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The Land Leviathan (Oswald Bastable #2)

3.54  ·  Rating Details  ·  610 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Out of a world in which events defy the laws of Space and Time comes Michael Moorcok's intriguing new science fiction novel-- the fantastic tale of Oswald Bastable, a man trapped forever by Time. The desperation of Bastable's bizarre fate runs deep, for an unpredictable time warp thrusts him into strange worlds, all parallel to his own, yet different. Throughout all this, ...more
Hardcover, 150 pages
Published August 16th 1974 by Doubleday & Co. (Garden City, NY) (first published 1974)
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This is more of the same.

Homeboy gets transported to a new time, and he KNOWS that he's hanging around with the goodguys. Then, he gets captured by the other side, and he's belligerent--but wait! Then, he realizes that NOW he's with the REAL goodguys! Until he's stolen by someone else, and he's belligerent again, until he realizes that THIS TIME he's with the goodguys! And so on.

I think this process happens about five times over the 340 pages of the first two volumes of this series. It gets te
Matti Karjalainen
Michael Moorcockin "Leviatan maan päällä" (Vaskikirjat, 2013) jatkaa sarjaa, joissa kerrotaan Oswald Bastablen merkillisistä matkoista vaihtoehtohistoriallisissa maailmoissa.

Kirjan alkupuolella kuvaillaan Michael Moorcockin isoisän matkaa Kiinassa, jossa hän yrittää löytää "Ilmojen sotaherrasta" tuttua Bastablea kiinalaisesta laaksosta. Hanke epäonnistuu, mutta mielikuvituksellinen käsikirjoitus päätyy jälleen hänen käsiinsä. Bastable kuvailee siinä seikkailujaan vaihtoehtohistoriallisessa vuode
Artur Coelho
Jun 28, 2015 Artur Coelho rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Segundo volume da trilogia que se iniciou com o influente Warlord of the Air, neste livro Moorcock volta a trocar as voltas ao capitão Oswald Bastable. Nómada dos fluxos temporais, o aventureiro está condenado a viajar por entre mundos alternativos sem nunca conseguir regressar ao continuum de onde proveio. Crendo regressar ao futuro alternativo onde os dirigíveis libertários implantaram uma república equalitária no meio da China, descobre-se num outro mundo, devastado por uma guerra sem quartel ...more
Tom Loock
Oct 08, 2014 Tom Loock rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, fantasy, politics
The Land Leviathan: A New Scientific Romance is a direct sequel to The Warlord of the Air and contrary to opinions expressed in other reviews, I think you have to read that one first.

The Oswald Bastable-series is where politics meets SF and Michael Moorcock uses these books to express his views and interpretations of ideas and ideologies. This second volume deals exclusively with racism and nationalism - a little too ham-fisted for my taste.

Again, it makes use of historic persons, in this case
Ryan Iseppi
Michael Moorcock's second novel starring Cpt. Oswald Bastable is a rushed and rather confused handling of a very compelling theme. This is only the second complete work by Moorcock that I've read (this book's prequel, The Warlord of the Air, being the first). I originally became aware of Moorcock through his collaborations with the space rock band Hawkwind. What first struck me about the Oswald Bastable novels is how deliberately antiquated they are - the language and mannerisms of the character ...more
Apr 20, 2014 Steven rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It would seem that Oswald Bastable finds himself in another alternate time frame, with a world both familiar and strange insane. Now it is 1904, only a few years later than when he entered the temple of Teku Benga, yet this world has been severely devastated by futuristic military devices and biological warfare. Bastable learns that the Afro-American Black Attila has conquered virtually all the remaining lands and is determined to destroy the entire United States. This is a darker book than the ...more
Cécile C.
Nov 06, 2013 Cécile C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
Quite an interesting sequel. It's still more thought experiment than novel, but it's fun to read about different versions of history with minor variations. Bastable remains a more interesting character than might be expected; he's still a conventional Victorian Englishman, but he's plausible in this context (even his stubbornness rights rather true: after all, it wouldn't be that surprising if it took more than one war to make a convinced imperialist change his views).

As a standalone, this book
David Bonesteel
Moorcock's meditation on racism and nationalism is obvious and dull. His hero, the dimension-hopping Oswald Bastable, finds himself on an earth where technological advance has unleashed man's basest, most aggressive tendencies, leading to total war on a world-wide scale. The author has plenty of opinions, but hardly a clue as to how to wrap them in a coherent storyline. A few historical personages appear, such as Gandhi as the president of a pacifist country, but they are not used in a way that ...more
Simon Mcleish
Jun 23, 2012 Simon Mcleish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in March 2000.

As in the Jerry Cornelius novels, each of the Oswald Bastable series is set in a different world, an alternative vision of contemporary society. (This is accomplished by twisting a standard plot element of science fiction so that instead of time travel to different dates, Bastable travels to the same date each time with a different history connecting it to his origins in 1903.) The similarity with the Cornelius novels is increased by the way in
Charles Dee Mitchell
The Land Leviathan is the second entry in Moorcock's Nomad of Time trilogy and it suffers from sophomore-slump syndrome. The set-up is similar to Warlord of the Air, the first novel to chronicle the adventures of Oswald Bastable, faithful soldier in the British Raj who has become dislodged in time, traveling from the earliest years of the twentieth century into either the future, or in this case, into a different version of his own present. And once again, the story is presented by Michael Moorc ...more
Mar 19, 2011 Wayne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Eternal Champion is Michael Moorcock's favorite subject, represented by Captain Oswald Bastable here in this excellent sequel to Warlord of the Air. I'm not versed in steampunk, but this seems a worthy entry to the genre. Alternate history, dirigibles and ironclads, even steam-powered Gatling guns; a veritable plethora of genre paraphernalia. Also featured is the woman I consider to be Moorcock's true eternal champion: Una Persson.

The formula is straightforward. Take a champion (Corum, Elri
J.G. Keely
And so the adventures of Oswald Bastable continue, thrusting him yet again through the barriers of time and into a strange Earth at once familiar and disturbing. The themes and characters we explore are similar to the first volume, featuring at the center yet another Nemo-esque warlord whose methods give our narrator uneasy pause. By the end, we find ourselves liable to agree with Mr. Bastable's suspicion that time is having a laugh at his expense, forcing him to experience history as 'variation ...more
Ian Johnston
Not having read the previous book is not a problem if you are considering picking up this book. Almost a third of the book is devoted to the narrative frame (itself a compelling enough narrative about an adventure in China). It's a fun adventure story, grim but not quite as grim as Moorcock gets. The usual themes are there (if you've read one novel by Moorcock you've practically read them all) a hero wandering, a pawn of fate, a general lack of agency on the part of the protagonist, and alternat ...more
Feb 03, 2016 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really good book, that takes a bit to get started. There is Moorcock the author, Moorcock his grandfather and Bastable the eternal champion. When we get to Bastable, it is a good narative. Again he takes on some overarching that a war is about. I think this book is a bit better in that regard than the previous issue. Moorcock (the author) also does a good job of destroying time in this book. I look forward to the third installment.
Nov 07, 2015 Matt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After reading and enjoying The Warlord of the Air (the first book in this trilogy), I found this book to be a letdown. It took far too long to get into the story, and then once it did, the world described was underdeveloped. Most of this book felt like rushed descriptions of battles. It failed to come to life for me. I also found the plot construct to be much more implausible than what I liked about its predecessor. I was glad to be done with this book.
Though I still love the concept of Oswald Bastable traveling through the Time Streams, the world created in this book, the Black Attila, and the technology is just not as believable or gripping as the first installment in the Time Streams series. I can only hope the third installment will return to the glory of "Warlord of the Air"!
Andrew Lasher
May 02, 2010 Andrew Lasher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second book in Moorcock's Nomad of the Time Streams trilogy picks up more or less where the first leaves off. Oswald Bastable is a time traveling, parallel universe hopping protagonist who gets to see the earth in a variety of alternate histories.

As I mentioned in my review of The Warlord of the Air, the first novel in the trilogy, this is steampunk at its finest. These books are accessible and can give readers who are new to the genre a good idea of what steampunk is without overwhelming t
Kathleen Christyson
Takes me back to the first books I remember reading..

What a wonderful journey through time . Great characters in a thoroughly engaging story. With just enough familiarity to ring true.
Dec 02, 2013 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second in a series by Moorcock about Capt. Oswald Bastable and his travels through other earths. The books are written in the style of pulp fiction from the turn of the century as they're supposedly written by his grandfather and 'discovered' by Moorcock.

The characters are interesting and, if you didn't know otherwise, you might think by the style that it was written at the turn of the century. The stories are interesting and you can see some of the political viewpoints of the author bleed t
Jay Daze
Jul 05, 2011 Jay Daze rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, adventure
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The invention here of a form of cheap, flexible, transferable energy is the catalyst of the breakdown of all established states into a savage war of all against all in this alternative vision of the world before WWI.

Alone in Africa an idealist by the name of Gandhi has managed to create a harmonious multi-racial state while to the north a fierce empire builder - the Black Attila is intent on creating a new Ashanti Empire.
Mike (the Paladin)
I hate when we can't see the cover art...the one I remember was a large tank like vehicle.

Not one of Moorcock's stronger works. Along with Warlord of the Air this is one of MM takes on an alternate history/post apocalyptic story. Don't ask...if we get to the post apocalyptic part there has to be the change in the history.

Not bad, but if your an American or a European I hope you can take an insult...
Jun 21, 2015 melo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk, fantasy
secondo della serie, forse non all'altezza del primo a parte qualche personaggio interessante (tipo Gandhi a capo di un sudafrica pacifista), ma una gran lettura leggera per rimettersi a far girare le pagine, e uno splendido spunto di riflessione, "dalla parte dell'umanità ", su guerra e razzismo.
niente male per un romanzo breve di avventura viaggi nel tempo e ucronie
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not bad enough
B.  Barron
Aug 26, 2010 B. Barron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent – maybe even better than the first book. It starts off a bit slow, but when we finally get to the meat of the story it flies.
In this book he didn’t move historic figures about so much, they were all pretty much correct in their position in time.
I loved how Moorcock reverses the racist themes of many 19th and early 20th century novels.
Another great book.
The sequel to Warlord of the Air, The Land Leviathan is, to my mind, far less interesting. It's too didactic (the subtitle, a play on H.G. Wells, is surely ironic), and the contrivance that powers the trilogy is far too creaky. I still plan to finish this up with The Steel Tsar but now I'm skeptical that the promise of the first book can be restored.
Dec 18, 2009 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
this second book in The Nomad of Time trilogy continues pretty much from the point where The Warlord of the Air left off. Bastable once again involved in a world war, as his travels through the multiverse continue, that has devasted most of the world. Moorcock's meditations on politics and especially on racism are intense. well crafted quick action-filled read.
Jan 08, 2011 Old-Barbarossa rated it really liked it
Second part of the Bastable trilogy.
More of the same, but where the 1st focused on class and the collapse of empire this one focuses on total war and racism. The 1st was big into airships, this one has a really, really big tank.
Usual suspects and Hx cameos. Sometimes the issue of race is handled clumsily.
On the whole enjoyable but not as good as part one.
Jul 26, 2008 Wolfgang rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not perfect, but it presents a unique alternate reality that while not functional, it appears to be a small homage to the classic science fiction writers of the early 1900s. I appreciated the ironic storyline, and main character. There are certain moments of the book that could of been better written, but a decent enough narrative.
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Michael John Moorcock is an English writer primarily of science fiction and fantasy who has also published a number of literary novels.
Moorcock has mentioned The Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Apple Cart by George Bernard Shaw and The Constable of St. Nicholas by Edward Lester Arnold as the first three books which captured his imagination. He became editor of Tarzan Adventures in 1956,
More about Michael Moorcock...

Other Books in the Series

Oswald Bastable (3 books)
  • The Warlord of the Air (Oswald Bastable, #1)
  • The Steel Tsar (Oswald Bastable, #3)

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