Another Time, Another Place…
Those words come from an art piece featuring The Rolling Stones by Rodney Matthews whose stunning work can be viewed from his new website here
For me the words also convey a deeper mood, a memory of a time, quite recent –– yet so very long ago. I’m talking about the 1970’s. No cellphones, no wi-fi, and no emails or blogs like this one. Truly… ‘Another Time, Another Place.’
As a teenager back then, and an avid JRR Tolkien reader, I discovered something new (for me anyway) when I delved deeper, and darker into the wonderfully evolving world that was (and is) Fantasy Fiction, and Fantasy Art.
On the night sleeper from Inverness to London, a tiny cabin, snow falling on Kingussie outside, silent flakes drifting down, just the sounds of rhythmic locomotion, and me on the bunk with a book in hand. A very special book with the power to tear my eyes from that magical snowscape.
A book by Michael Moorcock –– The Bull And The Spear, part of a much larger work featuring The Eternal Champion. Unlike anything I had read before or since. The Rodney Matthews image above is taken from the sequel –– The Oak And The Ram. I had that poster in my room above the hardware store, back then.
Above Pic: Corum Prince of the Scarlet Robe
For me Michael Moorcock’s books and Rodney Matthews art encapsulate the energy around in the 1970’s. A new era, the Swinging Sixties having swung off and crashed into Vietnam. The seventies were different, the music from that time –– well, that’s another post I’ll do someday. Rush,Yes, Mike Oldfield, Camel, Floyd... et al.
Fantasy had a renaissance in the 1970’s. Authors like Stephen R Donaldson gave readers darker, more intense works like his Thomas Covenant The Unbeliever. For me, fantasy evolved and became most of my world –– even a spell in the Queen’s Guards couldn’t shake the dreamer. As a 21 Century fantasy writer I look back on those days with gratitude. My stories would never be what they are if I hadn’t read Moorcock’s Knight Of The Swords, or Poul Anderson’s harrowing and brilliant –– The Broken Sword.
Above Pic: Elric of Melnibone
Not that I want to go back there! Perish the thought. Crap beer, awful wine, and decent coffee hard to get. Rail strikes, dodgy pay phones, and bad Telly. No, I’d rather binge-watch Game Of Thrones on my widescreen with a decent cab, thanks all the same.
But there was a magic then, something I feel we’ve lost along the way. Reflection –– time to think. life is so crazy busy now, and everything speeding faster day by day, hard to keep up. The stunning images featured in this post are from his Moorcock Collection and shared with kind permission from Rodney Matthews himself.
Staying on subject, I want to dedicate this post to another wonderful artist –– Roger Garland, a man I was privileged to know back in Cornwall who passed last year. You can view Roger and Linda Garland’s art in their website right here.
‘And Now For Something Completely Different…’
The Weekly Fantasy Series
Lost In The Woods: Part 2. In Deeper