The winds of limbo


Well-Known Member
Apr 9, 2013
I'm not a fan of most of the fantasy that's out there. All these Tolkien imitators fill the shelves of every bookstore. I've heard many great things about Moorcock. I know China Mieville's cited him as an influence. I find Mieville's novels very refreshing.

I picked up a used copy of a michael moorcock novel called "The Winds of Limbo". I just want to know if anyone can tell me if it's any good. Also, what would be some other books by him that you'd recommend for me, a guy looking for some good and original fantasy?
Well, certainly Moorcock could never be called a "Tolkien imitator"... in fact, they are about as antipathetic as it is possible to be. On the other hand, if you're a fan of Tolkien, you might not care for Moorcock... or you might. (I, for instance, count both among my four favorite writers. Others certainly enjoy both with great relish as well. But quite often the admirers of one "cordially despise" the other; hence the warning.)

The Winds of Limbo, also published as The Fireclown, was an early sf novel by Moorcock, published shortly following the serial comprised of "The Sundered Worlds" and "The Blood Red Game" and which has been published as a novel under both titles. It's an uneven book, by no means among his best... but nonetheless quite full of wonderful ideas and tableaus, and the Fireclown himself is well worth the time, as he is a decidedly unique character. (He reappears in a much later work, part of the Dancers at the End of Time cycle, which has been published both as a novelette "Pale Fire", and a novel which has gone under the American title A Messiah at the End of Time and the British title The Transformation of Miss Mavis Ming; or, the Return of the Fireclown.) I would say to go for it, but not to judge Moorcock as an whole by it... or, for that matter, by much of anything else he has written, as he is a writer who simply never has stayed in one place or done one type of work.

For his fantasy qua fantasy, you might want to look up a few other things, whether that be the Elric series (which has become quite a set by now; see the threads linked to below); the books of John Daker/Erekose/etc.; or something such as Blood or The War Hound and the World's Pain; or the much more humorous (albeit still with very serious points to make) Dancers at the End of Time set.

The threads I mentioned are these:

or, for a discussion of his work in general:

The bibliography, incidentally, is in serious need of updating, as there have been quite a few items released since I put it together, but unfortunately I've not had the time to update it properly....

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