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Masters of Science Fiction: Fritz Leiber

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Astounding Science Fiction

Astounding Science Fiction was an important magazine as it was an early showcase for Fritz’s stories, as well as seeing the first appearance of Gather Darkness.

Covers are only shown where they are for one of Fritz Leiber stories.

CoverStoryIssue
The Mutant's Brother1943 / 08
Try and Change the Past1958 / 03
Taboo1944 / 02
Sanity 1944 / 04
Thought1944 / 07
Business of Killing1944 / 09
Wanted - An Enemy1945 / 02
http://www.lankhmar.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/ASF_0238.jpgThe Lion and the Lamb1950 / 09

The Night of the Wolf

First published in 1966 by Ballantine as a Paperback

A strange collection that loosely ties together 4 previously published stories. The stories however are particularly good, The Night of the Long Knives and Let Freedom Ring I have not found elsewhere. The book is dedicated (with wolf whistles) to Judith Merril.

Review (audiobook) The Creature from Cleveland Depths

The stories were renamed as below.

  • The Lone Wolf (The Creature From Cleveland Depths)
  • The Wolf Pair (The Night of the Long Knives)
  • Crazy Wolf (Sanity)
  • The Wolf Pack (Let Freedom Ring)

Contains the following short stories (listed in alphabetical order)


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The Leiber Chronicles

First published in 1990 by Dark Harvest as a Hardback

A quite superb selection. Billed as 50 years of Fritz Leiber many of the stories are uncollected before and the others are classics.

Notable Editions: Numbered, lettered and slipcased editions released

Kirkus Review
The cream of octogenarian Leiber’s fantasies, holding 50 years of stories (44 selections) in one giant volume that can be seen as the capstone of Leiber’s storytelling–although he has written some well-remembered novels (Gather, Darkness and Conjure Wife, filmed excellently as Burn, Witch, Burn). The present collection includes the second earliest swords-and-sorcery fantasy in Leiber’s Grey Mouser and Fafhrd series “”Two Sought Adventure”” (1939) and the latest, “”The Curse of the Smalls and the Stars”” (1983). “”Curse”” may be Fafhrd and Grey Mouser’s swan song, in that they die–for a while. If their deaths turn out to be only flirtations with death, the farewell notes seem to have sounded.

There’s not a dumb story in the book, though some–such as “”Poor Superman,”” the story of a gigantic artificial intelligence–have been outdone by others. Leiber’s classiest acts are here: “”The Automatic Pistol,”” in which a dead hood’s pistol pursues his murderer; “”Smoke Ghost””–a juicy updating of just what a modern ghost should be like (“”A smoky composite face with the hungry anxiety of the unemployed, the neurotic restlessness of the person without purpose, the jerky tension of the high-pressure metropolitan worker. . .the aggressive whine of the panhandler. . .and a thousand other twisted emotional patterns. Each one overlying yet blending with the other, like a pile of semi-transparent masks. . .””); “”Gonna Roll the Bones,”” “”Ship of Shadows,”” “”Ill Met in Lankhmar,”” and the ironic antidefamation fantasy “”Belsen Express””–which is a gasser. Leiber’s best collection ever.

Contains the following short stories (listed in alphabetical order)


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The Best of Fritz Leiber

First published in 1974 by Sidgewick & Jackson as a Hardback

This is a wide ranging collection of his stories and, as an introduction to his work, probably the best available. It concentrates on his SF/Fantasy but doesn’t contain Fafhrd & Mouser stories, or his horror stories such as ‘Smoke Ghost’. It opens with a brief introduction by Leiber , some editions contains a warm tribute by Poul Anderson. Amazon claim to have a Kindle Version, this is called ‘Selected Stories‘ and is a different collection.

Review over at The Black Gate

“Twenty two stories by this talented author whose work has ranged widely across the genres of fantasy and SF. The Hugo and Nebula award winning ‘Gonna Roll The Bones’ is an effective horror story. ‘Space Time For Springers’ is a delightful tale about cats. Other powerful pieces, which more closely fit the definition of SF, include ‘Coming Attraction’ and ‘America the Beautiful’.”
The Ultimate Guide to Science Fiction – David Pringle

Contains the following short stories (listed in alphabetical order)

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