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Blood: A Southern Fantasy Paperback – September, 1996

3.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Tapping the power of the rift in reality called the Biloxi Fault, the jugadors of the Terminal Cafe gamble on games of probability, building and manipulating universes. But is the universe they live in any different from those with which they play? Jack Karaquazian, Colinda Dovero, and Sam Oakenhurst discover that it is not when they are invited by the Rose to play on a grander scale and for higher stakes than ever before in a battle between the Chaos Engineers and the Singularity.

From Publishers Weekly

Encroaching chaos brings out the best and worst in human beings and other life forms in this inventive novel built from stories originally published between 1991 and 1994. In an alternate postbellum American South, where the social roles of blacks and whites are reversed, an interdimensional doorway known as the Biloxi fault is gnawing away at the fabric of reality, threatening to absorb the entire planet into the "multiverse" beyond. This world is the oyster of Sam Oakenhurst and Jack Karaquazian, both jugadors, or evolutionary accelerations of the riverboat gambler, whose incessant cardplaying symbolizes the effort to impose order on randomness, and whose willingness to take risks sets them apart from the novel's other characters. Their adventures up and down the Mississippi eventually bring them into contact with buccaneer Paul Minci and Rose, the Countess von Bek, a human-plant hybrid whose romantic allure inspires the duo to reflect at great length on the importance of chivalry, honor and other codes of social conduct in these decadent times. The narrative is sometimes too cerebral and static, enlivened only by serial installments of "Corsairs of the Second Ether," a pulpy space opera about the battle between the forces of order and chaos. Moorcock (Lunching with the Antichrist) offers a vision of an alternate South so convincing, however, it may leave readers questioning how well they know their history. Those who appreciated the philosophical dimension Moorcock brought to sword-and-sorcery fiction with his Elric saga will find similar pleasures here.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books (P); Reprint edition (September 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038078078X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380780785
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,248,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Blood" is a well written, somewhat contemporary view of Moorcock's Multiverse Mythos. The backdrop is an imaginative future America (patterned after the Post-Civil War U.S.) where the mining of a power source called "Color" has created a tear in the fabric of reality. Entropy runs rampant and we get an idea of what would happen if the War between Chaos and Law spilled over into OUR world. But the perspective is fresh and incorporates some modern physics such as "fractals" and "scale" to add a degree of science to the fantasy. Even the Gods of Moorcock's Pantheon have been recast as both players and characters in a hugely complex RPG called the "Game of Time." After a somewhat slow start, I found myself really sucked into this book. It's a tough read and can be confusing at times, although it pulls itself together nicely towards the end. It's basically a fresh spin on classic Moorcock. The sheer creativity of "Blood" shows why Moorcock was, and still is, one of the pioneers in Fantasy/Fiction.
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Format: Paperback
Okay, it's not the Cornelius books (my personal favorite), it's not the Elric saga, it's not really even Corum, but hey's this is Michael Moorcock we're talking about here. What we seem to have here is Moorcock attempting something new with his tried and true concept of Law versus Chaos and the multiverse and spinning it into something different. So we're faced with a drastically different South where the war between those two opposing factions has basically spilled over onto Earth. Into this comes a bizarre cast of characters such as Jack K (not even attempting that last name), Sam Oakenherst and the Rose, who all wind up being sucked into the Game of Time, whether they want to or not. The book turns out to be highly confusing in parts and the beginning is quite slow, introducing the characters and barely moving the plot forward while doing so. However once everyone gets together and things start happening, the book takes on an almost breakneck pace, almost like it's trying to compensate for the sloth like start. Ideas fly fast and furious around here even in the slow moments, and it sometimes feels like Moorcock is trying to cram several books into one. Surprisingly, I found myself actually caring about the main characters, especially the driven and passionate Jack. Toward the end the book takes on a careening quality, not at all helped by the rather strange Corsairs of the Second Ether sections, which, while good at introducing situations and characters that will become important later in the book, are deeply weird and border on incoherent.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This book represents a new departure for Moorcock. It is the first book in which he began to amplify and rationalize his ideas about the Multiverse, drawing on Chaos math as created by Mandelbrot. At the same time it looks backward to the entire Eternal Champion saga, further amplifying and resolving that! If you read this sequence beginning with FABULOUS HARBORS, going on to BLOOD and winding up with THE WAR AMONGST THE ANGELS (maybe take a peek at Moorcock's Multiverse graphic novel!) you will IMHO get a far more coherent picture of the multiverse. Given that Moorcock is telling a multitude of narratives (he once said that an ideal story contains as many narratives as words!) and exploring an extraordinary idea in a classic 'hard science' way, yet also, as in the Cornelius books, DEMONSTRATING the thought processes of the kind of people who would live in such an environment, how they would form relationships, achieve personal stability and so on. Another life lesson for the 21st century ? Urban life requires constant minor shifts of identity and perspective, just as work demands increasing response to immediate stimulii, just as good games do. Moorcock is one of the few writers to celebrate the coming age and isn't a bit scared by the prospect of conventional literacy being under threat. He is already discussing alternatives, as he did in the Cornelius books -- predicting what the technology does and predicting what the technology can do to make human life and love rich, profound and -- totally HUMAN. What always marks Moorcock, in his imaginative fiction as well as his social fiction, is his focus on humanity. Ultimately it is why he stands head and shoulders above most of his contemporaries and is doomed, like Leiber, Dick and Ballard, to name a few, to be forever ahead of his time. Get these books while they are still around. You might not completely understand them now, but you will!
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Format: Hardcover
Blood is a wonderfully complex, descriptive and at times
confusing book. The confusion however is part of the ride,
and by the end of the novel the confusion is washed away and
everything makes sense. The plot revolves around one Jack
Karaquazian, a gambler in the future of a world which is
rather different to ours, and the people around him.
Exploitation of a new energy source has caused reality to
start breaking down. Allowing an access to another world,
the second ether, where roles are assumed and the
paticipants take part in the game of time. This is a very
well written book, and the prose flows beautifully. A
deceptively quiet start leads onto a riotous display of
colour and imagination, as the novel is played out to its
natural conclusion. Its originality may take a few by
surprise, and it is difficult to find reference points in
other fiction. It is classified a Science Fiction/Fantasy
novel, but it has many elements of the literary, more
naturalistic novel, whilst incorporating a great deal of
chaos theory. Each part is broken up by short segments
of an "ongoing tale", the story of Captain Billy Bob Begg
and her Chaos Engineers. Very difficult to read, highly
compressed fiction, supposedly by Warwick Colvin Jr (one of
Moorcock's Pseudonyms). As Moorcock states, it is not
necessary to read these to understand the rest of the novel;
but, they do explain something of the characters that are so
important in the latter stages of the book. It would be
impossible to display all the nuances and complexities of
the novel in a short review like this (or even a longer
one).Overall a worthwhile book from a great, utterly
modern, author.
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