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Monday, June 06, 2016

Found On My Shelves While Looking For Something Else.. Fritz Leiber Classic

So, last night I finished my reread of Terry Prachett's Mort and went to the shelves to look for another Pratchett to reread. I couldn't find the one I wanted and looked at the back layer of books, where I found Fritz Leiber's two horror classics Conjure Wife and Our Lady Of Darkeness, under the one cover, a Tor edition.

I bought the book years ago and it had been sitting there unread all this time! It isn't the only one by any means, and while I feel just a bit guilty another part of me says, "Yes, but that means I have a pleasant surprise every now and then, something new to read when I need it." It served me well back when I was unemployed and a trip to the bookshop was not an option. Yes, there's always the library,  but these were books I had chosen.

And there was that Twilight Zone episode which was based on a Harlan Ellison story, in which a young man rescues an older man, played by Danny Kaye, and goes back to his home, where there are shelves and shelves of books. On being asked whether he has read them all, the old man says, what's the point of having all those books if you've read them all.

I discovered Fritz Leiber through his fantasy tales of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, who live and have adventures in a place called Lankhmar. The stories have the kind of humour missing from a lot of other swords and sorcery fiction of the time - and, let's face it, from a lot of more recent fantasy fiction. Unlike recent writers, Leiber didn't write multi-volume sagas, and good on him! There were a lot of short stories about his two heroes, but you didn't have to read the lot to be able to follow the series. I think he actually coined the term "swords and sorcery", though not, of course, the genre. 

But he did a lot more. In recent years I've read two novellas, The Big Time and No Great Magic, set during something called the Change War, where agents from two competing organisations are travelling through time, changing things. 

He started life as an actor, as both his parents were actors; you'll see his father in a lot of very old movies, and I have this niggling feeling he might have done a few himself, must look it up. 

Anyway, off to read my new find, and hopefully let you know all about it!


Jazz K said...

Loved my Faffard an =d the Grey Mouser comics. Didn't know they were characters from Leiber's books. Please remember to share the joy.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Heavens yes! I bet you'll find tyre on iBooks.

Jazz K said...

Did you mean'Leiber'?

Jazz K said...

Still having trouble obtaining the wizardry of Jewish women. For some reason I can't get it on Kobo/iBooks. Help. C u Monday 11ish, my friend.

Sue Bursztynski said...

It was never in ebook. And the publisher has closed down in the last few days. I'll ask the author if she has any print copies left. If not, I'll lend you mine,

Sue Bursztynski said...

Yes, I did mean Leiber. Alas, Gillian's book never got to the ebook stage and now that Satalyte has closed down, all her other ebooks are gone. :(

Jazz K said...

It would be nice if she could put it into Ebook format. Maybe publish in iBooks or Kobo. I mean, whoever not, in this day and age.
On a different topic: It was a good exhibition on fashion art. But I still think those two designer artists should be made to wear their own clothing creations at least once. I found the fashion 'out there'' but I suppose that's what it was for. Enjoyed spending time with my friends.

Sue Bursztynski said...

I think Gillian is still considering her options. She has her rights back.