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shortstorie: The Sunken Land

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. read more



Unknown (also known as Unknown Worlds) was an American pulp magazine, published from 1939 to 1943. It was edited by John W. Campbell who also edited Astounding Science Fiction, which also published some of Fritz’s stories.
Covers are only shown where they are for one of Fritz’s stories.

Two Sought Adventure (aka The Jewels in the Forest) 1939 / 08
The Bleak Shore1940 / 11
The Howling Tower 1941 / 06 Smoke Ghost 1941 / 10
The Sunken Land 1942 / 02
The Hill and the Hole 1942 / 08

The Three of Swords

First published in 1989 by SFBC as a Hardback

Collects the first three Swords books.

Contains the following short stories (listed in alphabetical order)

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Ill Met in Lankhmar

First published in 1995 by Whitewolf as a Hardback

Ill Met in Lankhmar is an omnibus edition including both Swords Against Deviltry and Swords Against Death as well as some poetry about the Gray Mouser. The book opens with a fascinating introduction by Micheal Moorcock and is followed by Fritz Leibers ‘Fafhrd and Me’  The book contains numerous illustrations, quite simply a superb edition of the two books.

Ill Met in Lankhmar reviews & articles Contains the following short stories (listed in alphabetical order)

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Two Sought Adventure

First published in 1957 by Gnome Press as a Hardback

The first release of Fafhrd and Mouser stories in book form (before then they were published in magazines), it contains the stories found in Swords Against Death ( which added some linking stories). Leiber links all the sories with mini historical backgrounds to Nehwon and our two heroes.
The cover shown is from the Gnome Press edition

Contains the following short stories (listed in alphabetical order)

Swords Against Death

First published in 1970 by Ace as a Paperback

The second of the Swords series (In the Lankhmar chronology). Based on Two Sought Adventure which was published in 1957, but fits it into the chronology just after the time of Ivrian and Vlana’s deaths. Also contains the first appearances of Ningauble and Sheelba.  These are some of the oldest Lankhmar tales he wrote and stories like Bleak Shore and Jewels in the Forest have a distinctly Lovecraftian feel.  It still suprises me how fresh these stories feel given that many pre-date the second world war.

The circle curse works well as a bridging piece and Bazaar of the Bizarre remains a classic piece, though it’s tone clearly sets it as a later Leiber story.

Note, Two Sought Adventure is retitled Jewels in the Forest.

Review at The Quill and Keyboard

Review at Stainless Steel Droppings

Contains the following short stories (listed in alphabetical order)

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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. read more

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