Michael Moorcock

A Guide to Michael Moorcock's short fiction

Michael Moorcock's short fiction output has been as voluminous as that of his longer fiction, countless stories have been collected in countless different collections; many overlapping in their contents. Not only that, but Moorcock is a constant revisionist, and more often than not a reprint of a tale is at least partially revised. Most of the time these are minor revisions, but occasionally they are more substantive.

So that begs the question: How do you get hold of it all? This guide will not be for the true completist (even though I am one) in that it won't cover all the publications of a story. It is for those who want to get at least one copy of each with minimum overlapping.

The short story bibliography may already have made collecting Moorcock's short output look a daunting task, though in reality it is not quite as bad as it seems. Much of it has recently become available in mass market editions. Though there are still a hardcore group of rare stories which only appear in their original guises.

To begin with I'll break it down into a few distinct parts, though as it is Moorcock's work there are bound to be a few overlaps. The alternate titles of works will be given in square brackets.

The Eternal Champion

Moorcock's most famous creation is the Eternal Champion, a character whose various incarnations take the central role in a series of sword and sorcery stories. The Champion's fate is to always try and strike the balance between Law and Chaos, two opposing and equally powerful forces which are neither good nor evil. The aliegance of the Champion can be with either side, but ultimately it is always the balance.


The most famous of these is Elric, an albino sorceror and sometime servant of Chaos. The stories themselves are often dark as the doom laden Elric moves towards his climatic fate. The Elric short stories can be narrowed down to these:

Over the years these stories have been partially revised to attempt to bring them into a coherant whole, with the occasional new story thrown into the equation.

The stories The Dreaming City, While the Gods Laugh, and The Singing Citadel were collected in The Weird of the White Wolf.

The stories The Stealer of Souls, Kings in Darkness, and The Flamebringers were collected in The Bane of the Black Sword.

The stories The Jade Man's Eyes and The Land Beyond the Worlds are incorporated into the novel The Sailor on the Seas of Fate. Though The Land Beyond the Worlds wasn't released until after the novel as an extract.

The stories Dead God's Homecoming, Black Sword's Brothers, Sad Giant's Shield and Doomed Lord's Passing were all combined and became the novel Stormbringer.

All of the above stories are collected in two Millenium volumes Elric of Melnibone and Stormbringer (not to be confused with the novels of the same name!). These volumes order them chronologically, along with all the Elric novels which make up the series. The first has a counterpart published by White Wolf called Elric : The Song of the Black Sword, a second is forthcoming.

The Sleeping Sorceress is a novella length version of the novel of the same name, collected in Warlocks and Warriors edited by Douglas Hill.

The Last Enchantment was a forgotten Elric story written before Stormbringer, it was recently collected in Earl Aubec under the title Jesting With Chaos.

Elric at the End of Time was a satire on the Elric series, featuring characters from Moorcock's End of Time novels, and is generally collected seperately. Its most recent appearance was in Millenium's collection Tales from the End of Time.

The story The White Wolf's Song appears in the White Wolf collection Elric : Tales of the White Wolf. It also appears as part of Fabulous Harbours, a collection of short stories with linking passages, as Black Blade's Summoning.

A more recent incarnation of Elric, set in a contemporary setting is Zenith the Albino, based on the old Sexton Blake adversary of the same name. More on him later.

Jerry Cornelius

Michael Moorcock's twentieth century messiah figure: Jerry Cornelius, and assorted characters from the novels have appeared in many of Moorcock's short stories:

The stories Further Information, Phase Three and Preliminary Data were all extracts from The Final Programme.

The stories The Kassandra Peninsula and The Minstrel Girl were all extracts from The Entropy Tango.

Some Episodes in the Great War was incorporated into The Adventures of Una Persson and Catherine Cornelius in the Twentieth Century.

Pride of the Empire [Chronology / Appendix 1] was collected in The Nature of the Catastrophe.

The stories The Peking Junction, The Dehli Division, The Tank Trapeze, The Nature of the Catastrophe, The Swastika Set-Up, The Sunset Perspective, Sea Wolves, Voortrekker, All the Dead Singers, The Longford Cup, The Entropy Circuit were collected in The Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius.

The stories The Murderer's Song, The Gangrene Collection, and The Roumanian Question are collected in Millenium's The New Nature of the Catastrophe along with the contents of The Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius.

A Dead Singer was a short story featuring Shakey Mo Collier, about Jimi Hendrix coming back from the dead, this was also collected in The New Nature of the Catastrophe.

The Enigma Windows is a recent Cornelius tale that appears in Fabulous Harbours. It has also recently been added to the mass market paperback edition of The New Nature of the Catastrophe published by Orion under the title All the Way Round Again.

The Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle was a novelisation of the Sex Pistols film of the same name, and was revised as Gold Diggers of '77 for the Casablanca collection. It is also collected in A Cornelius Calendar along with The Alchemist's Question and The Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius.

The Spencer Inheritance is a brilliant satire set in a britain torn apart by the aftermath of Princess Diana's death, with various factions warring in the streets. It appears in The Edge, June 1998 (online extract).

Cheering for the Rockets is the most recent Jerry Cornelius story, it appears in the November 1998 issue of Interzone.

The End of Time

These stories form part of a brilliant fantasy comedy romance, set amongst a group of amoral characters living with god-like powers at the End of Time. They consist of:

Ancient Shadows, Constant Fire, Elric at the End of Time, Pale Roses, The Children of the Pit, White Stars

Ancient Shadows, Constant Fire, Elric at the End of Time, Pale Roses and White Stars appear in the Millenium collection Legends from the End of Time. Elric at the End of Time is however missing its final line in this incarnation, something not corrected until the recent Orion mass market edition. The earlier Legends from the End of Time (published by both Ace and Star) is missing the Elric tale and Constant Fire.

Constant Fire is a bit of an oddity as it was misprinted. It is supposed to be the first chapter of the novel known as either The Transformation of Miss Mavis Ming, A Messiah at the End of Time or Constant Fire (it's more recent title). The full version was collected in Behold the Man and Other Stories as well as the Orion mass market paperback edition of Legends from the End of Time which corrects the misprint.

The Children of the Pit is a excerpt from The Hollow Lands.

Other Incarnations

The Eternal Champion has had many incarnations which Moorcock has occasionally explored with individual tales, these include:

The Deep Fix is a bizarre and quite surreal tale of drug experimentation, it was collected in The Time Dweller.

The Golden Barge is a shorter version of the novel of the same name, describing a young man's journey after an illusive Barge; an early Mervyn Peake pastiche which was collected in The Time Dweller.

The Time Dweller and Escape from Evening are two connected tales collected in The Time Dweller, along with The Pleasure Garden of Felipe Sagittarius (later revised to become a Von Bek tale).

The short stories The Greater Conqueror and Master of Chaos were collected in Earl Aubec along with the contents of The Time Dweller.

...To Rescue Tanelorn, a short story about an assault on Tanelorn by Chaos, was also collected in Earl Aubec.

The Eternal Champion is the original novella which was expanded to novel length, its most recent publication was in The Time Centre Times.

Behold the Man is the original Nebula award winning novella, it was recently issued in a thirtieth anniversary edition by Mojo Press, entitled Behold the Man (naturally enough), and is also collected in the Phoenix House collection Behold the Man and Other Stories.

The Von Beks, Beggs, and Becks

The Von Bek family have appeared in many of Moorcock's tales. Several tales have recently been revised so they do feature members of the Von Bek family. They are the guardians of the Holy Grail and it will always appear to one of their number. The family motto is "Do the Devil's Work". Begg and Beck are later vulgarisms of the original german Von Bek name.

The stories have widened to include a selection of characters including Sexton Begg and Zenith the Albino, a master detective and his ancient adversary; Jack Karaquazian, Colinda Devero, Sam Oakenhurst and The Rose; amongst others.

The tales include:

The Pleasure Garden of Felipe Sagittarius, a story about an alternate Hitler being a Police Chief in Berlin, which was revised to become a Von Bek tale, and Flux, are collected in Von Bek, published by Millenium.

A Winter Admiral, Dead Singers (a revision of A Dead Singer), Wheel of Fortune and Lunching With the Antichrist, are all collected in the Mark Zeising books collection Lunching With the Antichrist.

An Apocalypse : Some Scenes from European Life is an extract from Breakfast in the Ruins.

Lunching with the Antichrist, No Ordinary Christian, Some Fragments Found in the Effects of Sam Oakenhurst, The Affair of the Seven Virgins, The Girl Who Killed Sylvia Blade, The White Pirate and The Retirement of Jack Karaquazian are all collected in Fabulous Harbours.

The Ghost Warriors, a metaphysical sword and sorcery detective western appears in Tales of the Texas Woods.

Zenith the Albino appears in several tales: Crimson Eyes and The Affair of the Seven Virgins and The Girl Who Killed Sylvia Blade, all appear in Fabulous Harbours, and Sir Milk and Blood which appears in the White Wolf anthology Pawn of Chaos and the Mojo Press collection Tales from the Texas Woods.

The Brothel in Rosenstrasse is an excerpt from the novel of the same name.

The Early Work


Sojan was a hero in the vein of John Carter from Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars novels. Moorcock wrote many Sojan stories during his editorship at Tarzan Adventures:

These were all episodes in the Sojan series, which were grouped together as follows in Sojan published in 1977 by Savoy: Sojan the Swordsman [Sojan the Swordsman / Mission to Asno]; Sojan, Swordsman of Zylor [Revolt in Hatnor / The Hoards Attack]; Sojan and the Sea of Demons [The Purple Galley / The Sea Wolves / Sojan at Sea / The Sea of Demons / Prisoners in Stone]; Sojan and the Plain of Mystery; Sojan and the Sons of the Snake-God; Sojan and the Devil Hunters of Norj; Klan the Spoilor; Dek of Noothar [Dek of Noothar; The Seige of Noothar]; Rens Karto of Barsnol

Daughter of a Warrior King, Mission to Asno, Revolt in Hatnor, The Hoardes Attack, The Purple Galley, The Sea Wolves!, Sojan at Sea, The Sea of Demons, Prisoners in Stone, Sojan and the Plain of Mystery, The Sons of the Snake-God, Sojan and the Hunters of Norj are all collected into a single novella, Sojan the Swordsman in Elric at the End of Time.


Michael Moorcock has written many other tales which are outside the main elements of his various interlocking mythologies, though they often have some connection. These include:

Consuming Passion, The Lovebeast, The Ruins and Wolf are collected in The Time Dweller.

Environment Problem an amusing story about a demon giving a man an advance glimpse of Hell, was collected in Space 1, an anthology edited by Richard Davis .

Going Home, "Goodbye, Miranda", Not By Mind Alone, Peace on Earth were all published in short fiction magazines during the 50's and 60's.

Mars a story set on the red planet was published in Other Edens.

The Frozen Cardinal is a strange story about a Cardinal found frozen in a block of ice on the top of a mountain, it was published in Other Edens 2.

My Life, An Unfinished Memoir was a supposed to be a story based upon a sexual first encounter for a themed collection You Always Remember the First Time, and the story he wrote was a lie, "written on the assumption that, since all the other contributors were probably going to lie, I may as well make mine a big one.", a story of slavery in India.

The Real Life Mr. Newman was a novella published by a small press in 1966.

The Stone Thing is a humorous short fantasy story, published in Elric at the End of Time, and more recently in The Flying Sorcerors, an anthology of humourous fantastic fiction edited by Peter Haining.

Waiting for the End of Time is a piss-take of the Eternal Champion stories, appeared in Vision of Tomorrow.

Casablanca, Going to Canada, Leaving Pasadena and Crossing into Cambodia form a short story sequence called Some Reminiscenes of the Third World War collected in Earl Aubec a Millenium collection, along with all the above mentioned stories.

Checkmate, Matthew and Mars and Professor Merit's Monster are as far as I know unavailable apart from their original publications in Tarzan Adventures, 1957/58.

The Dark Rider is a short story published in Eldritch Dreamquest, 1960.

Fragment, John Creasey's Old Stand, The Ball, The Failure, The Prodigy and Three Men of Affairs are from a Michael Moorcock published fanzine from 1962 called Ergo Ego which was recently reprinted by Nomads, the Michael Moorcock Appreciation Society.

The Specimens and Time Drop were both published in Boy's World Annual, 1964 and 1965 respectively.

The Nemedians is the part of a round robin continuation of a Robert E. Howard story, originally published in Fantasy Crossroads Magazine, Necronomicon Press have released it as part of the Round-Robin novel Ghor Kin-Slayer.

Feu Pierrot appeared in New Worlds, 1978.

John Dee's Song and Pierrot on the Moon were poems collected in Back Brain Recluse #7.

For Thomas Tompion was a poem collected in the anthology The New SF.

'Mad Bomber' Slain in Anaheim, Paperback Book Editor Murdered in Elevator and The Flight from Singapore are short "news items" from New Worlds, September 1979.

Gloriana is a fragment from the novel of the same name.

The Cairene Purse is an excellent story of Alien Abduction collected in Zenith 2, Lunching With the Antichrist and Best New SF 5.

The Dying Castles was a collaboration with Samuel R. Delany & James Sallis, published in New Worlds in 1970, a vignette consisting of the Michael Moorcock section was published in Sojan.

The Girl Who Shot Sultry Kane appeared in Golden Nuggett, 1966. I have a feeling this may be the original title for The Girl Who Killed Sylvia Blade but have no firm information.

The Adventure of the Texan's Honour (The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes) and Johnny Lonesome Comes to Town a western tale which originally appeared in 1956 are collected in Tales of the Texas Woods.

London Bone is a tale about a dealer in London whose found a unique new commodity, it is collected in New Worlds, the latest edition of the long running series, released by White Wolf.

Doves in the Circle is an excellent contemporary story set in a park in New York with its own unique history, built around a set of characters with a complex set of interrelationships and a series of mysteries. It appears in the anthology The Time Out Book of New York Short Stories edited by Nicholas Royle.

London Twist is an extract from his forthcoming novel King of the City and appears in The Edge, March 1999.

Furniture is a yet to be published story set in London about a woman whose life is saved twice by antique furniture. It was read for A Book at Bedtime on Radio 4 in the UK.


Still confused? Well here's a list of the books you'll need if you want to collect all Moorcock's short fiction output (I have gone for the most recent publications rather than the originals):

The following contain more obscure sources contain stories not (to my knowledge) reprinted in anthologies:

The following novels are those that incorporate short fiction fragments from elsewhere:


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(C) Ian Davey 1997-2002, sweetdespise@eclipse.co.uk