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Moorcock, Michael
(reprint) omnibus: 1994
cvr art:
cvr price:
White Wolf
(Tall) Hardcover
Tom Canty
Book= Fine
Dustjacket= Fine

White Wolf: "first hardcover edition September 1994" (copyright is 1994; the British variant with the same title explained in the summary was 1992.) Oddly, the credits page is before the title page: 2 pages by pagecount - instead of the usual arrangement where the credits page is on the back of the title page. Cover by Tom Canty (he also has a frontispiece for each book and the trailing story), 484 pages, price (at bottom of back cover) is $19.99. Size is 6-1/4" by 9-1/4" by 1-5/8" thick. Condition is Fine in a Fine dustjacket: tight and square; corners and spine ends are not bumped; age tanning is mild and uniform. Unclipped DJ has no tears or wear. No stamps, marks or writing - a very clean copy that looks new/unread.

A fine White Wolf hardcover by Michael Moorcock: The Eternal Champion - an omnibus of the first 2 novels featuring John Daker ("Eternal Champion" series), his first novel (the fix-up The Sundered Worlds), and one short story ("To Rescue Tanelorn.")

In the Nineties, there were 2 ongoing projects to comprehensively collect Moorcock's work in hardcover omnibus edtions. In England the publisher was Orion/Millenium, and in the U.S.A. the publisher was White Wolf. This book is Volume One of the American (White Wolf) set. The order of the books within either omnibus-set was not always the same, and sometimes similar or same-title omnibus editions had variant contents. Either series would be a good way to have Moorcock's output, but I would be very careful about mixing publishers to avoid duplication or ommisions. For example, the 1992 (British) Millenium edition of this book (same title) had just the first 2 novels plus The Dragon in the Sword. In the American series, that 3rd "John Daker" book appears in Von Bek (which adds that title to the 2 novels in the British variant of that title, from 1992.)

These 3 books are among the first where Moorcock explored the idea of the Ghost Worlds or Multiverse (different versions of Earth where characters could have analogues or even cross over.) Moorcock is one of those authors who continually update or revise their work over time, and in his introduction he says The Eternal Champion had been revised 3 times. He mentions the 1962 novella version, the 1978 revised U.S. edition of 1978, and a final tweaking for the 1992 British omnibus series (from Orion/Millenium.) He doesn't mention the first book appearance - the 1970 American paperback from Dell, which is much longer than the Science Fantasy version. [Perhaps they made some of those unauthorised edits and/or title changes that prompted Moorcock to come out in the mid-Seventies with revised/corrected/authorised versions of many of his books from the late Sixties or early Seventies.] I read the available/original versions when they came out 30 years ago, and when I compared text to these editions, found only minor changes - like the addition of new characters that Moorcock has written about - to lists of names, minor name changes, or revising the name of the main character of The Sundered Worlds from just plain "Jon Renark" (former Warden of the Rim Worlds) - to "Renark von Bek, Count of the Rim" (thus establishing a clear link to a character he created later.) Plot summaries or teasers may come from early paperback editions, since I don't remember details, and the flap-copy lacks plot details.

The Eternal Champion: first of the "John Daker, Eternal Champion" books. The dreams of John Daker were haunted by strange voices, strange images, and a hypnotic plea. "Only you, Erekosė, can accomplish our mission," cried the voice in his dream. "Our very Earth is threatened. You will be Humanity's fire!" There was a half-human enemy in his dreams that was determined to destroy all of Humanity. Names and places unknown to his 20th-Century world became suddenly familiar. Then Daker heard the voice of Erekosė, and it was now his voice. "I will destroy these Hounds of Evil! With the magic Sword of Kanajana which only I can weild I will ride upon the sorcerers with vengeance in my heart." But another voice within him howled in misery. Who was he? What was he? Why had he been chosen? The voice within began to scream. He was no longer John Daker. He was Erekosė...

The Sundered Worlds: Moorcock's first SF book (the first of 5 to appear from Compact Books in Britain in 1965.) This is a fix-up, revised from novellas in the British magazine Science Fiction Adventures: "The Sundered Worlds" (November-December 1962), and "The Blood Red Game" (May 1963.) There have been book edtions with either title.

Phoenix in Obsidian: 2nd of the "Eternal Champion" books featuring John Daker, using the title Moorcock preferred after over the one used on the original American paperback appearance in 1970 (as The Silver Warriors.) While the first book was an interesting inversion of the summoned hero tale, this one is a little more straightforward - and I liked it a lot better, ranking it among Moorcock's best.
Here's the teaser from the back cover of [the first] paperback edition:
In every age, in every world, when peril cast its fearsome shadow over mankind, he was called. Always his weapon waited - Stormbringer, Durandal - the Black Sword in its many forms. Now, in a world of ice beneath a fading sun he fights the decay of hopelessness - and the invincible Silver Warriors. Now, as Count Urlik Skarsol, he faces the direst challenge of his career - to save a dying world! But he cannot take up the Black Sword...
...the first page blurb/quote:
I could not speak. I attached the great scabbard to my belt and the Black Sword at my side at an angle. Then I said: "You all wished me to arouse the blade and use it. Now, I think, we begin to understand the consequences. The Black Sword must be fed. It will feed on friends if it cannot feed on enemies..."

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