The Geomancer


The Metatemporal Detective: The Intersection of History and Fiction

Rob H. Bedford, over on SFFWorld, reviews Michael Moorcock's The Metatemporal Detective.Rob says, "While each entry is a story in its own right, they do fit together to give an overall tapestry of Moorcock’s multiverse. Stories range from turn-of-the 20th Century England to The Wild West of the 1800s to Nazi-era Germany. Though each of these time frames for the stories have an air of familiarity, each takes place on a world parallel to our own with slight differences. The Nazis in one world don’t quite escalate to power the way they did here, the United States of America isn’t so United in another. This is how Moorcock’s multiverse works, the worlds resemble our own but really aren’t. It is a neat trick and one of the strong points of much of Moorcock’s fiction – the intersection of history and fiction. Two elements, that when in the hands of a deft writer like Moorcock, makes for a very good story."

I was particularly gratified to see that Rob's favorite story was "The Mystery of the Texas Twister," since I have a history with that story predating this collection. It might be my favorite as well, tied perhaps with the final entry in the book. Meanwhile, Rob concludes that, "
The strengths of these stories are many. The twisting plots, the quippy dialogue between Begg and Taffy, the interactions between Begg and Zenith, and the cool settings to name just a few. The stories are entertaining and range across the spectrum of Moorcock’s wide canvas. This book will appeal to Moorcock’s many fans as well as fans of dashing, pulpy stories and will fit very comfortably alongside and within Moorcock’s Eternal Champion saga."

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