Read The Dancers at the End of Time by Michael Moorcock Online


Enter a decaying far, far future society, a time when anything and everything is possible, where words like 'conscience' and 'morality' are meaningless, and where heartfelt love blossoms mysteriously between Mrs Amelia Underwood, an unwilling time traveller, and Jherek Carnelian, a bemused denizen of the End of Time.The Dancers at the End of Time, containing the novels AnEnter a decaying far, far future society, a time when anything and everything is possible, where words like 'conscience' and 'morality' are meaningless, and where heartfelt love blossoms mysteriously between Mrs Amelia Underwood, an unwilling time traveller, and Jherek Carnelian, a bemused denizen of the End of Time.The Dancers at the End of Time, containing the novels An Alien Heat, The Hollow Lands and The End of All Songs, is a brilliant homage to the 1890s of Wilde, Beardsley and the fin de siècle decadents, satire at its sharpest and most colourful....

Title : The Dancers at the End of Time
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ISBN : 9780575074767
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 672 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Dancers at the End of Time Reviews

  • Apatt
    2019-01-21 02:35

    "In short," said the alien, trying to make himself heard above a rising babble, "my people have reached the inescapable conclusion that we are living at what you might call the End of Time. The universe is about to undergo a reformation of such massive proportions that not an atom of it will remain the same. All life will, effectively, die. All suns and planets will be destroyed as the universe ends one cycle and begins another. We are doomed, fellow intelligences. We are doomed." Jherek yawned. He wished the alien would get to the point.The above passage encapsulates The Dancers at the End of Time quite nicely. In the extremely far future—you can’t get much further than the end of time—it is already generally known that the end of the universe is imminent. Nobody seems to know exactly how imminent but then nobody really cares. In this very far future—so far nobody bothers to number the years anymore—technology has advanced to a level literally indistinguishable from magic (thereby validating Clarke’s famous third law*). Every denizen of this sparsely populated future Earth has “power rings” which can create, conjure and basically just do anything imaginable. Nobody knows the scientific principle behind these rings anymore, “they just work”. With such great power comes no responsibility at all. The people of this world are generally entirely decadent, vapid, and have no conception of morality. Life can be enjoyed to the max, the only snag is that they don’t have a lot of time left. The Dancers at the End of Time is the name ofMichael Moorcock’s trilogy and also the name of this omnibus volume being reviewed. I have already described the cool setting, but it would not be much of a book without a plot. The first volume, An Alien Heat introduces us to the protagonist Jherek Carnelian who is something of a trendsetter in the decadent society. It occurs to him that falling in love may be cool, and sets off to pursue an involuntary time traveling lady from 1896, Mrs. Amelia Underwood. Much to his astonishment his fun affectation turns into something real. Just when he is about to experience true love, Mrs. Underwood is snatched away and returned to 1896. Jherek pursues in a time machine, and when he lands in Victorian England—a time he knows nothing about—much hilarity ensues. An Alien Heat is the fastest paced and funniest volume of the trilogy. The humour comes from Jherek’s complete ignorance of Victorian culture, money, crime, imprisonment etc. The second volume The Hollow Lands continues Jherek’s attempt to “reclaim” Mrs. Underwood from the Victorian era, and her husband! This book also features a malfunctioning robot nurse and malevolent horny aliens. The final volume The End of All Songs has a somewhat darker tone, and an apocalyptic climax when the much-vaunted end of time actually arrives, and the end of timers find it not to their liking. The styling of the first volume, An Alien Heat, reminds me a little bit of the greatJonathan Strange & Mr Norrell but by the third volume it has already morphed into somethingDouglas Adams orTerry Pratchett may have written. I had a blast reading The Dancers at the End of Time (S.F. Masterworks edition). It is wild, anarchic and often hilarious. I love the writing, the faux-Victorian dialog, the stupid aliens with their crappy translation devices, and – most of all – the wacky characters. Jherek Carnelian is very likable, his clueless adventures in Victorian times is a highlight. The love of his life, Mrs. Amelia Underwood from Bromley, is wonderfully nuanced, complex, competent and very believable. There are also myriad other very colorful characters who I won’t even try to describe because I would be here all day. The Dancers at the End of Time is an unalloyed delight, if you are feeling bored or down and need some crazy fun sci-fi (sci-fantasy really) to pick you up. This is just the thing. _____________________________ Notes: * “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” (from Clarke's three laws). • There are several more sequels subsequent to this original trilogy. Hopefully, I will be able to get my mitts on them soon. • I have been a fan ofMichael Moorcock for the longest time. His Elric, Corum, Hawkmoon etc. "Eternal Champion" stuff are terrific entertainment, especially when I read them as a teen. Will they still hold up today? Of course, they will! I have not undergone any noticeable mental development since.• A friend on PrintSF at Reddit ("thewillcar") made this observation about The Dancers at the End of Time on this thread that covers some important things that I neglected to mention in my review. So I would like to quote him directly here:"I'm a big Moorcock fan and that's my favorite of his book series. I loved the comedy of manners between Jherek and Mrs. Underwood combined with the psychedelic imagery and decadence of the End of Time. It kept me up late reading and laughing. Such a contrast to the grim seriousness of other Eternal Champions like Elric. There's a fun novella called Elric at the End of Time that brings the two together, I recommend it!"Thank you!_____________________________ Quotes: "Jherek looked about him, contemplating the enterprise afresh and wondering if it were not becoming too complicated. Too boring even. Perhaps he should invent a simpler affectation. Being in love took up so much time." "I thought you controlled your own fate. This whole love-story business, which so excites the woman, did it not begin as an affectation?" "Madness may be said to be a tendency to simplify, into easily grasped metaphors, the nature of the world. In your own case, you have plainly been confounded by unexpected complexities, therefore you are inclined to retreat into simplification — this talk of Damnation and Hell, for instance — to create a world whose values are unambivalent, unequivocal." "Now," she hissed, "quickly. Mount." "Is this the proper time for such things, do you think?" "Climb onto the horse, and then help me up.""Your heels, Mr. Carnelian. Use your heels!" "I'm sorry, Mrs. Underwood, I'm not sure what you mean!" Jherek was almost helpless with laughter now."If the ladies will excuse us, I'd like a middle-of-the-leg word with you, sediment-nostril."

  • Dan Schwent
    2019-01-27 07:02

    Yet another Dangerous Dan book review I did for This is one of the more entertaining ones I wrote.Sometimes, after you've just finished killing a man with a horse shoe because you were out of bullets for instance, you need to read something light and funny to make you forget about all the carnage you've wrought. Michael Moorcock's Dancers at the End of Time Trilogy certainly fits the bill. It's available as a collection or as individual books: An Alien Heat, The Hollow Lands, and End of All Songs.First off, I will refrain from making jokes like "I'm always in the mood for Moorcock" or "Ladies demand Moorcock." But just imagine how funny it would be if I didn't.Many of you will recognize Michael Moorcock from his Eternal Champion series, most notably the Elric novels. While his Dancers at the End of Time series falls within the Eternal Champion saga, it's much closer to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Who knew old Moorcock had it in him?As you all know, Dangerous Dan is rougher than Dollar Tree toilet paper. That's what kept me from reading something with the word Dancers in the title for far too many years, which is sad because the Dancers books made me smile wider than two for one night down at the Golden Garter. The bit that really tickled my innards and made me pay attention was this quote from the first book, An Alien Heat:What follows, then, is the story of Jherek Carnelian, who did not know the meaning of morality, and Mrs. Amelia Underwood, who knew everything about it. Couple a winning quote like that with the fact that Jherek has sex with his own mother on the second page and you can see why I just had to read all of them in the space of four days. As the quote says, Jherek Carnelian, one of the decadent denizens of the end of time, falls in love with stuffy Victorian age time traveller Mrs. Amelia Underwood and follows her back in time to prove his love. Hilarity ensues, coupled with the ongoing mystery of why Jherek's friend Lord Jagged continuously pops up in the same eras as Jherek and pretends not to recognize him. There's also the unstoppable end of the multiverse as we know it but that's on the back burner most of the time. Here's another quote just to show you how hilarious these books are:"Do you plan to have any children, Mr. Underwood?""Unfortunately." Mr. Underwood cleared his throat. "We have not so far been blessed...""Something wrong?""Ah, no...""Perhaps you haven't got the hang of making them by the straightforward old-fashioned method? I must admit it took me a while to work it out. You know," Jherek turned to make sure Mrs. Underwood was included in the conversation, "finding what goes in where and so forth."As you can see, if you're easily offended, these aren't the books for you. However, if you're a twisted soul who likes mannerly british humor coupled with incest, perverse sex acts, drug use, time paradoxes, and the end of time as we know it, saddle up, enjoy the ride, and try not to get sprayed with bodily fluids along the way.

  • nostalgebraist
    2019-01-31 06:46

    This is a trilogy collected in a single volume. The first book, An Alien Heat, is worth reading. The other two you can skip without missing much.The premise is very enjoyably silly. Jherek Carnelian, a man living in an amoral, decadent society in the far future, falls in love with Amelia Underwood, a conventional, moralistic Englishwoman from the 19th century who has been transported to his age through an accident in time travel. She returns to her own time and he follows her. He has no understanding of 19th century technology or customs and his behavior is about what you'd expect of a fin de siecle dandy given godlike technological powers; this causes an endless string of predictable but entertaining comedic misunderstandings. It's basically a cross between Oscar Wilde and Doctor Who, and is as much fun as that sounds.Unfortunately, as the trilogy goes on, it suffers from the kind of plot overgrowth that often afflicts serial fiction. The first book is very tightly plotted, with a tense and exciting ending. The latter two books, however, are full of needless complications that don't really do anything but inflate the page count. Most of the potential inherent in the premise has already been used up by early on in the second book. The ending of the series is not a bad ending, but it feels as though it could have happened 300 pages earlier without changing anything.In terms of averaged enjoyment per page, this should be more like two stars, but I'm giving it three because the first book really is worth reading, and because it includes a character named "Sweet Orb Mace." I'm not sure it's possible to dislike a book with a character named "Sweet Orb Mace."

  • Nick
    2019-01-21 00:48

    Though not generally regarded as Moorcock's best work, this series is my favorite. The prose is some of his most elegant and polished. The story itself shows Moorcock at his most spry, lovingly lampooning some of the themes of his other works, the romance genre, and English literary traditions in general. The settings and charicatures are also some of his most unique: a blend of scientific romance Victoriana and fin du siecle French symbolism and art nouveau, with a little Shakespearean flare added for show.

  • Adam
    2019-02-06 07:04

    Michael Moorcock is one of those authors that blew my mind as teenager (alongside H.P. Lovecraft, H.G. Wells, and Edgar Allen Poe), but what can you read by him as an adult? I am going to review three that fit this category. Nick below states it way better than me but this one of the most interesting and fun books in modern fantasy. A comedy, a satire, a love story, a retelling of Adam and Eve, and tribute to the fin de siecle of Wilde and Huysmans (and also Wells and Dunsany) An uptight Victorian women in a post-human(and post-morality) future(resembling a description of a Bosch painting much of the time) and her tumultuous courting by Jherek Carnelian through time and past the end of the world. Genocidal aliens, ridiculous London cops, living cities, robot nannies, HG. Wells himself, and other weirdness and fun.

  • Peter
    2019-01-26 23:54

    Due to work I was unable to enjoy this as much as I would have liked, however... This book contained the usual concepts and bizarre ideas and really got in my head, for example, the idea that time is a fixed, limited event so if you travel far enough into the future you end up at the beginning of time! What this means is that if you travel forward in time you cannot travel back however, because of the loop you can continue going forward to the point you left because even if time goes on forever it has a limited span!Heady stuff indeed, but with a better than average plot I would suggest it to hardcore SF readers only.

  • Laura
    2019-02-04 23:56

    The first volume of the original trilogy, 'An Alien Heat', is an utter delight - witty, subversive, wildly imaginative and very well informed about the literature and culture of fin de siècle. In-jokes abound - the Amelia Underwood isn't the poor woman who married George Gissing, and can Lord Jagged of Canaria really be Oscar Wilde (or is he just Mick Jagger or Mr Jaggers from Great Expectations?). The later books diluted the original, as MM is always prone to write too much, too quickly. Nevertheless, those of us more at home in the Dawn Age than the present will always be grateful for the fish tank that fires real fish.

  • Shaun
    2019-01-28 22:39

    one of the best books I have ever read, And the Inspiration for so many films (including Back to the Future)

  • Jay
    2019-02-01 22:58

    What a bizarre but wonderful novel. The whole premise is absolutely nuts, and the execution is just as insane. A woman from 1896 is flung millions of years into the future, where one of two naturally born people exist (the rest are creations or time travellers), falls in love with her and on it goes. Anything that can possibly be thought up exists, and people follow their whims, whether that involves having sex with one's parents, shooting an arrow through twenty palm trees and turning into a goat. Space travel is considered exceedingly dull, and time travel is a rare occurrence. When one can do anything they want to at a touch of a finger (or ring), why wouldn't it be that way?This has all the makings of a book I should hate. The main character is horrendously naive, and there's a running theme of women-as-items, which may be par for course given the time Amelia's from and the time Moorcock lived in. It's also frighteningly bizarre, and it takes a couple of chapters to get the head around. It also droned on for periods and I got a touch bored towards the end. But Michael Moorcock's writing saves it. It's very touching and sweet. The romance between Jherek and Amelia is quaint, and the growth of both characters was realistic. I found Jherek's desperate attempts at wooing her to be cute.I also enjoyed Mongrove's depression, and the Lat. I found Mr Underwood and the police to be a little grating towards the end, but I think they had played their part and simply had to be explained away. The last book could definitely have been shortened, at least, or even separated into two books.But overall, this was very enjoyable for me, but not for everyone. It can be a hard read if one doesn't accept the fact it is going to be extremely abstract while going in.

  • John Herbert
    2019-01-27 01:53

    When Jherek Carnelian makes love to his Mother, called Iron Orchid, on a beach of crushed bone, debating the meaning of the word 'virtuous', with the sea suddenly turning a deep pink, you know, you just KNOW that you're in for something truly different. With 600 pages still to come it screams at you "This saga's gonna take you where you've never been before!".So here we are at the end of time, where anything is made possible; where landscapes, buildings and people themselves, can change immediately by request, and where anything goes with whoever you want.Into this crazy, quaint, immoral World, stumbles Mrs Amelia Underwood, a prim and proper, 'virtuous' lady from 19th century England.And as surely as love blossoms between this unlikely twosome, Amelia and Jherek, their battle of morals continues unabated amongst the comings and goings of time-travel, bumping into H G Wells, and the brilliant, but farcical one-upmanship between the dwellers at the end of time.Frankly, I couldn't put the book down!And when I did, couldn't wait to return to this incredibly fascinating World that Moorcock unfolds.A feast to the senses, with tongue-in-cheek debates to jolly it along, I must count this as one of the most unique experiences I've ever encountered between the pages.

  • Daniel
    2019-02-03 00:57

    Moorcock has imagined a far future where a bunch of human beings ( modeled after 19th century gentlemen and ladies and their haughtiness towards common life ) experience the last utopia: a few years before the end of the universe, when entropy has consumed all order existent, these beings are capable of manipulate reality by mere thought at a high cost but they obviously seem not to care after all they have forgotten how things actually work. They are mundane, immortal and completely arrogant and devoid of things like morality or affection. Instead of having actual feelings or preferences they simply mimic one they find interesting by inspecting the past of the human race. The three books narrate the adventures of Jherek Carnelian and Mrs. Amelia Underwood ( the real great character of the novels who steals the show if you ask me, a 19th century Lady that is kidnapped ) and their love story and subsequent changes in the chaotic nature of the end of time.These three books included here are so good in a sense they explore the idea of human morality represented by Mrs. Amelia Underwood ( I did say she is the moral island here didn't I?) against dandies enjoying playing gods, but who are mere simulacrums of imaginary gods.

  • Erik Graff
    2019-02-17 03:48

    I actually read the original hardcovers of the first three books of what was published by Granada in 1981 in its original omnibus edition, viz. An Alien Heat, The Hollow Lands and The End of All Songs. Since then, like with Zelazny's Amber series, the End of Time has proceeded into additional volumes, both novels and short stories. I haven't read any of those and probably never shall.The trilogy is comic like Oscar Wilde, a Victorian association maintained by the character of Underwood. The primary setting, however, is the very far distant future when our remaining descendants are virtually immortal and omnipotent as well as, by any previous standards, immoral. The crux of the story and of its humor is the decision of one of these descendants to woo a very Victorian time-traveller.If you want to test your reactions to the infringement of virtually all standards of decency, the breaking of many hallowed taboos, all done lightheartedly, then this book may interest you. I found it amusing, but cannot imagine that more of it has broken enough new ground to be worth further effort.

  • Johnny Atomic
    2019-02-16 22:42

    One thing Goodreads really does well, is separate fact from fiction. I have heard many times, that the "Dancers" series was not one of Moorcock's best. Yet, here I see that it rates almost universally above most, if not all of his other works. Real ratings from the reviewers that count; you and me.And why does it rate so high?Because it was freaking awesome! It was weird and disturbing and cool on a level that made me think someone broke into Michael's house, beat him with a shovel, wrote the novels for him and forced MM to mail them in to his editors."But people will think I have some depth of soul..." Michael must have muttered through his gag."Shut up you hairy troll, or I'll make you turn in a story where Elric doesn't get to use Stormbringer for 90% of the novel and you will be forced to rely on clever dialogue and characterization!""Sob" Michael sobs...I think I read this series once a year or so. It rock like old socks. Go get it!

  • pH
    2019-02-20 02:43

    The writing / plot quality frequently wavered, leaving me extremely interested in some chapters and equally bored in others (basically the only thing that kept me reading was my interest in time travel). Unfortunately I felt the conclusion of this saga really let it down resulting in a rather average two stars from me. As always, your millage may vary...

  • Mikael Onsjö
    2019-02-13 01:53

    Extraordinary imagination - few authors I've read could take things this far without getting inconsistent or just plain silly.

  • Donovan
    2019-01-27 02:43

    The Dancers At The End Of Time is a trilogy that explores time travel and morality in the pseudo-sexual psychedelic way that only Moorcock can pull off. It's a fun read that is served up as a time-travelling love story. Yes, it is a-typical Moorcock. The trilogy consists of:An Alien HeatThe Hollow LandsThe End of All Songs Plot ***Spoilers***An Alien HeatAn alien named Yusharisp comes to Earth to warn its remaining inhabitants that the universe is coming to an end; his own planet has already disappeared, and the Earth is sure to follow. Earth's inhabitants are unfazed as they believe him to be yet another doomsayer; the End of the Earth has been predicted for centuries. Jherek is far more interested in Mrs Amelia Underwood, a time traveller from Victorian England, as he is fascinated by the Victorian era. Jherek resolves to fall in love with her. Mrs Underwood, at first repulsed by the debauchery of the End of Time, finally comes to believe that Jherek is sincere in his affections and starts teaching him about moral values. She falls in love with him at last; as they are about to embrace, however, she is whisked back to her own time. Jherek, heartbroken, decides to rescue her, and travels to 19th century London.Jherek is inexperienced to the point of naivete about the Victorian Era, despite his interest in it, and a (temporally) local thief, Snoozer Vine, tricks him into becoming an accomplice to Snoozer's latest scam. Not surprisingly, Jherek proves to be a poor criminal, and is quickly arrested, jailed and sent to trial. To his surprise, the judge appears to be none other than his friend, Lord Jagged but claims to be one Jagger. Jherek is sentenced to death, as the case against him is unequivocal, but he cannot understand why all the people around him are so upset; inhabitants of the End of Time are immortal, and for them death is merely transitory. Jherek is hanged, only to wake up among his friends at the End of Time, who tell him that to them, he has only been gone for a second.The Hollow LandsReunited at the end of Time, Jherek and the other inhabitants of the End of Time have returned to their preferred amusements of parties and games. They are interrupted by a ship of alien musician/pirates, the Lat. Hunted by the Lat, Jherek stumbles into a subterranean school built centuries ago to protect the last children of that era from the tyrant director Pecking Pa the Eighth. The time in the school is constantly recycled by a robot nanny so old she has started to break down, and as a result is recycling the same week repeatedly. The teacher-robot mistakes Jherek for one of her children as she has forgotten that there is anything outside her school, and keeps him. When she realizes her mistake, she agrees to send him back to 1896; her ability to recycle time means that she can function as a time machine.Returned to the 19th century, Jherek heads for Bromley, where Mrs Amelia Underwood lives. On the way, Jherek meets H.G. Wells and explains that he is a time traveller, but is met only with Wells's ironic disbelief. Jherek is finally reunited with Mrs Underwood but also forced to confront her husband Mr Underwood. Mr. Underwood is so suspicious of their story that a reluctant Mrs Underwood runs away with Jherek. Chased by the police, the two are rescued by a journalist, Mr Jackson who, like Judge Jagger, bears a strong resemblance to Lord Jagged.The police catch up with the fleeing couple, but are interrupted in their attempted arrest by the appearance of the Lat, the Iron Orchid and a number of other residents of the End of Time. Chaos ensues as the police and the Lat start fighting, and the fabric of time itself begins disintegrating. The time travellers start vanishing, and Jackson, who finally reveals himself to be Lord Jagged (also Judge Jagger), takes Jherek and Mrs Underwood to a time machine that will take them to the End of Time. The machine appears to malfunction; instead of delivering them to the End of Time, it maroons them in what appears to be the Lower Devonian period.The End Of All SongsJherek and Mrs Amelia Underwood, after spending some time alone in the Devonian, meet Una Persson and Captain Oswald Bastable, who introduce themselves as members of the Guild of Temporal Adventurers. They explain the notion of the multiverse as the combination of all simultaneously existing realities before sending Jherek and Amelia back to the End of Time. There, Jherek finds all his friends who had vanished from 1896 alive and well, except for Lord Jagged who has yet to return. Amelia is now more tolerant towards the people of the End of Time, though still occasionally revolted by their lack of morals. She and Jherek resume the life they led in An Alien Heat, which is interrupted by the sudden arrival of a shell shocked, crazed Mr Underwood, Inspector Springer and a dozen policemen, and the Lat.Jherek, the Duke of Queens, the policemen, Amelia and Mr Underwood seek refuge from the Lat in one of the Lost Cities, which hold the energy used by the people of the End of Time to alter matter through their rings, and are surprised to find it crumbling, and the sun gone. They are joined by Yusharisp and the end-of-time resident Lord Mongrove, a manic-depressive giant who explains that the apocalypse has begun, and that they are the sole survivors. The group realizes with horror that their energy rings are no longer working. In light of their impending doom, Amelia finally admits that her love for Jherek is more important to her than morals or convention.The Iron Orchid and Lord Jagged, by now assumed to be dead, appear. Lord Jagged reveals himself to be Jherek's father, and a time traveller from the 21st century. After learning of the Earth's impending destruction, he sought to preserve humanity by sending a "new Adam and Eve" to the beginning of time, thus creating a loop which would prevent humanity from spending thousands of years relearning the basics of civilization. For genetic reasons, he chose Jherek and Amelia and orchestrated their meeting. Amelia and Jherek's marooning in the Devonian was not part of the plan; they did not, in fact, travel back in time, but too far into the future, past the end of the world in which they were currently residing. Upon realizing this, Jagged understood that time is circular, not linear as was previously assumed, and devised a new plan. While his friends are devastated, he shows unwavering optimism and surprises everyone by creating a new sun with his energy ring. He proceeds to explain that energy can be drawn from any existing reality within the multiverse; this, combined with the technology that "recycled" time in the underground school, can be used to sustain the Earth forever.Now reassured that the Earth is safe in a time loop and provided with a new source of energy, the End of Timers resurrect their friends who died in the aborted apocalypse, and rebuild their world. Amelia, now comfortable at the End of Time, becomes popular. During a visit to Mr Underwood in the Lost City, she is faced with his conviction that she is damned when she tells him of her belief that God is dead. While she struggles with her conscience and her newfound atheism, her husband travels back to the 19th century and she decides to marry Jherek. When Lord Jagged offers to send both her and Jherek into the future, out of the time loop and after the end of the world to start a new civilization, they accept.

  • RickyB
    2019-02-16 00:58

    I thoroughly enjoyed the first volume in this trilogy, I kind of enjoyed the second volume in this trilogy, and by the final volume I had lost all interest in the story and the people.*Spolier*The end of time never happened. The world started disappearing then Jagged appeared and started recreating it all. Wow! Talk about anticlimactic. The people, from all centuries, were written as shallow, vain and stupid, and I was actually looking forward to them all perishing in the end. This is my only experience with Michael Moorcock's work and I can see he gets high praise from many of his fans on here, but if this is an example of how he writes he is not for me.

  • Grey Thornberry
    2019-02-19 00:44

    An unjustly obscure and unfairly underrated epic, showcasing Moorcock at his most inventive, uninhibited and vastly imaginative. A bizarre cast of characters exist, almost aimlessly, in the bones of a culture so advanced as to seem all powerful. You don't get the feeling the civilization died or was destroyed, more that it just grew bored with absolute power and simply wandered away.A tie in with a notable Moorcock character towards the end gives insight into who these characters may ultimately be.

  • Fuller Life Makeover
    2019-02-14 05:03

    One of the most amazing books I have ever read. The names of the characters alone are so wonderfully conceived that it was truly a sad day when I finished it. Beautiful prose, interesting storytelling and a sheer delight. I have read many Michael Moorcock's books but this one is by far the most beautifully written comedic tragedies ever. I would give it more than 5 stars if possible!!

  • Toby Scadding
    2019-02-12 01:41

    An Alien Heat - 4/5The Hollow Lands - 4/5The End of All Songs - 3/5

  • David Sarkies
    2019-02-13 07:05

    The complexity of time24 May 2013 Personally, I can't remember much about this book except that when I read it I felt that it was a little strange and could not really get into it all that much. Okay, there are probably people out there that will jump down my throat in writing a review of a book I can't remember (as well as reading 20 years agon) but my response to them is – BITE ME. Anyway, as I said, what I can remember was that this book did not thrill me all that much, but maybe because the setting itself was rather strange, that being the end of time. From what I can remember Moorcock's vision of the end of time was some sort of Victorian (period, not Australian state) far future setting. Also, while there may have been a plot, it was not something that I could remember all that much, though I do believe that it did involve the eternal champion in one of its many incarnations (I suspect it was a woman in this book, though I am not quite sure). However, glancing over the Goodreads comments I do notice the words Eternal Champion and Steampunk make an appearance, so I am probably correct on that part. Writing stuff at the end of time I find a little be odd, but that is probably because we are caught within time and cannot understand how reality can exist without or outside of time. It is not just that our bodies age and we feel that age, but there are aspects around us constantly that tell us that time is moving. It is not simply the alarm clock, our smart phone, or the schedule that we must keep, but it is also the fact that the Earth rotates giving us night and day as well as changing seasons. All around us, both natural and artificial, are things that remind us that time is forever marching on. So, how can we imagine the end of time. In a way it is impossible because if we go right to the point were time is supposed to end and wait one milli-second, we suddenly discover that time in fact has not ended. It is like numbers. If we think of the biggest number than we could possibly imagine and add one, well, we have a bigger number. Moreso with our advanced mathematics we can theoretically go backwards, into the negative, to infinity, and we can halve things to infinity (though if you dig a hole and fill half of it in, you don't have half a hole). The bible talks about the end of time, and it is interesting that it suggests that there is no night and that there are no seasons. Look, eternity is one of those funny things that we, who live a limited lifespan with the effects of time wearing us down, find difficult to comprehend. For instance if our perception of time slowed down to a millionth, suddenly it would seem like eternity to us, despite the fact that in the real world only a milli-second has passed. That is what some people see eternal life as, that that last milli-second of our life never actually ends because our perception of time has changed. Take dreams for instance. The REM period of our sleep apparently lasts a really short time, yet we might have dreams that seem to last hours or even days, though they tend to vanish pretty quickly afterwards. Once again it is the perception that is more important than the reality, because the perceived time in our dreams is quite different to the real time that marches on around us. However, in the end, the whole idea of what happens at the end of time, if time can come to an end, is going to rest purely upon speculation.

  • Pavlo Tverdokhlib
    2019-02-06 04:46

    Michael Moorcock writes all his books in a single, giant setting- the Multiverse. All of his works- from the heroic fantasy, to the "Hard", sci-fi, to the absurdity that is Jerry Cornelius--all exist in a single universe- or rather, a set of universes. So it's been said. but beyond a few very rare snips of information here and there, the reader would never truly know justhowit all fits together. This book answers part of the question. In fact, it does a rather admirable job tying together a few of Moorcock's disparate "sci-fi" settings and characters. Some nods are made to things I've mentoned previously, and the third book in the trilogy does the most exposition Moorcock's done in the 15 books of the Collection that I've read so far. It takes a while to get there. Meanwhile, the reader gets to experience The World at The End of Time. This setting is perhaps most original yet. Whereas Jerry Cornelius took the modern world and threw the absurd at it, The End of Time gives us the few surviving members of the human race- immortal and omnipotent, with power to create and destroy at whim. With infinite potential comes infinite fatigue. The End of Time lives for new experiences. It is unfettered by moral constraints. It draws its inspirations from time and space travellers who have the (mis)fortune to stumble onto it. So what happens when the world without morals meets the propriety of 19th century Bromley housewife? Philosophies will clash, time streams will be crossed and criss-crossed. Manipulators exposed, and through it all, one man's innocent love will remain constant. "Dancers at the End of Time" is a fascinating, often hilarious book. The denizens of the End of Time can both think completely beyond the box, and remain ignorant of basic social norms taken as givens. When the cast finds themselves in 19th century England, hilarity ensues, in tradition of vaudeville and slapstick. This tone continues throughout, although there are some sections more melancholy. I can write lots more, about the fantastical personalities of the End of Time, each driven by their own particular obsessions, and of the creative misinterpretations of Earth's past that allow the End of Time to come up with truly absurd interpretations of the past. But truly, this is something that can't really be explained. It must be experienced. And at the end of this wild ride lies the glimpse of the answer to that most elusive question:"What is the Multiverse?"

  • Nicolas
    2019-02-03 04:49

    De tous les écrits de Moorcock, ces danseurs à la fin du temps sont sans doute la distraction SF la plus curieuse que j'ai lu.En effet, il n'y a pas de combat (on ne compte pas sérieusement une bagarre de pub avec des bobbies comme un combat, si ?), pas non plus de Destin (vous savez, celui d'Ereckösé, Elric, Hawkmoon et les autres), et encore moins de désespoir ... mais reprenons du début.A la fin des temps, la terre n'est plus peuplée que de quelques dizaines d'individus pour qui changer de sexe se fait un clin d'oeil, ou mourir est une distraction comme une autre. Parmi tous ces individus, Jherek Carnelian est l'un des plus créateurs (la seule qualité qui compte encore pour ces esthètes). Lors d'une visite à une fête, il tombe sur une jeune dame issue de la ménagerie de son hôte, Miss Amelia Underwood, dont il s'éprend follement. Pas de panique, la ménagerie est seulement un moyen de permettre à ces gens issus de l'Aube des Temps de s'acclimater au climat délicatement décadent qui règne en ces fins des temps. Donc Jherek tombe amoureux, et mettra les trois tomes de cette aimable diversion à établir un amour réciproque et moral avec Amelia.Pour cela, il visitera le XIXème siècle (deux fois) le paléozoïque, avant de s'enfuir avec elle dans une autre aventure temporelle.Il n'y a donc pas de combats, mais en revanche beaucoup de question sur la morale (quelque chose que les habitants de la fin des temps ne comprennent pas), l'honneur, ou d'autres "vertus" (là aussi un concept vide de sens pour des gens qui ne sont que des esthètes). C'est assez intéressant, d'ailleurs, de voir comment l'auteur arrive à parler de ces concepts, qui frisent parfois la philosophie, sans jamais s'embarquer dans de longues discussions.C'est donc une oeuvre assez intéressante quoique peut-être (et encore, j'ai bien l'impression que c'est tout le jeu de cette oeuvre) un peu trop légère pour les questions abordées.Je dois dire que cette lecture m'a en fait pas mal plu, parce qu'elle était légère je l'ai déja dit) mais aussi parce qu'en dépit de sa vacuité, elle était joliment animée par des dialogues faisant sourire, par des scènes sympathiquement animées, ou par des diversions aussi amusantes qu'esthétiques.

  • Daniel Taylor
    2019-02-02 03:45

    If I couldn't read as fast as I can, I would have given up on this book long before it got enjoyable for me.The plot is a love-story between a time-traveller and a woman from the 19th Century. The characters are so idiosyncratic as to be easily identifiable long before the plot and the themes become appealing.When it becomes clear we're dealing with the idea of players going back and forth through time and acting out roles in parts of history, the book becomes a novel version of the approach to living that Robert Scheinfeld teaches in Busting Loose From the Money Game: Mind-Blowing Strategies for Changing the Rules of a Game You Can't Win and Busting Loose from the Business Game: Mind-Blowing Strategies for Recreating Yourself, Your Team, Your Business, and Everything in Between.As a novel, it's not really enjoyable. But as a way of seeing Scheinfeld's teachings told in a story, then it becomes an interesting read.

  • La Reyne
    2019-02-20 03:48

    At the moment having recently joined Goodreads I'm basically digging out of my home bookshelves and my brain the books I'd most recommend to anyone. This trilogy is close to the top of my list. It's a book that tells you a lot about me as a person.BUTIt's not a book for everyone.So many people I've recommended it to stop at the first chapter. Something happens there that turns a lot of people off.BUTYou need to keep reading! It's a fabulous, wonderful, hilarious, life-enhancing experience. It ranges from the sublime to the insanely ridiculous. Every form of wit and humour is represented here. It's a wild, wonderful adventure. It's a gorgeous love story. It's the most optimistic story I've ever read.READ THIS TRILOGY! IT'S NOT FIVE STARS, IT'S TEN!!!Afterthought: one thing readers will have to take into consideration with this book, but which I hope doesn't put them off or spoil the reading pleasure, is that this book was written in the 70's and contains various references that won't mean much to people who sprouted after that time! There are references to Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, and the film maker Sam Peckinpah, that would have been very amusing and contemporary when it was written. Don't let this deter you, I think you can read around those parts! Peckinpah is very relevant to the section that takes place in the Nursery, for example...

  • Alan Smith
    2019-01-23 22:47

    A world at the end of time, where energy is unlimited, every whim is instantly satisfied, and the only remaining challenge is staving off boredom until the universe reaches entropy and everything comes to an end. There's only one way you can take a plot like that and not have it mind-bendingly boring... and that's to have Michael Moorcock write it. In Moorcock's hands, this idea - which could almost have been deliberately selected as an example of a premise with no promise, becomes an exquisitely beautiful and highly entertaining romp. Originally written as a series of short stories in "New Worlds" magazine, this series is one of the most amazing works you will ever read. At once a comedy of manners, a series of love stories, a cautionary tale, a study in existential angst, a Wodehousian farce, prose poem and a straight time-travel fantasy (with excursions into Victorian England and pre-history)and heaven knows what besides, this is a book I could talk about - or write about - all night. But who in their right mind would read any more of this review, when a book as good as this is waiting to be read? Please, please read it. Please. Do I make myself clear?

  • J.I.
    2019-02-21 04:52

    What starts off, in this strange little trilogy, as an interesting exercise in the question of what morality is, how much is too much and how much is too little, etc. very slowly turns off into a pretty predictable romance, only with a whole hell of a lot of bouts of silliness.We follow a group of people at the end of time, when technology is so advanced, that the humans who live are immortal, without morals, and have nothing to do but stage elaborate parties. We learn very quickly that the protagonist is the only person alive who was born naturally, and that his first lover was his biological mother. It's definitely strange. He decides to fall in love (what a quaint notion) with a 19th century woman, and this clash of cultures is interesting and engaging. What happens, however, is that over the course of three novellas, they fall in love pretty much in the ways that you would expect, and the tests that they suffer through are less of emotional resonance and philosophical reckoning, though it seems at first that it will be like that, but a series of willy-nilly adventures of increasing absurdity.Oh well. It was fun, and while it failed wholly in delivering on its initial premise, it was a good little romp.

  • H. Dean
    2019-01-23 23:51

    Dancers at the End of Time is Moorcock’s best written novel. Written in a style that is more throw back than modern, he weaves the tale of Jherek Carnelian and Amelia Underwood – two people more different there could not be. Still, the pair falls deeply in love. But this is far from a standard romance. It is a tale of beginnings and endings, though not necessarily in that order. From the very start it is clear that this is not going to be an ordinary read. Weird and utterly bizarre throughout, it seems as if Moorcock opened up his head and pulled out each and every crazy notion and stuffed them into one novel. Rally, it shouldn't work. But it does work – and it works in grand form. Those few people I know who have read the book seemed to have neglected to notice the tragedy of the end and how it fits in perfectly with Moorcock’s Eternal Champion, the Cosmic Balance and the cyclical universe in which the Eternal Champion must live. Instead, most simply enjoyed the story for what it was – a romping fun adventure loaded with humor, silly names and the odd bit of philosophy thrown in here and there. Either way you go, this is Moorcok’s best piece of writing – on par with anything I have ever read.

  • Chris Gregory
    2019-01-29 00:03

    These were unexpectedly hilarious. Anything can and does happen in whatever context at the End of Time, due to miracle level technology that lets anything be rearranged into anything else at a whim (and the twist of a power ring). Further development of ongoing story lines in Moorcock's vast fantasy multiverse, the End of Time is made possible by Dreaming Cities (well, at least one) which are vast sentient cities built by humanity long ago, which outlasted their inhabitants, and drift into the long grey dreamscape of posthistory recreating tapestries of reality including living beings, historical and otherwise, as easily as we could crack open a book and begin to read. But the cities are just a backdrop to the stories here, of the amoral and more or less insane inhabitants at the End of Time, beings dreamed up, perhaps by the cities, out of whole cloth, to animate the world around them with parties, adventures, comedy, and drama. There has never been a child born into this world, until Jherek Carnelian is conceived, and his strange perspective (of having been a child) occasionally brings his contemporaries to marvel at his remarkable and unusual sincerity.

  • J.R.
    2019-01-22 06:52

    This is science fiction with the emphasis on the fiction. Strange, creative work that becomes a bit wordy. At least one third of the book can be cut without being noticeable. Time travel is involved here however more as a vehicle for the novel than as an innate interest. The story plods along with a menagerie of quite diverse, unique characters. Central is the pursuit of love by Jherek for Mrs. Amelia which occupies much of the substance of the novel. I suspect the author has some moral lesson here subtly divulged in one of the many discourses entered into by several of the main characters. The novel becomes somewhat tedious as it is a long read that is repetitive in several ways. I sometimes wondered how the author could go on and on about some trivial detail however, when his long list of works is viewed, you can see he appears to be verbally prolific. This work is not challenging nor gripping. It is more a spin around the block, make that a long block. Some may enjoy the parameters of the author's creative abilities here and they are prodigious; some may not. I am of the latter.