Monday, 3 December 2007

The Metatemporal Detective - Michael Moorcock

This collection of shorter works brings together Mike Moorcock’s Seaton Begg stories. The stories come from different periods of Mike’s writing, but cohere wonderfully in what is, essentially, the work of a mature and profound writer having a bit of fun. These romps follow the adventures of Begg (a multiversal Sexton Blake) in his sparring with Zenith the Albino.

Anyone who knows me will also know that I cannot be objective in assessing Mike’s work. I love it. Even those things he dashed off in a few days to help pay the bills and keep ‘New Worlds’ going (and if ever there was a good literary cause, it was that).

So what is there to discuss?


Yup. Sorry Mike, but whoever proofread this book did a lousy job. The only consolation being that it seems to be fairly standard these days. Now, anyone who has prepared a script for publication (either as writer or editor) will tell you it is impossible to catch all the errors. Every book has them. Most of the time, we do not notice them, and when we do we usually glide over them. But when it is a character’s name, or when they pile up; when an author or editor makes a fundamental mistake and it gets repeated throughout a book; then we have every right to wonder if standards have slipped. Or perhaps they have been pushed in order to speed up a process that treats books like beans – pile ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap, get the new stock in, and screw the producer.