The Whispering Swarm by Michael Moorcock
Trade Paperback – Tor – May 2023 – 480 pages
Postwar London, Swinging Sixties London–a time and place of creativity and social change. Young Michael Moorcock embarks upon adulthood as both editor and writer of science fiction and fantasy, helping shape the genre into its modern form through his work and his friendships with other writers. His marriage is new and fresh; his children are young and raising them, an adventure.
But no adventure lasts forever, and Moorcock begins to chafe under the grind of work and family. What seems a chance encounter with a monk–one of the White Friars–leads to a secret at the heart of London. Massive yet phantasmal doors lead to the Alsacia, a hidden world inhabited by great heroes of both history and fiction. Captivated, Moorcock rides as a highwayman and finds himself drinking in the company of all four Musketeers, though he misses his children and his increasingly-estranged wife.
The Alsacia’s dangerous politics come to a head just as Moorcock’s wife divorces him, each catastrophe feeding on the other as two realities pull on the emotionally struggling writer.
Part memoir, part adventure novel, The Whispering Swarm–the first book in The Sanctuary of the White Friars series–is both an evocation of a now-vanished London and the beginning of a new journey through the multiverse, created by a master of science fiction and fantasy.