Friday, 9 February 2001

Michael Moorcock: The Hollow Lands (1974)

Edition: Granada, 1981
Review number: 749

Like the first volume in the Dancers at the End of Time trilogy, An Alien Heat, The Hollow Lands is set partly just before the end of the universe, and partly at the end of the nineteenth century. It has little to add to what has been said by the earlier novel, and is mainly a continuation of the plot in a fairly predictable way.

Jherek Carnelian has returned to his own time when the Victorians attempted to hang him. He is still in love with Amelia Underwood, and now seeks a new time machine in which he can travel back to Bromley in 1896. He cannot throw himself into the creations which amuse the dwellers at the end of time in the same way that he used to. All he wants to do is to recreate what he saw in the past and to return there as soon as possible.

The virtues of The Hollow Lands are shared with An Alien Heat: the vivid description of the end of time, the bemusement of Carnelian in the nineteenth century, and the satiric parallels with twentieth century Western life. It is a little lighter and more humorous than its predecessor, but it is very much the middle novel in a trilogy.

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