List of revisions in the Tale of the Eternal Champion series

From Michael Moorcock's Wikiverse
Jump to navigationJump to search

This page lists the known revisions made to Michael Moorcock's novels/stories as part of the Tale of the Eternal Champion omnibus series - The Eternal Champion series in the US.

In considering what is a revision and what is not a basic assumption is made that a revision is a deliberate change to the text by the author, while omissions and typographical errors are not. For an example of the latter, see the missing lines from the end of Elric at the End of Time in the Millennium hardback and trade paperback editions of Legends from the End of Time.

According to John Davey, Moorcock's co-editor on the series:

"Generally, speaking, the White Wolf editions have the more definitive texts, having (in most instances) received an additional and thorough copy-edit. The W.W. trade-sized paperbacks are also very slightly more definitive than the hardcovers, having allowed correction of anything erroneous occurring first time 'round. (This is only approaching substantial in 'Hawkmoon', where the hardcover had a few layout problems.) Also, the 'Stormbringer' novel, in 'Elric: The Stealer Of Souls', was fairly substantially worked on, to ensure inclusion of the best of all previous versions.[1]

The following list is a 'work in progress' and should not currently be considered exhaustive.

Omnibus Revisions

  • Moorcock added a new passage before the 'Prologue' of The Sundered Worlds called 'Limbo', as a bridge with the preceding novel, The Eternal Champion:

I dreamed I lay in a dark valley and all around me were the titanic forms of archangels. I heard distant voices and I knew these supernatural warriors were chanting a litany...

"We are the Warriors at the End of Time. We are the lost, the last, the unkind. We are the Warriors on the Edge of Time and we're tired, we're tired... We're tired of making love..."

And in my dream I walked away from those vast beings and came at length to a new place where the unshaded force of a star beat against my eyes and I saw one who was myself and not myself.
I dreamed this dream many times in those years when I clung to my good fortune and my love with a joy mixed with trepidation. I knew that it must all inevitably end.
The man of whom I dreamed was almost my double, but I lacked his skills, his experience or his faith. He was a mukhamir, an adept - an expert player in the great Game of Time. He ranged the mighty highways of interstellar space and had a bizarre, momentous destiny. His full name was Renark von Bek, Count of the Rim...

I was in a place of roads--silver spiderwebs of roads which wound between all the Realms of the multiverse...

'What do you know about this Sagittarius?' I asked.
Hitler shrugged. 'Very little. His name, of course, is an invention.'
Weill turned up again behind the bar and asked us if we wanted more beer. We said we didn't.
'Sagittarius?' Weill spoke up brightly. 'Are you talking about that crank Klosterheim?'
'He's a crank, is he?' I said. The name rang a distant bell.
'That's not fair, Kurt,' Hitler said. 'He's a brilliant man, a biologist---'

'Klosterheim[4] was thrown out of his job because he was insane!'

  • The infamous 'bullet scene' in The Sword of the Dawn, Book One, Chapter 15 was excised from the White Wolf edition of Hawkmoon in order to remove a hanging plot thread in the original text - 'What did D'Averc intend to do with the ancient bullet he found?' - that was never followed up. The scene was also omitted in the Millennium mass-market paperback edition.[5]

"...We cannot afford to rest here now, D'Averc. We must press on at once."
D'Averc nodded. "A shame." He stooped and picked up a small object he had seen on the floor, placing it in his tattered jerkin. "I think I recognise this."
"What is it?"
"It could be one of the charges used for the old guns they used," D'Averc said. "If so, it will be useful."
"But you have no old gun!"
"One does not always need one!" said D'Averc mysteriously.

They ran back down the ramp to the entrance of the tower.

  • The final chapter of The Wrecks of Time is changed from the original "The Golden Bridges" to "The Golden Roads", and whereas before Moorcock had described "bridges of light between the worlds" at John Davey's suggestion these were changed to "roads of light...":

"That's what they are," Faustaff said in realization. "They're roads -- roads that we can travel[6] to reach the other simulations. See..." he pointed to an object the hung in the sky above their heads, rapidly passing as the world turned on its axis -- "there's one end of ours. We could reach it in a plane, then we could walk across, if we had a lifetime to spare! But we can build transport that will travel the roads in a few days! These worlds are like islands in the same lake and those roads link us all together."

  • Much of the opening to The Black Corridor is repeated, pretty much verbatim, in Chapter Three of The Distant Suns. Since the latter novel followed the former in the Sailing to Utopia omnibus most of this passage was excised from The Distant Suns in the White Wolf and Millennium mass-market paperback editions. It remains in the Millennium hardcover and trade paperback editions.
  • In Legends from the End of Time, the final chapter of Constant Fire was revised so that rather than flogging Mavis Ming, Emmanuel Bloom uses a 'sweet-smelling liquid' which burns upon contact on her in order to 'free' Mavis. Due to a printing error, only this revised chapter appeared in the Millennium hardcover and trade paperback editions. The full novel was included in the White Wolf hardcover edition,[7] the Millennium mass-market paperback edition, as well as the hardcover and trade paperback editions of the Karl Glogauer omnibus Behold the Man and Other Stories (Phoenix House, 1994).[8]

Other Revisions

The following are not part of the official 'Tale of the Eternal Champion' series, but were published contemporaneously with it.


  2. Note: While the 1992 Roc edition of TSW is revised, it isn't the same revision as the WW The Eternal Champion omnibus and Renark's name is unchanged.
  3. He becomes Sam Begg in The Metatemporal Detective version of the story.
  4. 'Who' in the original.
  5. The Fantasy Masterworks edition of The History of the Runestaff uses the revised text, as do the latest Tor Books editions.
  6. 'Cross' in the original.
  7. No trade paperback edition of Legends from the End of Time was published by White Wolf due to financial difficulties
  8. The latter as a 'sop' to readers who were buying the hardcover and/or trade paperback editions in preference to the latter mass-market paperback editions.
  9. Ike Sinclair in The Metatemporal Detective