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[1] and the 1971 Hugo Award for Best Novella.[2]

Plot

One murky night in Lankhmar, Fissif and Slevyas, members of the Thieves' Guild, steal valuable jewels from Jengao the gem merchant. Whilst returning to Thieves' House, they are ambushed and attacked by Gray Mouser and Fafhrd simultaneously, who steal the gems. Recognising kindred spirits, they agree to share the loot. They return to Mouser's lodgings, where Fafhrd is introduced to Mouser's woman Ivrian and Ivrian meets Fafhrd's woman, Vlana.

Somewhat drunk, Mouser persuades Fafhrd to join him in a quest to infiltrate the headquarters of the Thieves' Guild, in the guise of members of the Beggars' Guild. They are initially successful, but their disguise comes unstuck when their glib story is seen through by Krovas, Grandmaster of the Thieves, and the Beggarmaster. Fleeing, they return to Mouser's hovel, only to find to their horror that both girls have been killed and partially eaten by giant rats and by Slivikin, a fast-moving evil witch-beast conjured up by Krovas's warlock, Hristomilo.

In grief and anger, they return to Thieves' House and charge in, causing panic and chaos. They kill Hristomilo, then flee from the city.

References

  1. ^ [1] Archived April 23, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "1971 Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. Archived from the original on 7 May 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2015.

External links

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The 29th World Science Fiction Convention, also known as Noreascon I, was held September 2–6, 1971, at the Sheraton-Boston Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts, United States.

The chairman was Tony Lewis. The guests of honor were Clifford D. Simak (pro) and Harry Warner, Jr. (fan). The toastmaster was Robert Silverberg. Total attendance was approximately 1,600.

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Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser

Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser are two sword-and-sorcery heroes appearing in stories written by American author Fritz Leiber. They are the protagonists of what are probably Leiber's best-known stories. One of his motives in writing them was to have a couple of fantasy heroes closer to true human nature than the likes of Howard's Conan the Barbarian or Burroughs's Tarzan.Fafhrd is a very tall (nearly seven feet) and strong northern barbarian, skilled at both swordsmanship and singing; the Mouser is a small (not much more than five feet) mercurial thief, gifted and deadly at swordsmanship (often using a sword in one hand and a long dagger or main-gauche in the other), and a former wizard's apprentice who retains some skill at magic. Fafhrd talks like a romantic, but his strong practicality usually wins through, while the cynical-sounding Mouser is prone to showing strains of sentiment at unexpected times. Both are rogues, living in a decadent world where to be so is a requirement of survival. They spend a lot of time drinking, feasting, wenching, brawling, stealing, and gambling, and are seldom fussy about who hires their swords. But they are humane and—most of all—relish true adventure.

The characters were loosely modeled upon Leiber himself and his friend Harry Otto Fischer. Fischer initially created them in a letter to Leiber in September 1934, naming at the same time their home city of Lankhmar. In 1936, Leiber finished the first Fafhrd and Gray Mouser novella, "Adept's Gambit", and began work on a second, "The Tale of the Grain Ships". At the same time, Fischer was writing the beginning of "The Lords of Quarmall". "Adept's Gambit" would not see publication until 1947, while "The Lords of Quarmall" would be finished by Leiber and published in 1964 and "The Tale of the Grain Ships" would become the prototype for "Scylla's Daughter" (1961) and, later, the novel The Swords of Lankhmar (1968).

The stories of the two were only loosely connected until the 1960s, when Leiber organized them chronologically and added additional material in preparation for paperback publication. Starting as young men, the two separately meet their female lovers, meet each other, and lose both their lovers in the same night, which explains both their friendship and the arrested adolescence of their lifestyles. However, in later stories, the two mature, learn leadership, and eventually settle down with new female partners on the Iceland-like Rime Isle. Leiber contemplated continuing the series beyond this point, but died prior to doing so.

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Swords Against Death

Swords Against Death is a fantasy short story collection by American writer Fritz Leiber, first published in 1970 and featuring his sword and sorcery heroes Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. It is chronologically the second volume of the complete seven volume edition of the collected stories devoted to the characters. It is an expansion of Leiber's earlier collection Two Sought Adventure, issued by Gnome Press during 1957. The earlier collection contained seven of the ten stories of Swords Against Death, plus an "Induction" omitted from the expanded edition, which was instead republished in its companion volume, Swords and Deviltry (1970). Swords Against Death was first published in paperback during 1970 by Ace Books, which reprinted the title numerous times through August 1990; later paperback editions were issued by ibooks (2003) and Dark Horse (2007). It has been published in the United Kingdom by New English Library (1972), Mayflower Books (1979) and Grafton (1986). The first hardcover edition was issued by Gregg Press during December 1977. The book has also been gathered together with others of the series into various omnibus editions; The Three of Swords (1989), Ill Met in Lankhmar (1995), The First Book of Lankhmar (2001), and Lankhmar (2008).

The book collects ten short stories, eight of which were originally published in the magazines Unknown for August 1939, Unknown Worlds for February 1942 and February 1943, Unknown Fantasy Fiction for November 1940, and June 1941, Other Worlds Science Stories for May 1953, Suspense for Fall 1951, and Fantastic Stories of Imagination for August 1963, and two of which first appeared in the book itself.

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Swords Against the Shadowland is a fantasy novel by American writer Robin Wayne Bailey, featuring Fritz Leiber's sword and sorcery heroes Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. It was first published as a trade paperback in August 1998 by White Wolf. A later trade paperback edition was issued by Dark Horse in April 2009. It was projected to be the first in a series of authorized continuations of the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser saga by Bailey. The second was reported to be "currently in progress" in 2008, but has yet to appear.

Swords and Deviltry

Swords and Deviltry is a fantasy short story collection, first published 1970, by Fritz Leiber, featuring his sword and sorcery heroes Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. It is chronologically the first volume of the complete seven volume edition of the collected stories devoted to the characters. The book was first published in paperback form during 1970 by Ace Books company, which reprinted the title numerous times through November 1985; later paperback editions were issued by ibooks (2003) and Dark Horse (2006). It has been published in the United Kingdom by New English Library (1971), Mayflower Books (1979) and Grafton (1986, 1988). 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; The Three of Swords (1989), Ill Met in Lankhmar (1995), The First Book of Lankhmar (2001), and Lankhmar (2008).

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The Snow Women

The Snow Women is a sword and sorcery novella by Fritz Leiber, recounting the early history of Fafhrd, a future member of the adventurous duo, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. It was nominated for the Hugo and Nebula Awards in 1971 (although Leiber withdrew it in favor of "Ill Met in Lankhmar"), and finished second in the annual Locus poll for short fiction.First published in 1970 in Fantastic magazine, it is in the nature of a prequel, as Leiber had by that time been chronicling the pair's adventures for thirty years. The story forms part two of the collection Swords and Deviltry.

Fafhrd is an eighteen-year-old member of the Snow Clan, son of Mor and Nalgron. They live in the Cold Waste plain but once a year, move to Cold Corner, the southernmost part of their land, where they trade with merchants from the south and attend the Show.

Fafhrd, although betrothed to Mara, meets Vlana Lefay, an actress with the Show and is besotted with her. Despite the demands and curses of his Mother Mor and her coven, he leaves the Cold Waste to travel with Vlana and see the lands to the South.

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