Author: Michael John Moorcock
Michael John Moorcock (born 18 December 1939) is an English writer, primarily of science fiction and fantasy, who has also published literary novels. He is best known for his novels about the character Elric of Melniboné, a seminal influence on the field of fantasy in the 1960s and 1970s.
As editor of the controversial British science fiction magazine New Worlds, from May 1964 until March 1971 and then again from 1976 to 1996, Moorcock fostered the development of the science fiction "New Wave" in the UK and indirectly in the United States. His publication of Bug Jack Barron by Norman Spinrad as a serial novel was notorious; in Parliament some British MPs condemned the Arts Council for funding the magazine.
In 2008, The Times newspaper named Moorcock in their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945"
Moorcock began writing whilst he was still at school, contributing to a magazine he entitled 'Outlaw's Own' from 1950 on.
In 1957 at the age of 17, Moorcock became editor of the Tarzan Adventures where he published at least a dozen of his own Sojan the Swordsman stories during that year and the next. At 19 years of age he also edited Sexton Blake Library (serial pulp fiction featuring Sexton Blake, the poor man's Sherlock Holmes) and returned to late Victorian London for some of his books. Writing ever since, he has produced a huge volume of work. His first story in New Worlds was "Going Home" (1958; with Barrington J. Bayley). "The Sundered Worlds", a 57-page novella published in the November 1962 number of Science Fiction Adventures edited by John Carnell, became his 190-page paperback debut novel three years later, The Sundered Worlds (Compact Books, 1965; in the U.S., Paperback Library, 1966).
Moorcock replaced Carnell as New Worlds editor from the May–June 1964 number. Under his leadership it became central to "New Wave" science fiction. This movement promoted literary style and an existential view of technological change, in contrast to "hard science fiction", which extrapolated on technological change itself. Some "New Wave" stories were not recognisable as traditional science fiction, and New Worlds remained controversial for as long as Moorcock edited it.
During that time, he occasionally wrote as "James Colvin", a "house pseudonym" that was also used by other New Worlds critics. A spoof obituary of Colvin appeared in New Worlds #197 (January 1970), written by Moorcock as "William Barclay". Moorcock makes much use of the initials "JC"; these are also the initials of Jesus Christ, the subject of his 1967 Nebula award-winning novella Behold the Man, which tells the story of Karl Glogauer, a time-traveller who takes on the role of Christ. They are also the initials of various "Eternal Champion" Moorcock characters such as Jerry Cornelius, Jerry Cornell and Jherek Carnelian. In more recent years, Moorcock has taken to using "Warwick Colvin, Jr." as a pseudonym, particularly in his "Second Ether" fiction.
Moorcock talks about much of his writing in Death is No Obstacle by Colin Greenland, which is a book-length transcription of interviews with Moorcock about the structures in his writing.