The Metatemporal Detective

Alternative Worlds

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The Metatemporal Detective
Michael Moorcock
PYR, Nov 2007, $25.00
ISBN: 9781591025962

The eleven tales that make up this fascinating (for fans of the Moorcock multiverse) short story collection are predominately written in the last fifteen years with two of them from 1966 They all obviously involve adventures of The Metatemporal Detective on worlds similar yet dissimilar to ours. Although the hero’s name slightly varies but for the most part he is British Home Office Metatemporal Investigation Department agent Seaton Begg; his prime adversary is Count Zenith the Albino (Elric by any other name?) although Hitler is an opponent/client in “The Case of the Nazi Canary”. His sidekick is MID pathologist Dr. Taffy Sinclair

The satirical entries are fun especially as the skins of politicians better be thick with characters like George Putz, Dicky Shiner and Wolfy Paulowitz (see “The Mystery of the Texas Twister”). However, they are also often difficult to follow with obscure references in a pseudo historical setting on an alternate world. Mr. Moorcock also pays tribute to pulp fiction magazine detective Sexton Blake (never read) and the 1966 tales seem to have served as a prototype for Elric. This is definitely for the Moorcock mob, but not a good entry point for newcomers.
 

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