The Fritz Leiber Home Page

Tag: The Big Time

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

The Big Time

First published in 1958 by Ace as a Paperback

Originally serialized in Fantastic in in 1958. It is part of the Changewar, a series of stories written by Leiber charting the various battles of the Snakes and the Spiders, two sides fighting a war across time. It won a Hugo in 1957. It was performed as a play at the Babcock Theatre in Salt Lake City in 1982.

Rather wonderfully, you can read the book for free over at Project Gutenberg available.

There are plenty of excellent reviews online.

Review at Yellow and Creased

Review at SFF World

Review at Dreaming of Other Worlds

Review at SF Reviews

Review of the audiobook at SFF Audio

Review at Couch to Moon

There is a free Libravox Audiobook available.

The always interesting Neil Gaiman talks about the Big Time over at The Library of America

“The Big Time, few comparable tour de force exist anywhere in literature…being such a virtuoso performance it doesn’t seem to have had any followers. I admit to keeping it in mind while writing my own ‘A Midsummer Tempest’, but cannot claim that that employs the dramatic unities as the former book did. Evidently nobody in our field can match Fritz Leiber here.”

Poul Anderson in ‘The Wizard of Nehwon’

“Originally published in Fantastic magazine form in 1958 (when it won a Hugo award). The so called Snakes and Spiders are opposing factions in a time war, who recruit their troops from various periods of history. This story, reads almost like a play, involves just one tiny piece of action – but a vaster background is richly suggested. Related short stories are collected in ‘The Mind Spider and Other Stories‘ and in an omnibus volume, that contains this novel, called ‘The Change War‘.

The Ultimate Guide to Science Fiction – David Pringle

Contains the following short stories (listed in alphabetical order)

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Ship of Shadows

A Collection containing many of Fritz's award winning stories

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