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Masters of Science Fiction: Fritz Leiber

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Galaxy

Along with Fantastic and F&SF, Galaxy magazine accounts for much of Fritz Leiber’s output during the 50s and 60s.   The stories Fritz sold to Galaxy magazine tended to be the lighter, more whimsical stories, but none the less contain several of his classic stories.

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

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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 Book of Fritz Leiber

First published in 1974 by DAW as a Paperback

The collection is made up of stories and essays alternately, ie: story, essay, story etc…

Notable editions:Gregg Press released a limited edition HB of 300 copies as a set with The Second Book of Fritz Leiber. They contained an introduction by T. Collins

Contains the following short stories (listed in alphabetical order)

  • Essays
  • Monsters and Monster Lovers discusses
    Lovecraft, Machen, Bloch and several others and their memorable monsters
  • Hottest and Coldest Molecules science
    essay
  • Those Wild Alien Words: I discussion
    of the oddities of language
  • Debunking the I Machine an anti-war
    (not a specific war) piece
  • King Lear
  • After Such Knowledge book review
    of James Blish’s Black Easter
  • Weird World of the Knight chess
  • The Whisperer Re-examined discusses
    Lovecraft’s “The Whisperer in Darkness
  • Masters of Mace and Magic reviews of E. R. Eddison’s,The Worm Ouroboros, Mistress of Mistresses and A Fish Dinner in Memison. Also of Robert E. Howard’s (and various collaborators posthumously) King Kull, Conan, Conan the Warrior, Conan the Usurper and Conan the Conqueror

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