This article was originally published on Ferretbrain. I’ve backdated it to its original Ferretbrain publication date but it may have been edited and amended since its original appearance.
In 1964 Michael Moorcock managed to complete Stormbringer, the astonishing conclusion of the Elric series, and began a now legendary run as the editor of SF periodical New Worlds, a position he used to inject massive doses of J.G. Ballard, Norman Spinrad, Harlan Ellison, Thomas Disch, John Brunner and M. John Harrison into the bloodstream of the science fiction scene, helping to kickstart a delirious, Naked Lunch-esque bender of experimentation and rules-shattering which would come to be known as the New Wave of SF once everyone sobered up.
The publishers of New Worlds also operated Compact Books, a fairly cheap and cheerful pulp publisher who were more than happy to crank out books by the New Worlds crowd to fill out the SF/fantasy section of their line. Most Moorcock books published in 1965 and 1966 came out through Compact Books – the bulk of them being fix-up novels lashed together from stories published in various magazines – and on top of that Moorcock was more than happy to supplement his income by ghostwriting a quick novel or six when Compact thought they needed to cover a particular niche.