The Fritz Leiber Home Page

Author: FranzWesten (Page 2 of 3)

A ghostly blast from the past..

Smoke Ghost - my version...

It’s amazing what you find on old disks (in this case a REV drive from 15 years ago) , when i was submitting stories to the Midnight House collections I dreamed of doing some artwork… I never of course submitted it…  but here it is, in all its black and white glory!

Let’s hear it for Ramsey Campbell

BBC Ghost Stories

One of the Christmas presents I received (and have only just watched) was the DVD release of the BBC filmed versions of M.R James Whistle and I’ll Come to You.  The DVD is great and I enjoyed both the original and the new interpretation, though I felt the pacing of the Miller version better suited the story (but I did enjoy the scrabbling fingers under the door in the new version, a distinctly j-horror element that worked rather well.) read more

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. read more

Pinnacle Entertainment license Lankhmar for new RPG Game

The Savage World of Lankhmar brings Fritz Leiber’s gritty world of urban fantasy into Savage Worlds, shepherded by Tim Brown (of Dark Sun and Dragon King fame) and Shane Hensley (who wrote the Lankhmar boxed set for TSR back in 1997)!

Watch for Lankhmar: City of Thieves, detailing the city itself and its most important players—including Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.

Savage Foes of Nehwon brings you the most insidious threats—powerful sorcerers, terrible creatures, and ruthless villains—with adventure seeds and Savage Tales to really fill out a campaign. read more

Art & Mini Review: Midnight by The Morphy Watch

Midnight by The Morphy Watch

I can only admit to being an occasional chess player, at school around 12 or 13 I was in the school team, that was the height of my achievements, Fritz on the other hand was rated expert and chess pops up in many of the stories, indeed a knight can be seen on the cover of his first collection, Adepts Gambit.

Perhaps his most famous, certainly the most collected chess story is ‘Midnight by The Morphy Watch’, written in 1974 and first published in Worlds of If. read more

Review: Adept’s Gambit – Miskatonic Books

ADEPT'S GAMBIT: The Original Version

A book containing anything new by Fritz is always welcome. After the wealth of material in the Midnight House collections and Strange Wonders, it had all gone a little quiet, til Miskatonic Books announced their release of Fritz’s original (circa ’36) version of Adept’s Gambit, complete with HP Lovecraft’s thoughts and annotations.

Adept’s Gambit always seemed an untypical Fafhrd & Mouser story.  The tone seemed akin to The Bleak Shore and The Howlng Tower, yet it was full of commentary and farce the we would see again in Lean Times in Lankhmar or Swords of Lankhmar.  There is also the strange sexuality running through the book (which Leiber himself had noted and is referenced in this new book)which gave it a more spicy feeling than many of the other stories. read more

The art of Our Lady of Darkness

A cover ideally must do two things for a book.  Draw in the potential buyer by tantalising them, exciting them, ideally having sympathy with the content, augmenting the story(s) and adding to the gravitas of the volume.

So how do our covers stack up?

Upon its first appearance (as the slightly different ‘Pale Brown Thing’) in F&SF, it was given a mighty fine cover by Ron Walotsky   . Whilst the building is merely a two story, the ambiance of the cover is great, it is daylight, and Corona heights and the TV tower are featured as reflections (with the metropolitan skyline behind).  Paramentals dash and lurk around the composition, with a strong figure leaning out of the window.  I like the realism of the piece, which mirror Franz’s hyper aware state of his environment, the clarity that lets him become aware of the paramental entities.  F&SF did well by Fritz Leiber, and he had a number of fine covers, special mention should be given to the cover of ‘A Deskfull of Girls’ by  Kelly Freas, a fine, fine cover indeed. read more

In defence of Fritz and the Hugo

In the process of getting this site up and running again I spent a good bit of time trawling the internet for some interesting Fritz Leiber related views and comment, and there was a fair bit to find. I have added these to the links page of the site, or where more sensible onto the actual page relating to the book.

Sadly some of the highest ranking links on Google point at The Guardian website, and Sam Jordison’s reviews of The Wanderer and The Big Time as part of his journey through the Hugo’s. read more

Minireview: The Snow Women

Fantastic, April 1970

When Ace released the swords series in it’s own internal chronology, Fritz ended up writing many link pieces to fit the stories. He also had to formally set in place the backgrounds Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser as well as their meeting.

He had already visited the antecedents of the Gray Mouser in 1962’s  ‘The Unholy Grail’, in ‘The Snow Women’ we follow Fafhrd’s earliest adventure. There was a feeling of gothic in the Unholy Grail, with it’s mad lord, dungeons and waif like heroine, but the  Snow Women, written in 1970, is much more typical of Leiber’s later work. read more

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