I've been fascinated by Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melnibone since I found the bizarre albino character co-starring with Robert E. Howard's Conan in Marvel's superb comic book series.
Suddenly, thanks to Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor Smith, in among all the Hyborian hubbub was thrown this rather different fellow with a really really funky hat. Despite the hat, I got the sense from that two-part story of a universe fundamentally different than Howard's, a place where magic was more fragrant and more varied.
I snagged up some Elric books when I found them later in the 70's under some exquisite Michael Whelan covers. When I found out Elric was part of a grander scheme of an "Eternal Champion" who is resurrected in different times under different names, I had to scarf up as many of Moorcock's books as I could lay my hands on. Elric's world reminded me of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast more than any other sword and sorcery world I'd visited. It seemed rather peculiar and somewhat alien.
It's been decades since I read those stories, but now Del Rey is putting out Moorcock's saga, a story that has grown and altered over the years, in a series of books. I've yet to get the last two, but I want to sit down and mingle with the odd folks of Melnibone once again. They're like those very odd neighbors down the road, the kind you want to be polite to because you're not quite sure what they're capable of.