Michael Moorcock

Recent Role:

Himself on Prisoners of Gravity


12/18/1939, United Kingdom

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  • Credits
  • Biography
  • Michael was born in London in 1939. At the age of fifteen he became the editor of the Tarzan Adventures Magazine. After he was thrown off the magazine for trying to publish too much text on a comic strip magazine he began selling stories to science fiction and fantasy magazines. It is then that he came up with the concept of the eternal champion, which appeared in many of his novels and of whom the most famous character is Elric. Michael paved the way for modern contemporary fiction by taking the New Worlds Science Fiction magazine and turned it into a 60's alternative culture. In the 80's Michael begin concentrating more on literary work and less on fantasy novels. At a later stage he returned to writing fantasy and produced two more Elric volumes among other writings. Michael is currently married to Linda Steele whom he married in 1983. He was previously married twice. His first wife is Hilary Bailey with whom he has three children. They were married from 1962 to 1978. His second wife was Jill Riches.moreless

    Birth Name:

    Michael John Moorcock



    Birth Place:

    United Kingdom

    Also Known As

    Michael John Moorcock, Michael Moorcock, Michael J.Moorcock

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (10)

    • Michael: (on Tolkien) What I found lacking in Tolkien which I had found in, for instance, the Elder Edda, was a sense of tragedy, of reality, of mankind's impermanence. Tolkien really did set out to write a fairy tale and in my view that's exactly what he did, provide a perfect escape plan, which had the added attractions of having been written by an Oxford don. I knew and liked Tolkien who in a bufferish sort of way was very kind to me and encouraging. I looked forward to those books coming out. I was deeply disappointed by their lack of weight and their lack of ambitious language. They are about as likely to last as "the book of the century" as Ouida, Hall Caine or Marie Corelli, all of whom were judged the greatest writers of their day by a contemporary audience. Thomas Hardy hardly got a mention and well into the twenties people were still wondering if George Eliot was going to last. You can just hope nobody puts a curse like that on your own work! Tolkien has the right elements of snobbery and escapism to make it a huge success. John Buchan for teenagers. A compendium of disguised bigotry and English high church snobbery. I hate it for exactly those qualities which made it so popular. It's a lullaby. Not sure we need lullabies at the moment. Unless we're all just going to give up, go to sleep and wake up dead. I really do feel contempt for Tolkien and a certain disgust for those adults who voted him writer of the century. This has nothing to do with why I decided to be a writer.

    • Michael (when asked if he has a less less chaotic side to him) I've brought up three kids, aAnd I think I did it fairly responsibly. But I suppose I was indulging Chaos and Law in my life at the same time really. One day I'd be climbing out of my car onto the roof while it was going along the road, cause I felt like a breath of air (I wasn't driving by the way!); next day, I'd be making sure I got the kids to school. There's never been much division between the two sides of me. I just decided when I was very young, that I was not going to let the world frighten me into a corner. And yet at the same time I had the perfectly ordinary desire to live a perfectly ordinary life. I think there's a lot to be said for that normal life, but personally, I've never lived a particularly cautious life. It's not possible, I'd get bored to quickly. Yet at the same time I think I've lived a fairly sensible life, when required. I haven't been perfect by any means, I've been pretty imperfect really, but I've done my best. I've always managed to pay my mortgage and that sort of thing while living a financially reckless life. But if you've got a facility, as I have, for writing pretty fast, you can usually catch up on yourself if things start to go very bad. I'm just not a person who's going to avoid experience, but at the same time, I don't want anyone to get harmed by me making those sort of explorations. All through my fantasy novels you've got the constant searching for equilibrium until the Eternal Champion becomes fundamentally a champion not for Law or Chaos, but a champion of Equilibrium, of both. That's something that has developed as my own ordinary human wisdom has developed.

    • Michael: (on his childhood) I was playing guitar in a whorehouse at the age of 15 not because I was that good on the guitar or that sexy, but because I got on well with the girls and they liked me. I was a sort of mascot. Sex, drugs and rock and roll have, as it were, never been something I had to yearn for. I had probably enjoyed most of life's sweetest pleasures for quite a lot of the time by the age of 22 when I got married and settled down. I have been invited in to the English Literature world, too, but haven't been very comfortable in their churches.

    • Michael: (when asked if he'd ever write a straight autobiography?) Probably not - I did an interview for a book in which I gave my account of certain events involving a very old friend. His memory of the events was different. Almost lost the friendship. So I'd rather keep my friends and let the bits of autobiography pop up here and there, as they occur. I don't really care if my version is the 'true' one or not. It means in some ways that you have no say in the public story about you and your friends and so on, but none of that much matters in the end. By now I am at least 50 percent fiction in terms of public perception of my life. Anything I say about it becomes almost a contradiction!

    • Michael: (on chances of seeing an Elric film in the near future) Well, I get several offers a year. So far nobody has been able to guarantee me enough quality control, so I'll wait until they get cheaper to make and I don't have to worry about spending someone else's £20 million or whatever. Otherwise I've never needed the money enough to let Elric become just another bad fantasy movie. Nowadays, too, there are lots of Tolkien clones for filmmakers to buy and you know how they prefer to do exactly what they did before, The Lord Of The Rings and Star Wars have very similar plots and cop-outs, giving them common denominators, which I might prefer not to work with.

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    Trivia (10)

    • Michael appreciates comments and questions from his fans. He frequently answers questions posted by fans and by journalists on his official website in the Q&A sections.

    • Michael Moorcocks, first wife is British author and editor, Hilary Bailey.

    • Michael is member of the following associations: 1. Authors Guild. 2. Fawcett Society. 3. National Socialist Party for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (council member). 4. Royal Overseas League. 5. SPLC (leadership council). 6. Shelter.

    • Michael won the following awards: 1. The British Fantasy Award - multiple winnder. 2. The World Fantasy Award for his novel Gloriana. 3. The John W. Campbell Memorial Award for his novel Gloriana. 4. The Nebula Award, for his novella Behold the Man. 5. The Derleth Award for fantasy. 6. The for Guardian Fiction for The Condition of Muzak.

    • Michael's favorite top 10 SF books are: Greybeard by Brian W Aldiss, The Drowned World by JG Ballard, The Knights of the Limits by Barrington Bayley, 334 by Thomas M Disch, The Female Man by Joanna Russ, Tiger! Tiger! by Alfred Bester, The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick, The Space Merchants by Frederich Pohl, Roderick at Random by John Sladek and The Exploits of Engelbrecht by Maurice Richardson.

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