Fritz Leiber

Fritz Reuter Leiber Jr. (December 24, 1910 – September 5, 1992) was an American writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. He was also a poet, actor in theater and films, playwright and chess expert.[b] With writers such as Robert E. Howard and Michael Moorcock, Leiber can be regarded as one of the fathers of sword and sorcery fantasy, having coined the term.

Fritz Leiber
Leiber portrait by Ed Emshwiller (July 1969)
Leiber portrait by Ed Emshwiller (July 1969)
BornFritz Reuter Leiber Jr.
December 24, 1910
Chicago, Illinois, United States
DiedSeptember 5, 1992 (aged 81)
San Francisco, California, United States
OccupationWriter
NationalityAmerican
Period1934–1992[a]
GenreFantasy, horror, science fiction
Notable worksFafhrd and the Gray Mouser, The Big Time
Spouse
Jonquil Stephens
(m. 1936; died 1969)

Margo Skinner (m. 1992)
ChildrenJustin Leiber
RelativesFritz Leiber (father)
Virginia Bronson Leiber (mother)
Future Fiction August 1941
Leiber's novelette "They Never Come Back" was cover-featured on the August 1941 issue of Future
Fantastic adventures 195007
Leiber's short novel "You're All Alone" was the cover story in the July 1950 issue of Fantastic Adventures

Life

Fritz Leiber was born December 24, 1910, in Chicago, Illinois, to the actors Fritz Leiber and Virginia Bronson Leiber. For a time, he seemed inclined to follow in his parents' footsteps; the theater and actors are prominently featured in his fiction. He spent 1928 touring with his parents' Shakespeare company (Fritz Leiber & Co.) before entering the University of Chicago, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and received an undergraduate Ph.B. degree in psychology and physiology[2] or biology[3] with honors in 1932. From 1932 to 1933, he worked as a lay reader and studied as a candidate for the ministry at the General Theological Seminary in Chelsea, Manhattan, an affiliate of the Episcopal Church, without taking a degree.

After pursuing graduate studies in philosophy at the University of Chicago from 1933 to 1934 and failing once more to take a degree, he remained based in Chicago while touring intermittently with his parents' company (under the stage name of "Francis Lathrop") and pursuing a concurrent literary career; six short stories in the 2010 collection Strange Wonders: A Collection of Rare Fritz Leiber Works carry 1934 and 1935 dates.[a] He also appeared alongside his father in uncredited parts in several films, including George Cukor's Camille (1936), James Whale's The Great Garrick (1937) and William Dieterle's The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939).

In 1936, he initiated a brief yet intense correspondence with H.P. Lovecraft, who "encouraged and influenced [Leiber's] literary development" before succumbing to small intestine cancer and malnutrition in March 1937.[5] Leiber introduced Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser in "Two Sought Adventure", his first professionally published short story in the August 1939 edition of Unknown, edited by John W. Campbell.[6][7]

Leiber married Jonquil Stephens on January 16, 1936; their only child, the philosopher and science fiction writer Justin Leiber, was born in 1938. From 1937 to 1941, he was employed by Consolidated Book Publishing as a staff writer for the Standard American Encyclopedia. In 1941, the family moved to California, where Leiber served as a speech and drama instructor at Occidental College during the 1941–1942 academic year.

Unable to conceal his disdain for academic politics as the United States entered World War II, he decided that the struggle against fascism was more important than his long-held pacifist convictions. He accepted a position with Douglas Aircraft in quality inspection, primarily working on the C-47 Skytrain; throughout the war, he continued to regularly publish fiction in a variety of periodicals.[7]

Thereafter, the family returned to Chicago, where Leiber served as associate editor of Science Digest from 1945 to 1956. During this decade (forestalled by a fallow interregnum from 1954 to 1956), his output (including the 1947 Arkham House anthology Night's Black Agents) was characterized by Poul Anderson as "a lot of the best science fiction and fantasy in the business." In 1958, the Leibers returned to Los Angeles. By this juncture, he was able to relinquish his journalistic career and support his family as a full-time fiction writer.[7]

Jonquil's death in 1969 precipitated Leiber's permanent relocation to San Francisco and exacerbated his longstanding alcoholism after twelve years of fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous; however, he would gradually regain relative sobriety (an effort impeded by comorbid barbiturate abuse) over the next two decades.[8] In 1977, he returned to his original form with a fantasy novel set in modern-day San Francisco, Our Lady of Darkness, which is about a writer of weird tales who must deal with the death of his wife and his recovery from alcoholism.

Perhaps as a result of his substance abuse, Leiber seems to have suffered periods of penury in the 1970s; Harlan Ellison wrote of his anger at finding that the much-awarded Leiber had to write his novels on a manual typewriter that was propped up over the sink in his apartment, and Marc Laidlaw wrote that, when visiting Leiber as a fan in 1976, he "was shocked to find him occupying one small room of a seedy San Francisco residence hotel, its squalor relieved mainly by walls of books".[9] Other reports suggest that Leiber preferred to live simply in the city, spending his money on dining, movies and travel. In the last years of his life, royalty checks from TSR, Inc. (the makers of Dungeons and Dragons, who had licensed the mythos of the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser series) were enough in themselves to ensure that he lived comfortably.[10]

In 1992, the last year of his life, Leiber married his second wife, Margo Skinner, a journalist and poet with whom he had been friends for many years.

Leiber's death occurred a few weeks after a physical collapse while traveling from a science fiction convention in London, Ontario, with Skinner. The cause of his death was stated by his wife to be stroke.[11]

He wrote a 100-page-plus memoir, Not Much Disorder and Not So Early Sex, which can be found in The Ghost Light (1984).[12]

Leiber's own literary criticism, including several essays on Lovecraft, was collected in the volume Fafhrd and Me (1990).[13]

Theater

Fantastic 196105
Leiber's novelette "Scylla's Daughter", featuring series protagonists Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, was the cover story for the May 1961 issue of Fantastic

As the child of two Shakespearean actors—Fritz Sr. and Virginia (née Bronson)—Leiber was fascinated with the stage, describing itinerant Shakespearean companies in stories like "No Great Magic" and "Four Ghosts in Hamlet," and creating an actor/producer protagonist for his novel A Specter is Haunting Texas.

Although his Change War novel, The Big Time, is about a war between two factions, the "Snakes" and the "Spiders", changing and rechanging history throughout the universe, all the action takes place in a small bubble of isolated space-time about the size of a theatrical stage, with only a handful of characters. Judith Merril (in the July 1969 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction) remarks on Leiber's acting skills when the writer won a science fiction convention costume ball. Leiber's costume consisted of a cardboard military collar over turned-up jacket lapels, cardboard insignia, an armband, and a spider pencilled large in black on his forehead, thus turning him into an officer of the Spiders, one of the combatants in his Change War stories. "The only other component," Merril writes, "was the Leiber instinct for theatre."

Films

Due to the similarity of the names of the father and the son, some filmographies incorrectly attribute to Fritz Jr. roles which were in fact played by his father, Fritz Leiber Sr., who was the evil Inquisitor in the Errol Flynn adventure film The Sea Hawk (1940) and had played in many other movies from 1917 onwards until the late 1950s. It is the elder Leiber, not the younger, who appears in the Vincent Price vehicle The Web (1947) and in Charlie Chaplin's Monsieur Verdoux (1947).

In the cult horror film Equinox (1970) directed by Dennis Muren and Jack Woods, Leiber has a cameo appearance as Dr. Watermann, a geologist. In the edited second version of the movie Leiber has no spoken dialogue in the film but features in a few scenes. The original version of the movie has a longer appearance by Leiber recounting the ancient book and a brief speaking role, all of which was cut from the re-release of the film.

He also appears in the 1979 Schick Sunn Classics documentary The Bermuda Triangle, based on the book by Charles Berlitz, as Chavez.

Writing career

Galaxy 195803
Leiber's Hugo Award-winning novel The Big Time was serialized in Galaxy Science Fiction in 1958
Fantastic 195911
The November 1959 issue of Fantastic was devoted exclusively to Leiber's fiction, publishing five original sf and fantasy stories
If 195902
Leiber's "Pipe Dream" was the cover story for the February 1959 issue of If, illustrated by Kelly Freas
Amazing science fiction stories 196001
Leiber's novella "The Night of the Long Knives" took the cover of the January 1960 issue of Amazing Stories
Fantastic 196011
Leiber's novelette "Deadly Moon" was cover-featured on the November 1960 issue of Fantastic
Galaxy 196110
Leiber's "The Beat Cluster" took the cover of the October 1961 Galaxy Science Fiction
Fantastic 196111
Leiber's "Hatchery of Dreams" was the cover story on the November 1961 issue of Fantastic
Fantastic 196202
Leiber's novelette "A Bit of the Dark World" took the cover of the February 1962 issue of Fantastic
If 196209
Leiber's "The Snowbank Orbit" was the cover story for the September 1962 issue of If
Fantastic 196210
Leiber's only solo Grey Mouser tale, "The Unholy Grail", was the cover story for the October 1962 issue of Fantastic
Fantastic 196302
Leiber's "Dr. Adams' Garden of Evil" took the cover of the February 1963 issue of Fantastic
Fantastic 196308
Leiber's novelette "Bazaar of the Bizarre" was the cover story for the August 1963 issue of Fantastic

Leiber was heavily influenced by H. P. Lovecraft and Robert Graves in the first two decades of his career. Beginning in the late 1950s, he was increasingly influenced by the works of Carl Jung, particularly by the concepts of the anima and the shadow. From the mid-1960s onwards, he began incorporating elements of Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces. These concepts are often openly mentioned in his stories, especially the anima, which becomes a method of exploring his fascination with, but estrangement from, the female.

Leiber liked cats, which feature prominently in many of his stories. Tigerishka, for example, is a cat-like alien who is sexually attractive to the human protagonist yet repelled by human customs in the novel The Wanderer. Leiber's "Gummitch" stories feature a kitten with an I.Q. of 160, just waiting for his ritual cup of coffee so that he can become human, too.

His first stories in the 1930s and 40s were inspired by Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. The leading critic and historian of the wider Mythos, S. T. Joshi, has singled out Leiber's "The Sunken Land" (Unknown Worlds, February 1942) as perhaps the most accomplished of the early stories based on Lovecraft's Mythos.[14] Leiber also later wrote several essays on Lovecraft the man, such as "A Literary Copernicus", the publication of which formed a key moment in the emergence of a serious critical appreciation of Lovecraft's life and work.

Leiber's first professional sale was "Two Sought Adventure" (Unknown, August 1939),[15] which introduced his most famous characters, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. In 1943, his first two novels were serialized in Unknown (the supernatural horror-oriented Conjure Wife, partially inspired by his deleterious experiences on the faculty of Occidental College) and Astounding Science Fiction (Gather, Darkness).

1947 marked the publication of his first book, Night's Black Agents, a short story collection containing seven stories grouped as 'Modern Horrors', one as a 'Transition', and two grouped as 'Ancient Adventures': "The Sunken Land" and "Adept's Gambit", which are both stories of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.

Book publication of the science fiction novel Gather, Darkness followed in 1950. It deals with a futuristic world that follows the Second Atomic Age which is ruled by scientists, until in the throes of a new Dark Age, the witches revolt.

In 1951, Leiber was Guest of Honor at the World Science Fiction Convention in New Orleans. Further novels followed during the 1950s, and in 1958 The Big Time won the Hugo Award for Best Novel.[16]

Leiber published further books in the 1960s. His novel The Wanderer (1964) also received the Hugo for Best Novel.[16] In the novel, an artificial planet, quickly nicknamed the Wanderer, materializes from hyperspace within earth's orbit. The Wanderer's gravitational field captures the moon and shatters it into something like one of Saturn's rings. On Earth, the Wanderer's gravity well triggers massive earthquakes, tsunamis, and tidal phenomena. The multi-threaded plot follows the exploits of a large ensemble cast as they struggle to survive the global disaster.

Leiber received the Hugo Award for Best Novella in 1970 and 1971 for "Ship of Shadows" (1969) and "Ill Met in Lankhmar" (1970). "Gonna Roll the Bones" (1967), his contribution to Harlan Ellison's Dangerous Visions anthology, received the Hugo Award for Best Novelette and the Nebula Award for Best Novelette in 1968.[16]

Our Lady of Darkness (1977)—originally serialized in short form in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction under the title "The Pale Brown Thing" (1977)—featured cities as the breeding grounds for new types of elementals called paramentals, summonable by the dark art of megapolisomancy, with such activities centering on the Transamerica Pyramid. Its main characters include Franz Westen, Jaime Donaldus Byers, and the magician Thibault de Castries. Our Lady of Darkness won the World Fantasy Award—Novel.[16]

Leiber also did the 1966 novelization of the Clair Huffaker screenplay of Tarzan and the Valley of Gold.[17]

Many of Leiber's most-acclaimed works are short stories, especially in the horror genre. Owing to such stories as "The Smoke Ghost", "The Girl With the Hungry Eyes" and "You're All Alone" (later expanded as The Sinful Ones), he is widely regarded as one of the forerunners of the modern urban horror story. Leiber also challenged the conventions of science fiction through reflexive narratives such as "A Bad Day For Sales" (first published in Galaxy Science Fiction, July 1953), in which the protagonist, Robie, "America’s only genuine mobile salesrobot,"[18] references the title character of Isaac Asimov’s idealistic robot story, "Robbie".[19] Questioning Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics, Leiber imagines the futility of automatons in a post-apocalyptic New York City. In his later years, Leiber returned to short story horror in such works as "Horrible Imaginings", "Black Has Its Charms" and the award-winning "The Button Moulder".[20]

The short parallel worlds story "Catch That Zeppelin!" (1975) received the Hugo Award for Best Short Story and the Nebula Award for Best Short Story in 1976.[16] This story shows a plausible alternate reality that is much better than our own, whereas the typical parallel universe story depicts a world that is much worse than our own. "Belsen Express" (1975) won the World Fantasy Award—Short Fiction. Both stories reflect Leiber's uneasy fascination with Nazism, an uneasiness compounded by his mixed feelings about his German ancestry and his philosophical pacifism during World War II.

Leiber was named the second Gandalf Grand Master of Fantasy by participants in the 1975 World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), after the posthumous inaugural award to J. R. R. Tolkien.[16] Next year he won the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement.[16] He was Guest of Honor at the 1979 Worldcon in Brighton, England (1979). The Science Fiction Writers of America made him its fifth SFWA Grand Master in 1981;[21] the Horror Writers Association made him an inaugural winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1988 (named in 1987);[22] and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame inducted him in 2001, its sixth class of two deceased and two living writers.[23]

Leiber was a founding member of the Swordsmen and Sorcerers' Guild of America (SAGA), a loose-knit group of Heroic fantasy authors founded in the 1960s, led by Lin Carter, with entry by fantasy credentials alone. Some works by SAGA members were published in Lin Carter's Flashing Swords! anthologies. Leiber himself is credited with inventing the term sword and sorcery for the particular subgenre of epic fantasy exemplified by his Fafhrd and Grey Mouser stories.

In an appreciation in the July 1969 "Special Fritz Leiber Issue" of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Judith Merril writes of Leiber's connection with his readers: "That this kind of personal response...is shared by thousands of other readers, has been made clear on several occasions." The November 1959 issue of Fantastic, for instance: Leiber had just come out of one of his recurrent dry spells, and editor Cele Lalli bought up all his new material until there was enough [five stories] to fill an issue; the magazine came out with a big black headline across its cover — Leiber Is Back!

Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser

His legacy appears to have been consolidated by the most famous of his creations, the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories, written over a span of 50 years.[6] The first of them, "Two Sought Adventure", appeared in Unknown, August 1939. They are concerned with an unlikely pair of heroes found in and around the city of Lankhmar. Fafhrd was based on Leiber himself and the Mouser on his friend Harry Otto Fischer, and the two characters were created in a series of letters exchanged by the two in the mid-1930s. These stories were among the progenitors of many of the tropes of the sword and sorcery genre. They are also notable among sword and sorcery stories in that, over the course of the stories, his two heroes mature, take on more responsibilities, and eventually settle down into marriage.

Some Fafhrd and Mouser stories were recognized by annual genre awards: "Scylla's Daughter" (1961) was "Short Story" Hugo finalist and "Ill Met in Lankhmar" (1970) won the "Best Novella" Hugo and Nebula Awards.[16] Leiber's last major work, The Knight and Knave of Swords (1991), brought the series to a close while leaving room for possible sequels. In the last year of his life, Leiber was considering allowing the series to be continued by other writers, but his sudden death made this more difficult. One new Fafhrd and the Mouser novel, Swords Against the Shadowland, by Robin Wayne Bailey, did appear in 1998.

The stories were influential in shaping the genre and were influential on other works. Joanna Russ' stories about thief-assassin Alyx (collected in 1976 in The Adventures of Alyx) were in part inspired by Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, and Alyx in fact made guest appearances in two of Leiber's stories. Numerous writers have paid homage to the stories. For instance, Terry Pratchett's city of Ankh-Morpork bears something more than a passing resemblance to Lankhmar (acknowledged by Pratchett by the placing of the swordsman-thief "The Weasel" and his giant barbarian comrade "Bravd" in the opening scenes of the first Discworld novel). More recently, playing off the visit of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser to our world in Adept's Gambit (set in second century B.C. Tyre), Steven Saylor's short story "Ill Seen in Tyre" takes his Roma Sub Rosa series hero Gordianus to the city of Tyre a hundred years later, where the two visitors from Nehwon are remembered as local legends.[24]

Fischer and Leiber contributed to the original game design of the wargame Lankhmar—published in 1976 by TSR.[25]

Selected works

Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series

  1. Two Sought Adventure (1958). Collection of six short stories. Later expanded and retitled as Swords Against Death.
  2. Swords and Deviltry (1970). Collection of 3 short stories.
  3. Swords Against Death (1970). Collection of 10 short stories; an expanded edition of Two Sought Adventure
  4. Swords in the Mist (1968). Collection of 6 short stories.
  5. Swords Against Wizardry (1968). Collection of 4 short stories.
  6. The Swords of Lankhmar (1968). Expanded from "Scylla's Daughter" in Fantastic, 1963.
  7. Swords and Ice Magic (1977). Collection of 8 short stories. (Though see Rime Isle below.)
  8. The Knight and Knave of Swords (1988). Collection of 4 short stories. Retitled Farewell to Lankhmar (2000, UK).

Novels and novellas

  • Conjure Wife (originally appeared in Unknown Worlds, April 1943) — This novel relates a college professor's discovery that his wife (and many other women) are regularly using magic against and for one another and their husbands.
  • Gather, Darkness! (serialized in Astounding, May, June, and July 1943) – a dystopian and rather satirical depiction of a future theocracy and the revolution which brings it down.
  • Destiny Times Three (1945, first in Astounding) (reprinted 1957 as Galaxy Novel number 28)
  • The Sinful Ones (1953), an adulterated version of You're All Alone (1950 Fantastic Adventures abridged); Leiber rewrote the inserted passages and saw published a revised edition in 1980.
  • The Green Millennium (1953)
  • The Night of the Long Knives (Amazing Science Fiction Stories, January 1960)
  • The Big Time (expanded 1961 from a version serialized in Galaxy, March and April 1958, which won a Hugo) — Change War series. Also available in Ship of Shadows (1979) – see Collections below.
  • The Silver Eggheads (1961; a shorter version was published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in 1959)
  • The Wanderer (1964)
  • Tarzan and the Valley of Gold (1966) (novelisation of a Clair Huffaker screenplay)
  • A Spectre is Haunting Texas (1969)
  • You're All Alone (1972) (the first book edition includes two shorter works as well, a revised version was issued as The Sinful Ones)
  • Our Lady of Darkness (1977) This novel, the title of which is drawn from Thomas de Quincey's Suspiria de Profundis, was published the same year as Dario Argento's Suspiria which referenced the same idea in de Quincey. It also makes fictional reference to fellow novelists Jack London, Clark Ashton Smith and H.P. Lovecraft and others.
  • Rime Isle (1977) (somewhere between a novella and a two-novelette collection, composed of "The Frost Monstreme" and "Rime Isle" offered as a unitary volume)
  • Ervool (Cheap Street, 1980—limited ed of 200 numbered copies). A standalone edition of a short story originally published in the 1940s fanzine The Acolyte.
  • The Dealings of Daniel Kesserich (1997) — H. P. Lovecraftian novella written in 1936 and lost for decades
  • Dark Ladies (NY: Tor Books, 1999). Omnibus edition of Conjure Wife and Our Lady of Darkness

Collections

  • Night's Black Agents (Arkham House, 1947). Reprinted by Berkley, 1978 with the addition of two stories – "The Girl With the Hungry Eyes" and "A Bit of the Dark World". The definitive hardcover edition is the Gregg Press (1980) edition, which adds a Foreword by Richard Powers to the complete contents of the Berkley edition.
  • The Mind Spider and Other Stories (1961). Collection of 6 short stories.
  • Shadows With Eyes (1962). Collection of 6 short stories.
  • A Pail of Air (1964). Collection of 11 short stories.
  • Ships to the Stars (1964). Collection of 6 short stories.
  • The Night of the Wolf (1966). Collection of 4 short stories.
  • The Secret Songs (1968). Collection of 11 short stories.
  • Night Monsters (1969). Collection of 4 short stories. UK (1974) edition drops 1 story and adds 4.
  • The Best of Fritz Leiber (1974). Collection of 22 short stories. (Introduction by Poul Anderson, "The Wizard of Nehwon")
  • The Book of Fritz Leiber (1974). Collection of 10 stories and 9 articles.
  • The Second Book of Fritz Leiber (1975). Collection of 4 stories, 1 play, and 6 articles.
  • Bazaar of the Bizarre (1978)
  • Heroes and Horrors (1978). Collection of 9 stories.
  • Ship of Shadows (1979). Collection of 5 award-winning short stories [ 3 stories 2 novellas & 1 novelThe BigTime.] [26]
  • Changewar (1983). Collection of the Changewar short stories (7 stories).
  • The Ghost Light (1984). Collection of 9 stories with illustrations and an autobiographic essay with photographs.
  • The Leiber Chronicles (1990) Collection of 44 short stories.
  • Gummitch and Friends (1992). Leiber's cat stories, the first five of which feature Gummitch.
  • Ill Met in Lankhmar (White Wolf Publishing, 1995, ISBN 1-56504-926-8) combines Swords and Deviltry (1970) and Swords Against Death (1970).
  • Lean Times in Lankhmar (White Wolf Publishing, 1996, ISBN 1-56504-927-6) combines Swords in the Mist (1970) and Swords Against Wizardry (1970)
  • Return to Lankhmar (White Wolf Publishing, 1997, ISBN 1-56504-928-4) combines The Swords of Lankhmar (1968) and Swords and Ice Magic (1977)
  • Farewell to Lankhmar (White Wolf Publishing, 1999, ISBN 1-56504-897-0)
  • The Black Gondolier (2000) Collection of 18 short stories.
  • Smoke Ghost and Other Apparitions (2002) Collection of 18 short stories.
  • Day Dark, Night Bright (Collection of 20 short stories, 2002)
  • Horrible Imaginings (2004) Collection of 15 short stories.
  • Strange Wonders (Subterranean Press, 2010). Edited by Benjamin Szumskyj. Collection of 48 unpublished and uncollected works (drafts, fragments, poems, essays, and a play).
  • Fritz Leiber: Selected Stories (Night Shade Books, 2010). Edited by Jonathan Strahan and Charles N. Brown. Collection of 17 stories, with an introduction by Neil Gaiman.

Plays

  • Quicks Around the Zodiac: A Farce. (Newcastle, VA: Cheap Street, 1983). (Reprinted in Strange Wonders, 2010).

Essays

  • The Mystery of the Japanese Clock. A standalone essay on the workings of a digital Japanese clock. Montgolfier Press, 1982, with Introduction by his son Justin Leiber. (Reprinted in Strange Wonders, 2010).

Poetry

  • Demons of the Upper Air (Glendale, CA: Roy A. Squires, 1969).
  • Sonnets to Jonquil and All (Glendale, CA: Roy A. Squires, 1978).

Screen adaptations

Conjure Wife has been made into feature films three times under other titles:

A new film adaptation of Conjure Wife was announced in 2008, to be filmed by US director Billy Ray. It is slated to be a United Artists/Studio Canal co-production.[27]

"The Girl with the Hungry Eyes" was filmed under that title by Kastenbaum Films in 1995. (This film is not to be confused with the 1967 William Rotsler film The Girl with the Hungry Eyes which is entirely unrelated to Leiber's story).

Two Leiber stories were filmed for TV for Rod Serling's Night Gallery. These were "The Girl with the Hungry Eyes" (1970) (adapted by Robert M. Young and directed by John Badham); and "The Dead Man" (adapted and directed by Douglas Heyes).

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b Strange Wonders, pp. 173–99. ISFDB which reports that "Riches and Power" appeared in "The Churchman", December 1, 1934, and provides no such data for five with 1935 dates.[4]
  2. ^ His greatest achievement at chess may be winning clear first in the 1958 Santa Monica Open.[1]

References

  1. ^ The Web Novice. "California Chess Reminiscences". Chessdryad.com. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
  2. ^ "Fritz Leiber Papers, 1930-1996 | University of Houston Libraries". archon.lib.uh.edu. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  3. ^ Schweitzer, D. (1988). Discovering Modern Horror Fiction II. Wildside Press. p. 18. ISBN 9781587150081. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  4. ^ "Fritz Leiber – Summary Bibliography". ISFDB. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  5. ^ "American Science Fiction, Classic Novels of the 1950's". sciencefiction.loa.org. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2013-04-04. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
  7. ^ a b c Anderson, Poul (1974), "The Wizard of Nehwon", The Best of Fritz Leiber, NY: Doubleday, pp. vii–xv.
  8. ^ Leiber, F.; Straight, K. (2012). Snakes & Spiders: The Definitive Change War Collection. Creative Minority Productions. ISBN 9781944327033. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  9. ^ Laidlaw, Marc, "On Our Lady of Darkness," in the anthology Horror: Another 100 Best Books, edited by Stephen Jones and Kim Newman, Carroll & Graf, 2005.
  10. ^ Leiber, F.; Straight, K. (2012). Snakes & Spiders: The Definitive Change War Collection. Creative Minority Productions. ISBN 9781944327033. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  11. ^ "Fritz Leiber Jr. Dead; A Fantasy Novelist, 81". The New York Times. 1992-09-11. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-03.
  12. ^ Leiber, Fritz (1984). The Ghost Light. New York: Berkley Books. ISBN 978-0-425-06812-0.
  13. ^ Leiber, Fritz (1990). Fafhrd and Me. Newark NJ: Wildside Press.
  14. ^ S. T. Joshi, "Cthulhu's Empire: H. P. Lovecraft's Influence on His Contemporaries and Successors", Critical Insights: Pulp Fiction of the 1920s and 1930s, Salem Press, 2013.
  15. ^ Ellison, Harlan (1967). Dangerous Visions - Introduction to: Gonna Roll the Bones. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0-425-06176-0.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h "Leiber, Fritz" Archived October 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. The Locus Index to SF Awards: Index to Literary Nominees. Locus Publications. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  17. ^ Bill and Sue-On Hillman. "ERBzine 0210: Tarzan and the Valley of Gold ~ ERB C.H.A.S.E.R". Erbzine.com. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
  18. ^ Leiber, Fritz. "A Bad Day For Sales". Sense of Wonder: A Century of Science Fiction. Ed. 1. Leigh Ronald Grossman. Wildside Press, 2011. 422. Print.
  19. ^ Grossman, Leigh R. Ed. Sense of Wonder: A Century of Science Fiction. 1. Wildside Press, 2011. 421. Print.
  20. ^ Ramsey Campbell Archived February 4, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master" Archived July 1, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  22. ^ "Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement" Archived May 9, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Horror Writers Association (HWA). Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  23. ^ "Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame" Archived May 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Mid American Science Fiction and Fantasy Conventions, Inc. Retrieved 2013-04-01. This was the official website of the hall of fame to 2004.
  24. ^ Saylor, Steven, "Ill Seen in Tyre", in the anthology Rogues, edited by Gardner Dozois and George R.R. Martin, Bantam, 2014.
  25. ^ Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
  26. ^ Victor Gollancz [publisher] Dust Jacket bio.
  27. ^ "Billy Ray to write, direct 'Conjure Wife'", UPI (upi.com), December 19, 2008. Retrieved July 17, 2010.

Further reading

Works about Fritz Leiber

Magazine issues devoted to Fritz Leiber
  • Fantastic, November 1959
  • The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, July 1969
  • The Silver Eel (1978). edited by Robert P. Barker.
  • Fantasy Commentator double issue No 57/58 (2004). Edited by Benjamin J. Szumskyj for publisher A. Langley Searles. Contains a wealth of critical essays on Leiber's work, together with three poems by Leiber: "Challenge", "Ghosts" and "The Grey Mouser".
  • A bibliography of Leiber's work is Fritz Leiber: A Bibliography 1934–1979 by Chris Morgan (Birmingham, UK: Morgenstern, 1979). It is fairly definitive as to the date of publication but Leiber's work badly needs an updated comprehensive bibliography.
  • Jeff Frane. Fritz Leiber (Mercer Island, WA: Starmont House/Borgo Press, 1980) was the first full-length monograph on Leiber's life and literary work.
  • Tom Staicar. Fritz Leiber(NY: Fredrick Ungar Publishing Co, 1983).
  • Bruce Byfield. Byfield, Bruce (1991). Witches of the Mind: A Critical Study of Fritz Leiber. West Warwick: Necronomicon Press. ISBN 0-940884-35-6.
  • Benjamin J. Szumskyj (ed) Fritz Leiber: Critical Essays. (2007)
  • John Howard. "In Smoke and Soot I Will Worship: The Ghost Stories of Fritz Leiber". All Hallows 4 (1993); Fantasy Commentator 57/58 (2004); in Howard's Touchstones: Essays on the Fantastic. Staffordshire UK: Alchemy Press, 2014.
  • John Howard. "The Addition of Secondary Narratives". Fantasy Commentator 57/58 (2004); expanded as "Storytelling wonder-questing, mortal me: The transformation of 'The Pale Brown Thing' into Our Lady of Darkness in Szumskyj (2007); in Howard's Touchstones: Essays on the Fantastic. Staffordshire UK: Alchemy Press, 2014.
  • An essay examining Leiber's literary relationship with H. P. Lovecraft ("Passing the Torch: H.P. Lovecraft and Fritz Leiber") appears in S. T. Joshi's The Evolution of the Weird Tale (2004).Joshi, S (2004). The Evolution of the Weird Tale. New York: Hippocampus Press. pp. 124–35. ISBN 978-0-9748789-2-8.

External links

A Pail of Air

"A Pail of Air" is a science fiction short story by American writer Fritz Leiber. It originally appeared in the December 1951 issue of Galaxy Magazine and was dramatized on the radio show X Minus One in March 1956.

Bazaar of the Bizarre

"Bazaar of the Bizarre" is a sword and sorcery novelette by American writer Fritz Leiber, part of the canon of stories chronicling his adventurous duo, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.First published in 1963 in Fantastic, it has been reprinted several times, including as a standalone edition. It also appears in the anthology The Spell of Seven, edited by L. Sprague de Camp.

Catch That Zeppelin!

"Catch That Zeppelin!" is a 1975 alternate history short story by American writer Fritz Leiber. It was first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Conjure Wife

Conjure Wife (1943) is a supernatural horror novel by American writer Fritz Leiber.

Its premise is that witchcraft flourishes as an open secret among women. The story is told from the point of view of a small-town college professor who discovers that his wife is a witch.

This novel was the first by Fritz Leiber and was first published in the April 1943 edition of Unknown. It is said to have been the inspiration for at least three films: Weird Woman (1944),

Night of the Eagle (also known as Burn, Witch, Burn!) (1962), and

Witches' Brew (also known as Which Witch is Which?) (1980).

Fritz Leiber (actor)

Fritz Reuter Leiber Sr. (January 31, 1882 – October 14, 1949), was an American actor. A Shakespearean actor on stage, he also had a successful career in film. He was the father of science fiction and fantasy writer Fritz Leiber, Jr., who was also an actor for a time.

Gonna Roll the Bones

"Gonna Roll the Bones" is a fantasy short story by American writer Fritz Leiber, in which a character plays craps with Death. First published in Harlan Ellison's Dangerous Visions, it won both the Hugo Award and Nebula Award for Best Novelette.

Ill Met in Lankhmar

"Ill Met in Lankhmar" is a sword and sorcery novella by American writer Fritz Leiber, recounting the meeting and teaming-up of his adventurous duo, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.

First published in 1970 in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, it is a prequel, as Leiber had by that time been chronicling the pair's adventures for thirty years. The story forms part four of the collection Swords and Deviltry.

It was awarded the 1970 Nebula Award for Best Novella and the 1971 Hugo Award for Best Novella.

Midnight by the Morphy Watch

"Midnight by the Morphy Watch" is a horror fiction story about chess, by Fritz Leiber. It was first published in If, in July 1974.

The story is one of a series of works by Leiber whose settings are places that he inhabited, and whose protagonists are based on himself.

Our Lady of Darkness

Our Lady of Darkness (1977) is an urban fantasy novel by American author Fritz Leiber. The novel is distinguished for three elements: the heavily autobiographical elements in the story, the use of Jungian psychology that informs the narrative, and its detailed description of "Megapolisomancy", a fictional occult science. It was originally published in shorter form as "The Pale Brown Thing" (Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 1971).

Swords and Ice Magic

Swords and Ice Magic is a fantasy short story collection, first published 1977, by American writer Fritz Leiber, featuring his sword and sorcery heroes Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. It is chronologically the sixth volume of the complete seven volume edition of the collected stories devoted to the characters. It was first published in paperback format during July 1977 by Ace Books company, which reprinted the title numerous times through 1990; a later paperback edition was issued by Dark Horse (2007). It has been published in the United Kingdom by Mayflower Books and Grafton (1986, 1987). The first hardcover edition was issued by Gregg Press during December 1977. The book has also been gathered together with others in the series into various omnibus editions; Swords' Masters (1990), Return to Lankhmar (1997), and The Second Book of Lankhmar (2001).

The book collects seven short stories and one novella, three of which were published originally in the anthologies Flashing Swords! #1 (1973) and Flashing Swords! #3: Warriors and Wizards (1976), the collections The Book of Fritz Leiber (1974) and The Second Book of Fritz Leiber (1975), and the magazines Fantastic for November 1973 and April 1975, Whispers for December 1973, and Cosmos Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine for May and July 1977. "The Frost Monstreme" and "Rime Isle" have also been published separately as the novel Rime Isle (1977).

While the stories were ostensibly assembled in chronological order by the author, internal evidence indicates that the third, "Trapped in the Shadowland," which is a direct sequel to the preceding volume, The Swords of Lankhmar, should actually have been placed first.

The Best of Fritz Leiber

The Best of Fritz Leiber is a collection of short stories by American writer Fritz Leiber. It was first published in the United Kingdom by Sphere Books in paperback in May 1974, and in the United States in hardcover by Doubleday in June 1974; a British hardcover and American paperback followed in November of the same year from Sidgwick & Jackson and Ballantine Books, respectively. The Sphere edition was reprinted in June 1977, and the Ballantine edition in September 1979.

The collection contains twenty-two fantasy, science fiction and horror novelettes and short stories. The British and American editions differ slightly from each other. The former credits Angus Wells as editor; the latter neither lists an editor nor acknowledges the existence of the earlier edition. Both contain the same stories, but the British edition arranges these chronologically in the order of their original publication, while the American edition presents the novelette "Gonna Roll the Bones" first, out of its chronological order. The British edition also includes an introduction by the author and a bibliography of his published books as of 1973; the American edition substitutes a different introduction by Poul Anderson and an afterword by the author.

The stories were originally published in the magazines Astounding Science Fiction for April 1944, February 1945, October 1950 and March 1958, Fantastic Adventures for September 1950, Galaxy Science Fiction for November 1950, July 1951, December 1951 and October 1965, Thrilling Wonder Stories for June 1952, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction for January 1953, October 1957, April 1958, May 1958, December 1958 and March 1962, and Fantastic Science Fiction Stories for February 1960, the collection Night's Black Agents, (1947), and the anthologies Star Science Fiction Stories (1953), Star Science Fiction Stories No. 4 (1958), Dangerous Visions (1967), and The Year 2000 (1970).

The Big Time

The Big Time (1958) is a short science fiction novel by American writer Fritz Leiber. Awarded the Hugo Award during 1958, The Big Time was published originally in two parts in Galaxy Magazine's March and April 1958 issues, illustrated by Virgil Finlay. It was subsequently reprinted in book form several times. The Big Time is a story involving only a few characters, but with a vast, cosmic back story.

The Book of Fritz Leiber

The Book of Fritz Leiber is a collection of short stories and articles by American writer Fritz Leiber. It was first published in paperback in January 1974 by DAW Books. It was later gathered together with The Second Book of Fritz Leiber into the hardcover omnibus collection The Book of Fritz Leiber, Volume ! & !! (Gregg Press, 1980)..

The book consists of ten fantasy, science fiction and horror short stories alternating with nine related articles, together with a foreword by the author. Some pieces were original to the collection. Others were originally published in the magazines Rogue for January 1963, Worlds of Tomorrow for August 1963, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction for December 1951 and April 1963, Galaxy Science Fiction for August 1952 and February 1968, and Broadside Magazine for December 1965, and the collection The Dark Brotherhood and Other Pieces (1966).

The Conan Grimoire

The Conan Grimoire is a 1972 collection of essays, poetry and fiction edited by L. Sprague de Camp and George H. Scithers, published in hardcover by Mirage Press. The essays were originally published as articles in Scithers' fanzine Amra. The book is a companion to Mirage’s previous two volumes of material from Amra, The Conan Reader (1968) and The Conan Swordbook (1969). Most of the material in the three volumes, together with some additional material, was later reprinted in two de Camp-edited paperback anthologies from Ace Books; The Blade of Conan (1979) and The Spell of Conan (1980).

The Second Book of Fritz Leiber

The Second Book of Fritz Leiber is a collection of short stories and articles by American writer Fritz Leiber. It was first published in paperback in January 1975 by DAW Books. It was later gathered together with The Book of Fritz Leiber into the hardcover omnibus collection The Book of Fritz Leiber, Volume ! & !! (Gregg Press, 1980)..

The book consists of five fantasy, science fiction and horror short stories alternating with six related articles, together with a foreword by the author. Some pieces were original to the collection. Others were originally published in the magazines Astounding Science Fiction for September 1950, Science Digest for April 1961, Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine for February 1961, and The Arkham Sampler for Spring 1948, and the anthology Science Fiction Thinking Machines (1954).

The Spell of Conan

The Spell of Conan is a 1980 collection of essays, poems and fiction edited by L. Sprague de Camp, published in paperback by Ace Books. The material was originally published as articles in George H. Scithers' fanzine Amra. The book is a companion to Ace's earlier volume of material from Amra, The Blade of Conan (1979). Most of the material in the two volumes, together with some additional material, was reprinted from three previous books issued in hardcover by Mirage Press; de Camp's collection The Conan Reader (1968), and the de Camp and Scithers-edited anthologies The Conan Swordbook (1969). and The Conan Grimoire (1972).

The Swords of Lankhmar

The Swords of Lankhmar is a fantasy novel, first published 1968, by Fritz Leiber, featuring his sword and sorcery heroes Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. It is chronologically the fifth volume of the complete seven volume edition of the collected stories devoted to the characters. The book is an expansion of Leiber's earlier novella "Scylla's Daughter", which was published originally in the magazine Fantastic Stories of Imagination for May 1961. The full novel first published in paperback format during 1968 by Ace Books company, which reprinted the title numerous times through 1986; a later paperback edition was issued by Dark Horse (2008). It has been published in the United Kingdom by Mayflower Books (1970) and Grafton (1986, 1987). The first hardcover edition was issued by Rupert Hart-Davis during June 1969; a later hardcover edition was issued by Gregg Press during December 1977. The book has also been gathered together with others in the series into various omnibus editions; Swords' Masters (1990), Return to Lankhmar (1997), and The Second Book of Lankhmar (2001).

The Terror from the Depths

"The Terror from the Depths" is a short story by American writer Fritz Leiber, part of the Cthulhu Mythos genre of horror fiction. It was begun in 1937 but not finished until 1975; it was first published in the anthology The Disciples of Cthulhu in 1976.

The Wanderer (Leiber novel)

The Wanderer (ISBN 1-58586-049-2) is a 1964 science fiction novel by Fritz Leiber, published as a paperback original by Ballantine Books. It won the 1965 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Following its initial paperback edition, The Wanderer was reissued in hardcover by Walker & Co. in 1969, by Gregg Press in 1980, and by the Easton Press in 1991, as well as a Science Fiction Book Club edition in 1987. It was released in hardcover in the UK by Dennis Dobson in 1967, with a paperback edition following from Penguin Books in 1969. Translations have appeared in Dutch, French, German, Hungarian and Italian.The Wanderer was the first novel to win the Hugo Award without previously being published in hardcover or appearing in some form in a genre magazine.The novel deals with a wandering planet that enters the solar system. Its narrative follows multiple disconnected groups of characters to portray the widespread impact of the Wanderer on the entire population of the Earth (and above it) as well as the varied reactions of different groups as they struggle to cope and survive.

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