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A reader’s journey.

Lost_worlds_Panther


Two weeks of relaxing on holiday in the south west of France, with my wife and children, gave me more time that usual for reading and, of course, some Fritz was part of the feast, I have written this blog entry over the last couple of weeks, and found myself trying to remember how and when I discovered various authors.

The first book I revisited was Lost Worlds vol. 2 by Clark Ashton Smith, and I have to thank it indirectly for my discovery of Fritz Leiber.  I guess I would have been around 15  and was reading typical eighties horror / fantasy and SF.   Stephen King, James Herbert, Harry Harrison and Larry Niven.  Basically what was available at my local bookshop in Peterborough, which in all honesty wasn’t very much; had I lived in Cambridge, I may have had a better range. I was reading through David Edding’s Belgariad series without any huge enthusiasm, so I had a rummage on the bookshelf in our living room.

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Adepts Gambit: The Original Version

Bazaar of the Bizarre, an illustrated collection released in 1978 ....

Fritz Leiber: Critical Essays

First published in 2008 by MacFarland & Co as a Paperback

Fritz Leiber: Critical Essays is a set of academic essays on Fritz and his work, featuring contributions by notable Leiber scholars, including S T Joshi, Bruce Byfield, John Pelan and Justin Leiber.  They are all interesting to a Leiber fan, but I particularly enjoyed John Howard’s piece on Pale Brown Thing and Benjamin Szumsky on Gather Darkness

Publisher info:
Collection academically examines Fritz Leiber and his work: role of civilization; evolution of Our Lady of Darkness; concept of time; death, rebirth and existentialism; feline characters; sexual desire; his gothic and weird tales; eccentricity in Leiber’s poems; theme of power in Fafhrd and Gray Mouser adventures; connecting threads, and contrasts between Leiber and Lovecraft; and biblical influences.. Edited by Benjamin Szumskyj ; with a foreword by John Pelan..

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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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The Dealings of Daniel Kesserich

First published in 1997 by TOR as a Hardback

Fritz’s rediscovered novel is a real treat! Owing more to Lovecraft than anyone else, the book is a powerful time travel story that Fritz wrote in the thirties.

Reviews

SF Site (Neil Walsh)

SF Signal

[amazon text=Amazon&template=my favourites&asin=1617561118,B00J84KZ40]

Very exciting new book from Miskatonic Books…

Very exciting new book from Miskatonic Books ( i have mine on pre order… 😉

Adepts Gambit – The Original Edition
This edition contains the complete, unabridged text of “Adept’s Gambit,” along with the complete text of Lovecraft’s letter commenting on it, as well as an introduction by S. T. Joshi providing background on the writing of the story. In all, this volume will find a cherished place among devotees of Fritz Leiber and H. P. Lovecraft…

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