The world is a funny place right now and, with Hussein experiencing a very difficult bereavement and Tash stuck in Sri Lanka, the BitR schedule is naturally taking a back seat to events.
As a result it will be a wee while before we get back to Jerry Cornelius on the podcast. Hussein was brilliant on the Phase One show and I have no wish to continue on to Phase Two with anyone else but Hussein so it’s on hold.
The more I learn about and see how the current world crisis is unfolding, the more I’m convinced that the Jerry Cornelius stories are as relevant today as when they were written. A few days before the pubs were closed Phil and I were sitting in a Bradford pub called The Corn Dolly with a small handful of locals and listening to them talking of flash mobs fighting over bog roll in Tesco. The landlord was speaking about his holiday, due to commence on Monday, being cancelled due to the destination country closing its borders. Meanwhile I was reading an Italian nurse’s blog on my phone in which she described ‘war-like’ conditions in her hospital and deaths of her colleagues due to ‘the virus’.
If Shaky Mo had come in and tried to sell me some ‘ludes and stolen army gasmasks from an old Derry & Tom’s carrier bag he wouldn’t have seemed out of place.
At times like this I wish I had the talent to do some Jerry Cornelius fan fiction, but I’ll just have to settle for getting something off the shelf for Phil and I to cover. Now we’re under lockdown we’re determined to fill our time with constructive activity lest we murder each other or end up like Steven and Fran in Dawn of the Dead. That would be terrible, particularly as it would mean I’d end up a zombie and Phil would fly off in a helicopter with young Ken Foree.
I’m just not down with that.
So, we are going to set ourselves a target of doing a show every weekend (setting myself up to fail there I’m sure). We have no idea whether this will work but we’re gonna have a go and in the meantime I’m going to figure out remote recording so we can pick up the schedule with Loz, Tash (if she ever gets back home) and hopefully one or two others.
Phil favours covering the first Erekosë novel but I’m going to dig out some other old stuff that Pops gave me to give us another potential switch from Moorcock. There are a few options when I think back on it and I still have a number of those original copies kicking about so we’ll see what we’ll see.
Stay safe out there and we’ll see you on the other side (on the moonbeam roads, obviously).
Loz is back with me at Derry and Tom’s as we dive into Straasha’s ocean depths to prize open the mysteries below and discuss (most of) Book Two of Elric of Melniboné. Elric is full of pith and vinegar for a change and we get a good look at him from a different perspective.
After a degree of arm-twisting and one false start, Hussein finally gets his head into a sci-fi/fantasy book and agrees to tell the tale!
We cover the first Phase of The Final Programme, the introduction of Jerry Cornelius into the world of Michael Moorcock.
Hussein pops a couple of cherries, appearing on his first podcast AND reading his first ever scifi/fantasy novel! He also gets to marvel at the wonders of psychedelic 70s scifi covers. Meanwhile I keep mixing up my Perssons with my Brunners.
Massive thanks to new patrons Matt and Tom, as well of course as existing Chaos Engineers Norman, Fred, Malpertius and David. I’m ruminating on what I can do in terms of patron exclusives. Watch this space.
One of the twitter gang tipped me off a few weeks ago that December 18th is Michael Moorcock’s birthday. It took a while for the penny to drop, but when it did and my brain was penetrated by the copper and grub of ten thousand grasping fingers, I was taken aback for a second.
December 18th is also my brilliant and long-suffering partner Phil’s birthday!
Sweet, sweet synchronicity.
This presented an opportunity to celebrate both birthdays with a special, festive episode recorded in a four poster suite in the ancient 16th century Bagdale Hall Hotel in Whitby, the salt-bitten harboured, red-roofed jewel in Yorkshire’s Crown.
What’s more, some fine friends of the show sent along their messages to MM for inclusion.
So thanks Rob, Michael, Fred, Anthony, Asako Soh, David and The Pastor for your contributions. I’d like to think that in some cycle of existence MM may hear your words and feel the love.
The Pastor went the extra mile and sent a video of his salutation. As I could only keep the audio for the episode, here is his contribution in all its heavenly glory!
Thanks again Pastor!
So, many happy returns of the day to Phil, to Michael Moorcock, to anyone else who shares this day and anyone who just happens to listen to this on their birthday at any point in the future, from Earth 01 to Earth 16 or anywhere in the multiverse!
Finally, my gratitude to new patrons Malpertius and David, who join Fred and Norman in the ranks of Chaos Engineers. I’m always humbled that anyone would offer up their own sheckles to support this podcast. I hope I can repay your confidence.
Anyway, I hear the Song of the Swords. A transition approaches so… I’ll see you on the Moonbeam Roads!