My problem with Moorcock’s work has always been how interlinked it is. It doesn’t matter how much anyone tells me that x or y book doesn’t require knowing the rest of Moorcock’s canon, I’m compulsive that way and I want to know everything. From the start. So I’m glad to see these definitive Gollancz editions are author approved and fairly exhaustive in what they cover. I don’t think anything in here was covered by the omnibus I had before (and have read), which was nonetheless marked I. That drives me crackers.
And… I know it was a long time ago I made that attempt on Elric, but I think I liked this better. It establishes Melniboné beautifully, it shows us Elric’s first encounters with Stormbringer, his rule of Melniboné, his enemies and allies, his first pacts with Chaos. It’s a little awkward reading the comic book script, but fun, too — you get much franker comments about how Moorcock wanted Elric to look, and you can get an idea about the layout of pages, etc. It’s like reading a hybrid form.
I love the language Moorcock uses, the decadence and ruin and rot and dark beauties he lays bare. The magical world he creates. I’m looking forward to reading more of Elric. Also, his commentary on the genre which is included is excellent and worth reading.