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The Black Corridor (Sailing to Utopia #2)

3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  290 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
The Black Corridor is a science fiction novel by Michael Moorcock, published in 1969, first by Ace Books in the USA, as part of their Ace Science Fiction Specials series, and later by Mayflower Books in the UK.
It is essentially a novel about the decay of society and the deep personal and social isolation this has caused, and tells of a man fleeing through interstellar spa
Mass Market Paperback, 126 pages
Published December 1st 1969 by Mayflower Books Ltd (first published 1969)
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis CarrollThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsFear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. ThompsonHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiCoraline by Neil Gaiman
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Nate D
Feb 24, 2014 Nate D rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: genre experimentalists
Recommended to Nate D by: space paranoia
How many books did Michael Moorcock write in 1969? I've only read three of his and they're all from that year. The haphazard psychedelic/apocalyptic 60s spy meltdown The Final Programme (not so great), his set of psychotropic stories The TIme Dweller (decent), and now, at last, this actually quite fantastic paranoiac look at the twin dissolutions of order in world in and self.

The elegant parallel structure follows two time-lines. First the descent of England into xenophobia, racism, and paranoia
Tim Mayer

A strange and short little book, Black Corridor is one of the best examples I can find of New Wave science fiction. Although the late writer Thomas Disch dismissed a lot of the New Wave as the triumph of style over substance, this particular school of SF literature did blow the cobwebs out of the older forms, obsessed with aliens and blasters. And the New Wave writers actually talked about sex, something difficult to find in much SF before 1964.
Written with his wife Hilary Bailer, Moorcock's nov
Gardy (Elisa G)
Un libro dagli inaspettati picchi horror.

pagina 15 - "e fingi di niente"
pagina 29 - "adesso che la droga (drug!) cominciava a fare effetto"
pagina 76 - "cerca di fare all'amore con lei"
pagine 93 - "la sagoma aggobbita della moglie"
pagina 112 - "non ha proprio nessuna voglia di pigliare quella droga (drug in inglese)"
pagina 113 - "i rumori negli orecchi continuano"
pagina 158 - "me non mi hai presa"

Oltre ai raggelanti picchi della traduzione di Gabriele Tamburini, troverete uno dei primi esempi di
Jim Jones
Moorcock gets about half of the future right in this 1970 novel set in 2005. What struck me as most prophetic was that people hole up in their apartments with wall-sized screen TV's while the world outside slowly disintegrates. The world has caught some kind of paranoid virus which makes everyone suspicious of other people, other cultures, and other ways of thinking. Society is quickly unraveling. A small group of family and friends try to escape to a new planet. While everyone else is in stasis ...more
Jonathan Norton
Preposterous slice of 70s apocalyptic psychosis, notable for being written in 1969, before the calamities of the Heath government. In this disintegrating world Britain is divided into warring city-states, Balham is an anti-feminist enclave, the French are dropping H-bombs on us and our top politician thinks there are alien infiltrators everywhere. A demented small businessman decides the only rational course of action is to seize the interstellar spaceship built in Siberia and fly to another pla ...more
Stephen Case
The name Michael Moorcock has been on my list of authors to read for so long that I can’t remember why or when he ended up there. I also can’t quite figure out why he’s so well-known or what kind of writer he is, exactly, and reading several entries on him in various fantasy and science fictions encyclopedias hasn’t helped much. Suffice to say he’s British, he was influential in the New Wave, and his writings are extensive and pretty hard to pigeon-hole.

I grabbed The Black Corridor from the scie
Mar 30, 2015 Gary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Black Corridor by Michael Moorcock [Review]

While this story was originally written in the late sixties, Michael Moorcock captures a society that has become increasingly removed from one another, and prone to all manner of neuroses such that their lives have become filled with such a gripping paranoia that any difference, however minute, grounds for suspicion if not outright violence, and as meaningful a statement now as it was then.

Predominately written as a series of log entries and flashb
Jan 08, 2008 Ben rated it liked it
How misanthropic. I can't say that I liked reading this book, since everyone in it was very unpleasant. But I'll bet you a dollar this gets made into a movie in the next few years; xenophobia and paranoia are the creeping horrors du jour. We're all monsters, really, and if monstrous behavior starts being encouraged rather than censured, it's a very quick slide down to nightmare-land.
Read in one sitting in the garden at Dudmaston Hall in Shropshire after my wife bought it for me in the National Trust second hand book shop. What a lovely way to read a book and what a lovely way to spend an afternoon. This seems a little rushed compared to some of Moorcock's works but he was very prolific at this time. A story of a man travelling to a new life on another planet after the breakdown of civilisation on Earth and his own personal breakdown during the flight as he ponders his relat ...more
Mar 15, 2016 Marina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Закончила книгу давненько, а слов так и не нашла. С одной стороны - это прекрасная антиутопия, которая, знаете, пугает не эфемерным Братом, а тем, что вот выгляни в окно и увидишь все то же, что и в книге. Страшно? Да не особо. И как-то проходит мимо тебя.

Эта часть книги, когда описывается мир вокруг - она прекрасна в своей трагичности осознания, что ничего исправить не возможно, хотя еще можно было несколько лет назад - но или люди или не замечали этого, или просто ничего не делали,но вот или я
Amanda Nuchols
Predictable and depressing, but interesting and well-written for the vein of dated sci-fi that it falls under.
Newton Falkner
Feb 14, 2010 Newton Falkner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Found this book a bit dissapointing at the end, but like all Moorcock's books it's still a great read.
Geoff Hyatt
Aug 16, 2014 Geoff Hyatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Space is infinite. It is dark."

With these first lines, Moorcock sets about destroying the tropes of wide-eyed, gee-whiz spaceship adventures with a disorienting and oppressive story of crushing isolation and encroaching madness. In a future where overpopulation and violent xenophobia has created a global holocaust, Ryan and twelve others escape Earth on a spacecraft in search of a new world. Three years later, as the sole crew member overseeing the ship and its pod-slumbering crew, Ryan faces p
May 29, 2014 Traummachine rated it really liked it
This was pretty classic 1960s sci-fi with a psychological horror element, but it's also more than that. It was also pretty unusual among the Moorcock I've read. For one thing, it really doesn't seem to tie in to the Eternal Champion sequence, or even to the first book in the Sailing To Utopia omnibus.

This is about a very long voyage to distant stars, with most of the crew sleeping in stasis. The man on duty (Ryan) starts to notice little things around the ship that are off, and things spin out o
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
So a Moocock book. After reading the review at Graeme's Fantasy Book Review I decided to buy and read it. In my opinion the book was not as good as he portrayed it. The book is divided in two parts... the first part is the ramblings of Ryan (our main protagonist) as he travels into another galaxy to settle there with his family. Inbetween chapters we learn about their society and why they must do the voyage. The book is quite easy to read but there are a lot of references of Moorcock own politic ...more
Simon Mcleish
Jan 11, 2013 Simon Mcleish rated it really liked it
Originally published on my blog here in December 2001.

The wonderfully atmospheric first few paragraphs of The Black Corridor immediately make it clear what the purpose of the novel is to be. Science fiction of the fifties and sixties in particular treat space travel as a glorious adventure, mankind (almost always male) against the stars. Here, though, the pioneer is a selfish, paranoid man who wants to save himself from the worldwide descent into 1984-style dystopian states.

Ryan is the only memb
Ellie [The Empress]
Nov 19, 2013 Ellie [The Empress] rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ellie [The Empress] by: R. Leib
In a world where people indulge in every paranoid thought and act on it, where everyone medicates to cut off the anxieties the society brings, the privacy has become a synonym for happiness and sleeping pills and antidepressants are the means to this end.

And one rational man tries to escape this nightmare by trying to colonize and create a new and better life on a new world. Alone in his spaceship, Ryan observes the ship's functioning and the hibernation pods where his family and friends sleep.
Vladimir Ivanov
Nov 05, 2015 Vladimir Ivanov rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Прекрасный образец НФ "новой волны". Крайне мизантропичная, крайне мрачная повесть про одиночество в космосе и про одиночество среди людей. И про безумие. Безумны политики, нагнетающие националистическую паранойю, безумны толпы, линчующие всех попавшихся под руку, безумны простые обыватели, задумавшие угнать прототип первого в мире звездолета и сбежать с гибнущей Земли на звезду Барнарда, безумен рассказчик. Особенно рассказчик.

Муркок at his best.
Rob Woodard
Dark minimalist scifi about a small group of people in a stolen spaceship who are fleeing an earth that is collapsing socially and ecologically and all the horrible things they (and especially their leader) do to survive.
Bleak stuff about depressing series of events.

At first I didn't care for this book much at all. About halfway thru its 180-odd pages, though, it coalesced into something worthwhile, mainly because Moorcock does a masterful job of showing how the actions of the book's "hero," w
Shannon Appelcline
More a vignette than a novel, but it's one that is very well-presented. There's a ton of tension thanks to the unreliable narrator, and there are also some really eerie visions. Though there's not a lot of depth to this book, it's still quite interesting to read.
Zantaeus Glom
Jun 11, 2014 Zantaeus Glom rated it really liked it
A wildly entertaining variant on the classic lone madman in deep space trope. (the dystopian UK is oddly prescient; especially with all the UKIP/EU palaver at the moment!)
Justin  K. Rivers
A mundanely pessimistic vision of the future, but with the social catastrophe a backdrop for the psychological unhinging of the main character en route to colonize a new planet. Perhaps a more artful prose stylist (like Bradbury) could elevate the material. The novel starts off exceedingly slow and only becomes truly surprising towards the very end. It would've made a better Twilight Zone episode rather than a novel, the narrative is slim and lacks deep insight. Moorcock does get points, however ...more
May 30, 2007 Nick rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: scifi
A tiresome novella about a man who has to stay awake while his family sleeps in cryogenic storage during a spaceflight.

I picked it up when I was thirteen years old, shortly after finishing the Elric saga, and was unprepared for the book's starkness. The portrait of an unreliable narrator has been done in much more interesting ways, including in Moorcock's other novels. Nothing about this book redeems its plodding narrative and general misanthropy.
Mar 30, 2013 Dean rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Somewhat mundane in parts. A complex story of depression and paranoia. Frustrating to determine what is happening for real, sometimes. Do not like dream sequences. Ending seemed too obscure, or more probably, i just didn't get it.
Erik Graff
Sep 15, 2011 Erik Graff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Moorcock fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
A dark and, to me, frustratingly obscure science fiction horror story begun by Moorcock's wife and finished by him.
Chris Pollard
Aug 17, 2010 Chris Pollard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The dark insanity brought on by lonely travel through the void - excellent book!
Feb 07, 2009 Elspeth rated it it was amazing
Disturbingly creepy and on the verge of madness... or...

Psycho Sci Fi!
Dec 26, 2012 Joseph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A decent look at Inner Space. Very familiar though.
Lilith Spencer
Aug 08, 2012 Lilith Spencer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book! Ending was a little confusing though.
May 08, 2012 Steve rated it really liked it
Moorcock, as always, is a very cerebral read
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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

Sailing to Utopia (3 books)
  • The Ice Schooner
  • The Distant Suns

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