|...and the Hawklords shall return...WORSE LUCK!
This review comes from issue 4 of Vortex, a short-lived magazine dedicated to science fiction fantasy in
general, and Michael Moorcock in particular, it would seem...
ESSs, the writing is the work of Michael Butterworth.
It might also be interesting to speculate on what the director actually did in the production. How much of
the concept is his, and how much the writer's? The concept, by the by, is that the musicians of Hawkwind
and the Children Of The Sun are under attack from the Death Generator, controlled by Colonel Memphis
Mephis. After 90 pages of depression, paranoia and bad trips, the group finally metamorphose into
Hawklords, through dynamic dialogue:
"What, you mean we are now ..."
"Yep, that's right."
Pretty good stuff, eh? With the help of Hot Plate, a scientist in the employ of the King of England, they
build Delatrons which, for a while, are able to resist the bad vibes of the Death Generator. However the
power of the Delatrons (which, in technical scientific lingo, purify and refine Hawkwind's music) cannot
match up to the growing power of the Death Generator. So the Hawklords decide that they have to destroy
the machine. Hot Plate is set the task of locating the Generator, but before he can reveal its position he is
killed and his mind stored in the computer of the sexually repressive Pressmen. The Hawklords get into the
Pressmen's Control Centre (Centre Point) by using Stacia to comprise a Reporter. Always knew she'd come
in useful somewhere.
Nik Turner (Thunder Rider) sends his mind into the computer and rescues Hot Plate, putting the scientist's
mind into the head of Dave Brock, alongside The Baron's own persona. From here on, this character is
referred to, alternatively, as Hot Plate, The Baron and The Hydra.
When they have discovered from Hot Plate that the Generator is at The Centre Of The Earth, Bob Calvert
arrives, in best Fifth Cavalry tradition, in his Silver Machine. The Hawklords build more Silver Machines
and, after dealing with psychic invaders who take over Stacia and Astral Al, (Alan Powell), they set forth to
fight The Battle For Earth.
However, there are no melodramatic, corny, drawn out and maybe exciting struggles for victory or death,
because as the Hawklords attack Mephis' tower, the Colonel has a crisis of conscience, and in a flood of
emotion, he repents and kills himself. (Or so we gather from: "...he placed its snub nozzle to his head, and
pulled the trigger.")
So, with the world in ashes and our evil character dead by his own hand (probably couldn't stand this book
any longer), the Hawklords return to Parliament Hill, probably awaiting the arrival of the Queens Of Deliria
(volume two of this fascinating series). Which I am also doing, hoping that it will be better than this one.
If you can stagger through the bad grammar, the weak vocabulary and the flagging dialogue of this review,
you might be able to stand up to The Time Of The Hawklords.
Despite all its technical faults and its ridiculous plots (or, maybe, because of it) this book is fun to read, and
a pleasant way to cure insomnia.
The book proves that The Day Of The Amateur is in no way over.
The Time Of The Hawklords. Aidan Ellis, £3.80. Star £0.70.
Left: the Star paperback edition from 1976. Believe it or not the thing
got republished in 2003 with a far worse cover than this.
1976 was the year in which the pound fell by 16% and Aidan Ellis
published The Time Of The Hawklords. Fortunately the book was
published also in paperback by Star, which means that you can get
£3.80 worth for £0.70. But, either way, if you invested those upvalued
dollars in this book, you lost out. Certainly not as good an investment
as Monopoly money.
The paperback's cover was much more enjoyable than the hardback's,
being a very colourful, tending towards psychedelic, and, dare I say it,
flimsy production. That having dealt with the good parts of the book,
I'll now talk a little about the production team.
Produced and directed by Michael Moorcock, who also stars as the
Acid Sorcerer, Moorlock. It might be interesting to speculate whether
this book would have actually be published had Moorcock's name not
been there on the cover to sell it. Although the cover credits blast
'MOORCOCK & BUTTERWORTH', and it is possible that Moorcock
did write two paragraphs where American ZEEs become English