Denver Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club

older cover Elric Elric of Melniboné (1972)
first book of a classic sword & sorcery series

1976 DAW edition (left) - 160 pages
cover art by Michael Whelan

Berkley edition (right) - 181 pages
cover art by Robert Gould
newer cover Elric

From the back cover of the DAW edition:
       For ten thousand years Melniboné ruled the world.  Elric, the 428th Emperor, seemed destined to see that era come to an end.  An albino, sustained by rare drugs, it fell to him to confront the rise of the Young Kingdoms, of the monsters and sorceries which were threatening to overwhelm him and his ancient crown.

From the back cover of the Berkley edition:
       One awesome hero against the inevitable dawn of time.  In the Ancient land of sorcerous Melniboné, Elric sits upon the Ruby Throne.  An albino kept alive by drugs and magic, he is cursed with a keen and cynical intelligence that forces him onto a path few would take willingly -- eternal adventure.

From the back cover of the Arrow UK edition:
       Melniboné: no longer the mighty empire that once dominated the world but a waning kingdom, dependent on trade from the human nations which have begun to challenge her power.
       On her Ruby Throne sits the albino Elric - sorcerer and warrior. A melancholy philosopher at odds with his destiny.
       As fleets of marauders probe the defences of the Dragon Isle, Elric faces treachery within his own court - from Yrkoon, the cruel and ambitious cousin who dreams of usurping him.

Amy's Short Summary :  Michael Moorcock - Elric of Melniboné

Elric is the introspective albino Emperor of the island kingdom of Melniboné.  Physically weak, he uses drugs and sorcery to survive.  His treacherous cousin Prince Yyrkoon questions his fitness to rule because Elric doesn't follow his land's decadent traditions.  Cymoril, Yyrkoon's sister, is Elric's love.  After a sea battle with raiders from the Young Kingdoms, Yyrkoon tries to eliminate Elric and take the Ruby Throne.  This book tells of their rivalry.

summary written by

Elric Arrow edition More Elric of Melniboné covers:

1975 Arrow UK edition
191 pages (left)

First Comics graphic novel (1986)
script & adaptation by Roy Thomas
cover & layouts by P. Craig Russell
pencils & colors by Michael T. Gilbert
~ 170 pages (right)
Elric graphic novel

How we each rated this book
Dan 6 Amy 7 stack of books 10   Wow! Don't miss it
8-9  Highly recommended
7    Recommended
5-6  Mild recommendation
3-4  Take your chances
1-2  Below average; skip it
0    Get out the flamethrower!
U    Unfinishable or unreadable
-    Skipped or no rating given
Cheri 7 Barb 4
Aaron 5 Cynthia 4
Lars - Jackie 4

Elric's earliest appearance was in 1961, in Science Fantasy magazine. Some earlier works have been incorporated, rewritten, and revised into later ones. A number of his books have been published under several titles.
The Elric sequence by internal chronology:
Elric of Melniboné (1972)
The Fortress of the Pearl (1989)
Sailor on the Seas of Fate (1976)
Weird of the White Wolf (1977)
The Vanishing Tower (1977)
The Revenge of the Rose (1991)
The Bane of the Black Sword (1977)
Stormbringer (1965 rev 1977)

There is also the collection Elric at the End of Time (1984) and SFBC omnibus editions The Elric Saga, Part I (1984) and The Elric Saga, Part II (1984).

White Wolf omnibus editions:
Song of the Black Sword (Eternal Champion Series, Vol. 5) (1995)
The Stealer of Souls (The Tale of the Eternal Champion, Vol 11) (1998)

The newest Elric books are The Dreamthief's Daughter (2001) and its sequel, The Skrayling Tree (2003). Forthcoming in June 2005 The White Wolf's Son.
Elric by Rodney Matthews
from 1978 Calendar Michael Moorcock's Wizardry & Wild Romance, Elric illustrated by Rodney Matthews (above)

The Elric sequence is memorable because it leads not to triumph but to tragedy and downfall. Elric is far from the typical sword and sorcery hero. Elric becomes a tool of his own soul-drinking sword Stormbringer.

Several different UK titles for Elric books are The Sleeping Sorceress and The Stealer of Souls.
A version of Elric of Melniboné, re-edited without the author's permission, was published under the title of The Dreaming City by Lancer books in 1972. The choice of the title was also not the author's.

Michael Moorcock (1939-     ) Is a prolific UK fantasy writer and editor, who since the mid-1990s has been living part time in Texas.

1957 Hugo Award Best British Professional Magazine New Worlds
1968 Nebula Award for best novella "Behold the Man"
1972 August Derleth Award (British Fantasy) for The Knight of the Swords
1973 August Derleth Award (British Fantasy) for The King of the Swords
1975 August Derleth Award (British Fantasy) for The Sword and the Stallion
1976 August Derleth Award (British Fantasy) for The Hollow Lands
1979 World Fantasy Award for Gloriana
1993 British Fantasy special committee award for Gloriana
2000 World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement

Almost all of his works are related as being part of the same Multiverse, his heroes - Elric, Hawkmoon, Erekose, Corum, Von Bek, Michael Kane - are each incarnations of The Eternal Champion.
Dorian Hawkmoon books
The Jewel in the Skull (1967)
The Mad God's Amulet (1968)
The Sword of the Dawn (1968)
The Runestaff (1969)
The Eternal Champion, Vol. 3 (omnibus, 1995)
Count Brass (1973)
The Champion of Garathorm (1973)
The Quest for Tanelorn (1975)
Corum books
The Knight of Swords (1971)
The Queen of Swords (1971)
The King of Swords (1971)
The Bull and the Spear (1973)
The Oak and The Ram (1973)
The Sword and The Stallion (1974)
The Swords of Corum (omnibus, books 1-3, 1977)
The Chronicles of Corum (omnibus, books 4-6, 1978)
The Eternal Champion Vol. 7 (omnibus, 1997)
The Eternal Champion Vol. 12 (omnibus, 1999)

Erekose (John Dakar) books
The Eternal Champion (1970)
Phoenix in Obsidian (The Silver Warriors) (1970)
The Dragon in the Sword (1986)
The Eternal Champion Vol. 1 (omnibus, 1994)
Michael Kane books (orginally as by Edward P. Bradbury)
City of the Beast (Warriors of Mars) (1965)
The Lord of the Spiders (Blades of Mars) (1965)
The Masters of the Pit (Barbarians of Mars) (1965)
The Eternal Champion Vol. 9 (omnibus, 1998)

Von Bek books
The War Hound & the World's Pain (1981)
The Brothel in Rosenstrasse (1982)
The City in the Autumn Stars (1986)
Von Bek (omnibus, 1992)
The Eternal Champion Vol. 2 (omnibus, 1995)
The Eternal Champion Vol. 6 (omnibus, 1996)
The War Amongst the Angels (1996)
Oswald Bastable books
The Warlord of the Air (1971)
The Land Leviathan (1974)
The Steel Tsar (1981)
A Nomad of the Time Streams (omnibus, 1982, books 1-3) The Eternal Champion Vol. 4 (omnibus, 1995)

Jerry Cornelius books
The Final Programme (1968)
A Cure for Cancer (1971)
The English Assassin (1972)
The Condition of Muzak (1977)
The Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius (collection, 1976)
Adventures of Una Persson and Catherine Cornelius in the 20th Century (1976)
Gold Diggers of 1977 (1981)
The Alchemist's Question (1984)
The Cornelius Chronicles (omnibus, first 3 books, 1977)
The New Nature of the Catastrophe (collection, 1993)
Dancers at the End of Time books
An Alien Heat (1972)
The Hollow Lands (1974)
The End of All Songs (1976)
Legends from the End of Time (collection, 1976)
A Messiah at the End of Time (Constant Fire)(The Transformation of Miss Mavis Ming) (1977)
The Dancers at the End of Time (omnibus, books 1-3, 1981)
Tales from the End of Time (omnibus, other books, 1989) The Eternal Champion Vol. 10 (omnibus, 1998)

Some other books
The Sundered Worlds (his first SF novel, 1965)
The Winds of Limbo (The Fireclown) (SF, 1965)
The Shores of Death (The Twilight Man) (1966)
The Wrecks of Time (The Rituals of Infinity) (SF, 1967)
The Roads Between The Worlds (Eternal Champion Series, Vol. 6) (1996)
Behold the Man (SF, Karl Glogauer book) (1969)
Breakfast in the Ruins (SF, Karl Glogauer book) (1972)
The Time Dweller (collection, 1969)
The Chinese Agent (1970)
Sojan (linked stories, 1977)
The Ice Schooner (sf, 1969, revised 1977 and 1985)
The Black Corridor (1969)
The Distant Suns (SF, 1975)
Sailing to Utopia (Eternal Champion Series, Vol. 8) (omnibus, 1997)
Gloriana, or the Unfulfill'd Queen: Being a Romance (1978)
The Golden Barge (fantasy, 1979)
The Russian Intelligence (Printer's Devil) (spy novel, 1980)
Byzantium Endures (mainstream historical, Colonel Pyat, 1981)
The Laughter of Carthage (mainstream historical, Colonel Pyat, 1984)
Jerusalem Commands (mainstream historical, Colonel Pyat, 1992)
Blood: A Southern Fantasy (literary SF, Begg Family) (1995)
Fabulous Harbours (literary fantasy linked stories, Begg Family) (1995)
Mother London (mainstream novel about London, 1988)
Casablanca (collection, 1989)
Earl Aubec and Other Stories (collection, 1999)
King of the City (mainstream novel, 2001)

Michael Moorcock has written material for and performed with the band Hawkwind.

Moorcock's Weekly Miscellany
Sweet Despise : Michael Moorcock - Cartographer of the Multiverse
The Elric Saga

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This page was last updated October 15, 2008