does appear in brief cameos, he doesn't have a major role in the book, nor does he combine with Elric as had happened in the past when aspects of the Eternal Champion met. Hawkmoon's opponents, however, notably Emperor Huon, Taragorm, Baron Bous-Junge, do appear in The White Wolf's Son and team up with Klosterheim and Gaynor in their attempt to rule not just their corner of the multiverse, but to supercede the Cosmic Balance.

In fact, The White Wolf's Son has more in common with the tales of Hawkmoon than Elric, partially because of the setting. The part of the adventure set in the world of Granbretan is the most fully realized, moreso than that of our own world or in the Middle March. Moorcock manages to not only recreate that world, but also the feeling that goes along with it.

As Moorcock has matured as an author, and no longer writes books in only a few days, his novels have become, like Elric, more introspective. The White Wolf's Son is no exception. Moorcock uses the excesses of Granbretan to spotlight and satirize modern politics. While his characters demonstrate an interest in the nature of the multiverse, Moorcock applies the same examination to the questions of good and evil as well as identity, making the fantastic aspects of The White Wolf's Son apply to our own more mundane world.

Just as Moorcock's characters, whether Elric, Oswald Bastable, or Una Persson have moved on from their origins in the 60s to become more well rounded and able to be used in a novel with the deeper philosophical substance of The White Wolf's Son. At the same time, Moorcock includes many references to her earlier work as well as his own life to lighten what otherwise could have been a heavy and slow moving book. Although it appears this is the end of Elric's adventures, we can hope Moorcock will chose to return to the characters and places again.

Copyright © 2005 Steven H Silver

Steven H Silver is a four-time Hugo Nominee for Best Fan Writer and the editor of the anthologies Wondrous Beginnings, Magical Beginnings, and Horrible Beginnings (DAW Books, January, February and March, 2003). In addition to maintaining several bibliographies and the Harry Turtledove website, Steven is heavily involved in convention running and publishes the fanzine Argentus.


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