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MOORCOCK, Michaël John.- The Cornelius chronicles
Article published on 27 November 2010
last modification on 25 November 2010

by r-c.
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The Cornelius Chronicles / The Cornelius Quartet is a tetralogy consisting of:
- The Final Programme
- A Cure for Cancer
- The English Assassin (
- The Condition of Muzak (
* This collection was first published as The Cornelius Chronicles in 1977

  • A revised edition was published in 1979
    * The collection was first published as The Cornelius Quartet in 1993 (in the UK; 2001 in the US)

* The Cornelius Chronicles (the original edition of which this review is based on) differs slightly from The Cornelius Quartet (the latter incorporating a variety of apparently relatively minor revisions)

* The Cornelius Chronicles includes an Introduction by John Clute; The Cornelius Quartet does not.

* Illustrated by Malcolm Dean, Richard Glyn Jones, and Jill Riches

"constitute some of Moorcock’s best work, centring on the attempts of Jerry Cornelius, a sort of transcendental hippy James Bond, to relate to the late twentieth century world. Nestor Makhno’s army is again encountered. On this occasion it is in wild alliance with an army of Scottish anarchists and their fleet of a hundred airships painted in black anarchist livery and St Andrew’s crosses. The opportunist Cornelius, known as a Makhnovist sympathiser, winds up as governor in Kiev. Andrew Hedgecock, writing in Freedom, saw Cornelius as ’a template for Moorcock’s ironic attacks on authoritarianism, racism and traditionally defined gender roles’; on this seminal tetralogy the author declines to editorialise, compelling enhanced reader participation - hence the ’narrative is consonant with the central notion that self discipline is a necessary condition for freedom.’"
Anarchism and science fiction


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