For the first vintage fantasy “beginning,” I’m featuring the opening passage of Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melniboné, the first novel is his most famous fantasy series, published in 1972:
It is the colour of a bleached skull, his flesh; and the long hair which flows beneath his shoulders is milk-white. From the tapering, beautiful head stare two slanting eyes, crimson and moody, and from the loose sleeve of his yellow gown emerge two slender hands, also the colour of bone, resting on each arm of a seat which has been carved from a single, massive ruby.
The crimson eyes are troubled and sometimes one hand will rise to finger the light helm which sits upon the white locks: a helm made from some dark, greenish alloy and exquisitely moulded into the likeness of a dragon about to take wing. And on the hand which absently caresses the crown there is a ring in which is set a single rare Actorios stone whose core sometimes shifts sluggishly and reshapes itself, as if it were sentient smoke and as restless in its jeweled prison as the young albino on his Ruby Throne.
– Michael Moorcock, Elric of Melniboné
|This is one of the all-time fantasy classics!|