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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 Mind Spider and Other Stories

First published in 1961 by Ace as a Paperback

Originally printed as an Ace Double with the Big time.

I believe the Ace Double edition is the only version to contain all the stories, Try and Change the Past is missing from later editions.

Fritz’s introduction…

Years ago my window at the University of Chicago overlooked the west stands of Stagg Field. One evening I watched a lightning storm playing over the Loop.

Nature was badly off key that night. The thunder didn’t rumble or roar. It screamed faintly, four seconds after each flash. I remember thinking that if lightning could twang the rails of Chicago’s elevated tracks they might make such a sound. Several other persons heard it and shivered as I did.

Ten years later electronic experts discovered that on rare occasions lightning generates a radio signal which circles the earth and returns to its point of origin as an audible whistle. Maybe that was my scream.

But also ten years later there was built below the west stands of Stagg Field the graphite-dark atomic furnace that first released on earth the energy of the suns. Maybe the molecules felt that coming and screamed a warning.

Either way it’s a weird and wonderful world. Just consider: an infinite universe . . . stars that are living hydrogen bombs . . . trillions of atomic worlds in a grain of dust . . . jungles in a drop of water . . . black gulfs of space around each planet . . . black Freudian forests around each conscious mind—you know, I sometimes think the powers that created the universe were chiefly interested in maximizing its mystery.

That’s why I write science fiction.

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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Changewar

Changewar is a 1983 collection from Ace...

The Changewar

First published in 1983 by Gregg Press as a Hardback

The Changewar is a series of short stories as well as the novel The Big Time. The similar Ace edition is titled ‘Changewar‘. Introduction by John Silversack

Contains the following short stories (listed in alphabetical order)

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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