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Fritz Leiber and H.P. Lovecraft: Writers of the Dark

First published in 2003 by Wildside Press as a Hardback

Drawing together Fritz’s Lovecraft inspired stories (overt and more subtle) along his fascinating and insightful writings about Lovecraft.  For a Leiber fan the essays are the win here, but for a Lovecraft fan, they get some fine essays as well as a good selection of Fritz’s weird fiction.  My only comment is that the cover is not terribly inviting…

Publisher info:
While Howard Phillips Lovecraft was closing the final chapter of his writing career, Fritz Reuter Leiber was only beginning to open his own. The year was 1936 and Jonquil Leiber, Fritz’s first wife, sent a letter on her own initiative to Lovecraft, knowing that her husband had been an avid admirer of his work, ever since his first reading of “The Colour out of Space” and hoping that Lovecraft’s presence in Fritz’s slow-paced writing career might be the source of inspiration he so dearly needed. Lovecraft replied promptly on November 2 of that year, the seed of an invigorating correspondence, which lasted till Lovecraft’s passing. Fritz Leiber and H.P. Lovecraft: Writers of the Dark presents Lovecraft’s letters to Leiber, an impressive selection of Leiber’s fiction which shows Lovecraft’s influence, and a selection of Leiber’s essays on Lovecraft and Matters Lovecraftian. Features an introduction by Ben J. S. Szumskyj and an afterword by S.T. Joshi.

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Horrible Imaginings

First published in 2004 by Midnight House as a Hardback

Horrible Imaginings is another fine selection of rare tales (limited to 500 numbered copies), edited by John Pelan (and a shout out to me in the front – yay!)

“This is the third of a series of volumes dedicated to preserving all of Fritz Leiber’s weird and macabre tales under the Midnight House imprint. Horrible Imaginings assembles stories from sources ranging from 1940s issues of Weird Tales to rare fanzines like Amra and Whispers. As a special treat, this book includes a “lost” story, “Skinny’s Wonderful”, apparently written for Esquire or Playboy which was recently discovered in the author’s papers. Most of the stories gathered here are making their first appearance in book form or have been virtually unobtainable for many years. Fritz Leiber was the winner of every major award for science fiction, fantasy, and horror during his career. While many of his novels remain in print, much of his great short fiction has been virtually unobtainable for decades.”

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Night’s Black Agents

First published in 1947 by Arkham House as a Hardback

Night’s Black Agents was the first book Fritz Leiber had published, and was was released by Arkham House in 1947 (3084 copies). It collects together many of his stories that appeared in ‘ Weird Tales’ and ‘Unknown’. The ‘Ancient Adventures’, two Fafhrd and Mouser stories would later appear in Swords in the Mist. The book is dedicated to his first wife Jonquil (Stephens). The Ballantine edition of Night’s Black Agents loses Adepts Gambit, whilst The Gregg press edition adds A Bit of the Dark World and The Girl With Hungry Eyes.

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