Elric In the Dream Realms

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  • Edition: Original
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-10-27
  • Publisher: Del Rey
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Kinslayer. Soul reaver. Sorcerer. Thief. And last emperor of a cruel, decadent race. Elric of Melnibone is all of theseand more. His life is sustained by drugs and magicand energy sucked from the victims of his vampiric black sword, Stormbringer, a weapon feared by men and gods alike. Denied the oblivion he seeks, poised between a tragic past he cannot escape and a terrifying future he is doomed to bring about, Elric is a hero like no other. Del Rey is proud to present the fifth installment in its definitive collection featuring the immortal creation of Michael Moorcock, named Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Highlights include an epic novel of Elric's early years, The Fortress of the Pearl; the script of the graphic novel Elric: The Making of a Sorcerer;a previously unpublished proposal for a new series; and Hugo Awardwinning author Neil Gaiman's moving fictional tribute to Elric, the short story "One Life, Furnished in Early Moorcock." Gorgeously illustrated by Michael Wm. Kaluta,Elric: In the Dream Realmsis a dream come true for sword-and-sorcery fans.

Author Biography

Michael John Moorcock (born 1939) is a prolific British writer primarily of science fiction and science fantasy who has also published a number of literary novels. His most popular works by far have been the Elric novels. As editor of the controversial British science fiction magazine New Worlds, Moorcock fostered the development of the New Wave in the UK and indirectly in the U.S. He won the Nebula Award for his novella Behold the Man,which tells the story of a time traveler who takes on the role of Christ. He has also won the World Fantasy Award, the British Fantasy Award, and many others, and in 2008 was named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America.


Book One
Is there a madman with a brain
To turn the stuff of nightmare sane
And demons crush and Chaos tame, Who’ll leave his realm, forsake his bride
And, tossed by contradictory tides,
Give up his pride for pain?
The Chronicle of the Black Sword
Chapter One

A Doomed Lord Dying

It was in lonely Quarzhasaat, destination of many caravans but terminus of few, that Elric, hereditary emperor of Melniboné, last of a bloodline more than ten thousand years old, sometime conjuror of terrible resource, lay ready for death. The drugs and herbs which usually sustained him had been used in the final days of his long journey across the southern edge of the Sighing Desert and he had been able to acquire no replacements for them in this fortress city which was more famous for its treasure than for its sufficiency of life.

The albino prince stretched, slowly and feebly, his bone-coloured fingers to the light and brought to vividness the bloody jewel in the Ring of Kings, the last traditional symbol of his ancient responsibilities; then he let the hand fall. It was as if he had briefly hoped the Actorios would revive him, but the stone was useless while he lacked energy to command its powers. Besides, he had no great desire to summon demons here. His own folly had brought him to Quarzhasaat; he owed her citizens no vengeance. They, indeed, had cause to hate him, had they but known his origins.

Once Quarzhasaat had ruled a land of rivers and lovely valleys, its forests verdant, its plains abundant with crops, but that had been before the casting of certain incautious spells in a war with threatening Melniboné more than two thousand years earlier. Quarzhasaat’s empire had been lost to both sides. It had been engulfed by a vast mass of sand which swept over it like a tide, leaving only the capital and her traditions, which in time became the prime reason for her continuing existence. Because Quarzhasaat had always stood there she must be sustained, her citizens believed, at any cost throughout eternity. Though she had no purpose or function, still her masters felt a heavy obligation to continue her existence by whichever means they found expedient. Fourteen times had armies attempted to cross the Sighing Desert to loot fabulous Quarzhasaat. Fourteen times had the desert itself defeated them.

Meanwhile the city’s chief obsessions (some would say her chief industry) were the elaborate intrigues amongst her rulers. A republic, albeit in name only, and hub of a vast inland empire, albeit entirely covered by sand, Quarzhasaat was ruled by her Council of Seven, whimsically known as The Six and One Other, who controlled the greater part of the city’s wealth and most of her affairs. Certain other potent men and women, who chose not to serve in this Septocracy, wielded considerable influence while displaying none of the trappings of power. One of these, Elric had learned, was Narfis, Baroness of Kuwai’r, who dwelled in a simple yet beautiful villa at the city’s southern extreme and gave most of her attention to her notorious rival, the old Duke Ral, patron of Quarzhasaat’s finest artists, whose own palace on the northern heights was as unostentatious as it was lovely. These two, Elric was told, had elected three members each to the Council, while the seventh, always nameless and simply called the Sexocrat (who ruled the Six), maintained a balance, able to sway any vote one way or the other. The ear of the Sexocrat was most profoundly desired by all the many rivals in the city, even by Baroness Narfis and Duke Ral.

Uninterested in Quarzhasaat’s ornate politics, as he was in his own, Elric’s reason for being here was curiosity and the fact that Quarzhasaat was clearly the only haven in a great wasteland lying north of the nameless mountains dividing the Sighing Desert from the Weeping Waste.

Moving his e

Excerpted from Elric in the Dream Realms by Michael Moorcock
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