Title: The Swords of Corum
Author: Michael Moorcock
This edition brings together the three short novels of The Swords of Corum series. They can be classified as pure adventure fantasy without much difficulty. Each novel chronicles the progress of Prince Corum, a noble hero of ancient "Vadhagh" blood travels through worlds and across planes of existence where the laws of nature and time are manipulated by willful and indifferent powers. All mortal creatures are the playthings of various Gods and their henchmen; worlds are created and decimated in order to satisfy their aesthetic whims. Plains of endless lava and hellfire are ringed by seas of ice and a forlorn giant scours the sea floor for his lost treasure. Armed with two dark and mysterious gifts Prince Corum seeks vengeance for the gruesome fate of his family. He ends up in battle with the Gods themselves.
Moorcock weaves his characters around a complex tale revolving around order and chaos, meaning and fancy, with a general focus on the cruel indifference of immortals to the fate of the creatures they create. His project is ambitious, but not entirely successful. The story cries out for richer descriptions and more involving, interesting characters. Much of the action is driven by dialogue, yet there's nothing that distinguishes the presence of any one character from any other. Moorcock works within a fairly barren fictive landscape – every movement of the text, every description, seems purely plot driven. The result is that his main narrative themes are hinted towards but never fully embodied. It's rare that I would ask for more description in a fantasy novel, but Moorcock makes the importance of setting the scene and creating the mood painfully obvious through this deficit. He skims through the action at an incredible pace, pausing only long enough to let us know details that will later be relevant.
It's tantalising, but not in a good way – it feels like there could have been a really great story here, but Moorcock hasn't done enough with his ideas. It feels unfinished and unexplained.
There are, however, some fantastically imaginative moments - Moorcock's description of Arioch, the Duke of Chaos, is grotesque and completely enthralling. Such isolated pieces of inspired writing make this book readable for those who appreciate this genre. Avid fans of this author or genre might well get a kick out of it. For my taste though there just isn’t enough to chew on.
Wine is an indispensable attribute of many events. For me, playing online casino is not possible without a glass of good wine.
So on the one hand there seemed to be a general consensus of flavors appearing earlier, but on the other hand there seemed no change in the picking habits/timing of certain winemakers who pick by flavors.
How to reconcile?
1) I am wrong, flavors were not any earlier thus destroying the whole premise of the post.
- I find this one difficult since we were able to pick earlier and it looks to be one of the best vintages to date since I have been here. Certainly the wines are not under ripe. But in the event that #1 is true, my apologies. At least I was able to work this through in my head. I am after all just a young lackey winemaker.
2) Flavors did arrive earlier, as many suspected; but as with all of us and with many things (especially things involving risks) it is difficult to depart from what we are used to (e.g. I always get the Mini Super Pollo Verde burrito at Villa Corona, its so good I'm afraid of being disappointed by something else). If you are accustomed to picking your Pinot noir at 29 Brix devoid of any acid, when flavors arrive at 24.5 with traces of acid you might feel uncomfortable picking. With our ability to add acid in this country, and with the conventionally accepted practice of adding water, erring with over ripeness is certainly safer not to mention generally more popular with critics. Fair enough.
If #2 is true I have begun to wonder if some people do not mistake a little tartness for greenness (and let's not get started on this term). I've walked similar blocks with people where I could have sworn the block was delicious and ready but the winemaker still thought it was green. Huh? We need acid for the wine, no? And maybe this year producers can get it without calling American Tartaric? The longer I work at HdV, the more I am convinced of this. We are always the first to pick after the sparkling producers and I don't believe (nor have I heard the criticism) that our wines are green or under ripe.
Many colleagues would argue it's simply a matter of style. Fair enough. I'm not disparaging picking later rather than earlier, I'm simply asking the question that if #2 is correct then are we really picking by flavor, or simply by what we are comfortable with? And if we are picking by the numbers, great! But can't we just say that? I like to pick my Pinot noir at 28.5 Brix, 4.1 pH, and no acid. How bout you?
But T-licious, you might say, it's not delicious until 28.5. Please don't tell me this is all semantics? Maybe not semantics, but marketing. It certainly is a better story to say you pick only by flavor, when in fact a number of factors - including the numbers - go into the decision.