A Cure for Cancer

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A novel in The Jerry Cornelius Tetralogy originally serialized in New Worlds. It was partly written by Moorcock as a response to the then-contemporary Vietnam War and the narrative takes place in a world where the Vietnam War has been transplanted to Great Britain, perhaps best illustrated in the sequence where Jerry is attacked by a helicopter gunship in the Derry & Toms Roof Garden. Continuing the theme that the world is 'wrong', Jerry's appearance throughout the novel resembles a 'photographic negative' (white hair, black skin, black teeth).

In same way that The Final Programme was a variation on the original Elric stories, so too can A Cure for Cancer be read an an alternate version of Stormbringer.

Moorcock published a revised edition of A Cure for Cancer in 1979, that included appearances by characters who had come to play more prominent roles in his stories since the novel's original publication; these included Una Persson, Colonel Pyat, Prince Lobkowitz, Shakey Mo Collier and Sgt. Alvarez.

Sweet Orb Mace, from The Dancers at the End of Time series, makes a cameo appearance in both editions.

Publishing History (UK)

  • Serialized in New Worlds #188-191, March-June 1969
  • Hardcover, Allison & Busby, ISBN: 0-85031-026-1, 1971, Cover by Mal Dean
  • Mass Market Paperback, Penguin, 272pp., ISBN: 0-14-003483-8, 1973, Cover by David Pelham
  • Hardcover, Allison & Busby, ISBN: 0-85031-026-1, 1976, Cover by Richard Glyn Jones
  • Mass Market Paperback, Quartet, 176pp., ISBN: 0-704-31256-5, 1976, Cover by Patrick Woodroffe
  • Mass Market Paperback, Futura, 176pp., ISBN: 0-704-31256-5, 1977, Cover by Patrick Woodroffe
  • Mass Market Paperback, Fontana, 224pp., ISBN: 0-00-615343-7, 30 August 1979, Cover by Bill Sanderson (revised edition)

191_front.jpg acfc_aab71.jpg acfc_peng73.jpg acfc_aab76.jpg acfc_quart76.jpg acfc_futura76.jpg acfc_font79.jpg

Omnibus Editions (UK)

Publishing History (US)

  • Hardcover, Holt Rinehart & Winston, 256pp., ISBN: 0-030-85073-8, Jun 1971, Cover by Tom Hachtman
  • Paperback, Titan Books, 240pp,, ISBN-13: 978-1783291779, March 2016, Introduction by John Clute - The Repossession of Jerry Cornelius


Omnibus Editions (US)

Mike Says

  • "I doubt if there is any information on the Cure for Cancer cover. I might never have mentioned it before. What happened was that the cover (featuring Bishop Beesley and Co. in another apparent comic strip) was considered 'too extreme' by the trade and had to be withdrawn (or A&B chose to withdraw it, if you like). At my suggestion Mal happily did a cover which is just lettering. We were neither of us happy about having to do it. A few of the original covers, like those of Letters From Hollywood. survived. I have one somewhere and I think Dave Britton might have one."[1]
  • "Check out A Cure For Cancer -- the language from the American General leading the forces in the 'liberation' of Britain is actually a real speech, from the time of Vietnam. That was how the military were talking then and that's how some of them are talking now."[2]



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