The Whis­per­ing Sw arm Go­ing Home

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

Iele­ments drawn di­rectly from the au­thor’s own early life in Lon­don, but Michael Moor­cock’s new book, The Whis­per­ing Swarm, isn’t an au­to­bi­og­ra­phy. Rather, Moor­cock tells Red Alert, it’s both a “mix of true fic­tion and fic­ti­tious truth”, the first part of a tril­ogy and a book planned to be “dif­fi­cult tech­ni­cally” as a way to keep its ever- rest­less cre­ator from get­ting bored.

“The se­quence is about the na­ture of per­cep­tion, I sup­pose,” he says. “About fan­tasy and my own life. About self- de­cep­tion and ego. Tak­ing dis­parate gen­res and see­ing what can be made to work from them – or not!”

For all that sec­tions of the book take place in a fan­tas­tic realm, the sanc­tu­ary of Al­sa­cia, it’s a book steeped in the sto­ries that swirl around Lon­don. It’s tempt­ing to think it’s no co­in­ci­dence that, hav­ing lived as an émi­gré in Texas and Paris in re­cent years, Moor­cock is con­sid­er­ing re­turn­ing home.

“These are the years of look­ing back and tak­ing as­sess­ment,” says a man who turned 75 last year. “I very much want to have a home in Eng­land again.”

Ahead of any move, which may or may not hap­pen, Moor­cock con­tin­ues to be far busier than the long gap be­tween his last orig­i­nal novel, the fi­nal of­fer­ing in the Pyat se­quence ( The Vengeance Of Rome, 2006), and the new book sug­gests. For a start, he’s work­ing on two se­quels to The Whis­per­ing Swarm. “The next part has a dif­fer­ent bi­og­ra­phy – which is true? – and will be very ex­otic,” Moor­cock says. Ex­pect it to be set partly in Paris and the Maghreb. The third vol­ume will again be set largely in Lon­don.

He’s also been busy work­ing on a new al­bum, Live From The Ter­mi­nal Café, with his friend Martin Stone, a near- leg­endary “bookscout” whose mu­si­cal CV in­cludes a stint in cult 1960s band The Ac­tion. (“Peo­ple like it so far.”) El­ric has been op­tioned for TV; there have been var­i­ous comics projects, in­clud­ing a forth­com­ing “graphic novel about Rasputin and a she- bear with [ French il­lus­tra­tor] Robin Recht”; he’s happy that Gol­lancz is reis­su­ing so many of his nov­els in a uni­form edi­tion.

Taken to­gether, Moor­cock says, this ac­tiv­ity feels like it con­sti­tutes “a new phase” in his odyssey. “I did say that when I got to 65 I’d re­tire,” he dead­pans. “I didn’t mean that, of course, but I have been try­ing to di­ver­sify a bit.” The Whis­per­ing Swarm: Book One Of The Sanc­tu­ary Of The White Fri­ars is pub­lished on Thurs­day 16 July.

sci- fact!

Do­min­ion sea­son two starts on 15 July on Syfy.

“Do your wood­land walks al­ways in­volve heavy weaponry?”

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