Sunday, June 30, 2013


When I was in high school, I had this huge poster -- one of many, actually -- up in my room.  I remember I bought it at the Strawberry's record store in Kenmore Square in Boston, probably my sophomore or junior year -- that would've been about 1978 or 1979.  At the time I had just become enamored of Yes, and prog rock, and everything that went along with it.

Rodney Matthew's Tanelorn

Given yet-another cloudy and cool day, I loaded the kids up into the car and we took off to Hyannis to Spinnaker Records.   DS1 loves prowling through used records stores and finding obscure stuff.  DD loves it, too, although what she comes up with tends to be less obscure.  At any rate, Spinnaker has a huge collection of 1970s and 80s rock posters and album art and all kinds of cool stuff that was fun to look at, but none of the stuff that I actually owned myself back then.

So given nothing better to do, I decided to see if I could track down that poster I had always thought of as "that huge cool Roger Dean poster I gave to Joe when I went to college and he enlisted in the army."  

Except it turns out not to be a Roger Dean poster at all, and I feel like I owe an apology to Rodney Matthews, who has probably been dealing with that confusion his entire career (which has been and continues to be, quite productive).  

It also has a name, which is Tanelorn, the Eternal City from Michael Morcook's multiverse. I have never heard of Tanelorn before today, although of course I'd heard of Morcock and his Eternal Champion, Elric.  I had good friends (the aforementioned Joe was most certainly among them) who were reading this stuff (in between D&D sessions), along with Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series.  I never read any of it, sticking more with science fiction (Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke, Herbert), although I did get more into fantasy later (McAffrey, Zimmer Bradley, LeGuin).  Of course everyone read Tolkein, then.  

I literally wrote out and had to erase: I have no desire to read epic fantasy ever again, but then I realized I'm still curious to see how GRRM is going to untangle the multiple knotted plot threads in his massive A Song of Fire and Ice series, popularly known as Game of Thrones.  I've got a bit of wait on that front, with a possible publication of volume six in 2014 and then who knows how long for the final book.

So I haven't really lost my taste for fantasy, and this image still tugs at my heart. The thing I love about it is that you can't tell whether it's a city or an impossibly huge ship, able to slip away at will  -- exactly the kind of thing Tanelorn can do.  Kudos, Mr. Matthews.

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