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The Whispering Swarm by Michael Moorcock

The Whispering Swarm

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The long-awaited first volume in a new series by Britain's master of fantasy is a strange beast indeed. Strongly autobiographical and a hall of mirrors reflecting Moorcock's own life and literary circles, it is also the tale of an apocryphal area of London, the Alsacia with at its heart a medieval Carmelite monastery, where time runs differently and characters from various periods of history as well as from the realms of popular fiction, coexist in in an unstable equilibrium, into which a callow tyro writer and journalist called Michael Moorcock ventures. Highwaymen, musketeers, roundheads, swordsmen and women, the cosmic balance between chaos and equilibrium: all Moorcock's idiosyncratic obsessions merge in a thrilling stew which blends pure adventure, myth and existential questioning. Where the next volume will take us is anyone's guess but, in the meantime, this is something quite unique. ~ Maxim Jakubowski

If you like Michael Moorcock you might also like to read books by Richard Matheson, Mark Hodder and Christopher Priest.


The Whispering Swarm by Michael Moorcock

With his first full novel in almost ten years (not counting his Doctor Who book), Michael Moorcock - the most influential figure in modern fantasy and science fiction - returns to the city of his birth. London has always been a central character in Moorcock's work, from the high-literary fiction of MOTHER LONDON to the roof gardens of Jerry Cornelius. Now return to London just after the war, a city desperately trying to get back on its feet. And one young boy, Michael Moorcock, who is about to discover a world of magic and wonder. Between his first tentative approaches to adulthood - a job on Fleet Street, the first stirrings of his interest in writing - and a chance encounter with a mysterious Carmelite Friar, we see a version of Moorcock's life that is simultaneously a biography and a story. Mixing elements of his real life with his adventures in a parallel London peopled with highwaywomen, musketeers and magicians, this is Moorcock at his dazzling, mercurial best.


The resulting tale is enough to make you wish all writers would garland their memoirs with highway men and cavaliers and roundheads * The Observer * Odd and compelling, rambling and intense, Moorcock guides us through the byways of his extraordinary mind and explores the sources of his fiction * The Daily Mail * merging autobiography and fantasy may not appeal to everyone...but I think it comes off because so much of a writer's life is conducted in his head and in books - his own, and other peoples...the whispering swarm is the contact internal murmuring made from books which demand to be made * The Sunday Telegraph * a discursive book, with as many meditations of marriage, metaphysics, religion and science as there are rollicking sword fights * The Guardian * [in THE WHISPERING SWARM] the capital becomes a character, much as it did in Moorcock's 1988 masterpiece MOTHER LONDON * The Financial Times * Beautifully written and wonderfully descriptive * Sci-Fi Now * inexhaustibly inventive...welcome back Michael * The Spectator * Whispering Swarm is fantastically entertaining...Welcome back Mr Moorcock; nobody else quite has your style * SFX * Fizzes with idea and layers of meaning that transcend the comic-book plot. Bring on part two * The Times * displaying as it does the full spectrum of Moorcock's idiosyncratic qualities...fusing the literary approach of MOTHER LONDON with the generic fun of his earlier work * Literary Review *

About the Author

Michael Moorcock is one of the most important figures in British SF and Fantasy literature. The author of many literary novels and stories in practically every genre, his novels have won and been shortlisted for numerous awards including the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Whitbread and Guardian Fiction Prize. In 1999, he was given the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award; in 2001, he was inducted into the SF Hall of Fame; and in 2007, he was named a SFW A Grandmaster. Michael Moorcock is also a musician who has performed since the seventies with his own band, the Deep Fix; and, as a member of the prog rock band, Hawkw ind, won a gold disc. His tenure as editor of New Worlds magazine in the sixties and seventies is seen as the high w atermark of SF editorship in the UK, and was crucial in the development of the SF New Wave. Michael Moorcock's literary creations include Hawkmoon, Corum, Von Bek, Jerry Cornelius and, of course, his most famous character, Elric. He has been compared to, among others, Balzac, Dumas, Dickens, James Joyce, Ian Fleming, J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert E. How ard. Although born in London, he now splits his time between homes in Texas and Paris.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th July 2015


Michael Moorcock

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Gollancz an imprint of Orion Publishing Co


480 pages


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