The Woods of Arcady by Michael Moorcock
Hardcover – Tor – Jun 2023 – 479 pages
In the 1970s, Michael Moorcock, a writer of genre fiction, attempts to save his failing marriage by taking his wife and daughters to Paris. One night in a bar he is amazed to find himself drinking with heroes of story and history. The next day he awakens aboard a sailing ship, kidnapped into another reality by a French highwayman and the four Musketeers, who know Moorcock well from adventures in London’s Alsacia…but that was another Moorcock, from another world.
Soon after they reach Africa, the company is rescued from an ambush by Antara, a poet-adventurer who offers to lead them across the desert and through several realities to the estate of Lord and Lady Blackstone. The trip is full of wonders Moorcock has read, dreamed, or written: an underground civilization of nonhuman creatures; a magical oasis where the lion lies down with the lamb; a lush garden inhabited by miniature dinosaurs.
They are pursued by the notorious Jacob Nixer, who also remembers the Alsacia and is determined to destroy Moorcock and his companions.
The main narrative of The Woods of Arcady is punctuated by episodes from the story of the Blackstones and by spirited, freewheeling appearances by Captain Buggerly Otherly and his companions from the Second Ether. As readers move deeper into Moorcock’s multiverse, it rises up on all sides, ready to astound.