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jeff ford
Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 12:06 am:   

Just got a a contributors copy of In Lands That Never Were: Tales of Swords and Sorcery. It's an anthology of Heroic Fantasy Stories from the archives of F&SF, edited by Gordon Van Gelder. The authors included are:

Fritz Leiber
Phyllis Eisenstein
Robert E. Howard and L. Sprague de Camp
John Morresy
Pat Murphy
Charles Coleman Finley
R. Garcia y Robertson
Ellen Kushner
Yoon Ha Lee
Chris Willrich
Ursula K. LeGuin
The story of mine in there is "The Fantasy Writer's Assistant." In addition to all of the other fine stories here, I'm partiucularly pleased to have a story appearing in an anthology along with Fritz Leiber, one of my all time favorites of the old school.
Published by Thunder's Mouth Press. It seems, from what I read on the F&SF message board here at Nightshade, that copies will be available at Worldcon, although the book won't be out for a month or two officially. Check it out if you've got the inclination.
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Cornelis Alderlieste
Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 01:14 am:   

TFWA is a great story with an original point of view! Good on ya Jeff!
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 06:08 am:   

Thanks for posting this info, Jeff. We've got twenty copies we'll be selling at the F&SF table at Worldcon.
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 09:55 am:   

Fritz Leiber was my literary hero.

Years ago I wrote an essay on a couple of pilgrimages I made to his apartment when I was a would-be has-been...it appeared in S.F. EYE (whatever happened to...). These were formative experiences for me, as was the example of his writing. I think of Fritz every time I'm writing; and a lot more often than that.

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jeff ford
Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 10:49 am:   

Marc: You still got the essay? If so, post it here. I'd love to check it out. I'm really partial to "Our Lady of Darkness," among others, though I don't really know that much of his work.
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 11:10 am:   

I'd have to retype it...this is what we've come to. My old stories, articles, etc., instead of (and in addition to) filling filing drawers, now fill various old PC cases that I probably don't even have cables for anymore, even if I could get the software to run. Anyway, I'll see if I can dig up a copy to mail to you.

Our Lady of Darkness, aka The Pale Brown Thing, is what he was writing around the time I met him. The description of Franz's apartment is an accurate portrayal of his one-room flat at the time. As an idealistic kid with dreams of a career that would make me wealthy, seeing the ragged environs of one of the field's luminaries, was a real eye opener.

Fritz showing up at the autograph party for my first novel (it was right around the corner from his place) was another seminal experience for me.
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jeff ford
Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 06:29 pm:   

Marc: I know you don't need the extra work, but if you find the essay I'd really appreciate you sending me a copy. How long a piece is it? What were your favorite stories/novels by him? I could fill out my list of things to read if you have the time to drop a few titles.
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 09:42 pm:   

Whew...favorites...that's a big one. Maybe easier to list the ones I didn't like? Virtually all of his fantasy work, and especially his horror stories, are worth reading. Varying shades of excellence. I'm not a big fan of his pure science fiction, actually. I admire it but it doesn't ever make me forget I'm reading. But then there's a story like "Coming Attractions," which anticipates cyberpunk and is totally unforgettable. "Horrible Imaginings," "A Bit of the Dark World," "Smoke Ghost," "Belsen Express," most of the Fahfrd & Mouser tales (especially "Adept's Gambit"), the classic horror novel CONJURE WIFE, oh man...I don't have enough of his books handy to really come up with a good list.

I've been re-reading Joanna Russ's ALYX TALES recently, and the first story, "Bluestocking," is an affection feminist take on Leiber's Fafhrd & Mouser stories; and it's to Russ's credit how strong and lyrical the story is, soaring from Leiber's example. (She's another literary hero. Where the heck did she go?)
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jeff ford
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 05:28 am:   

Marc: This is a good list in and of itself. I grabbed an old circa 70's collection of Leiber's stories from a used book store in Montana when I was out there. I'm going to go through and check off the ones you mention and then check them out again. Do you know "A Pale of Air?" I've read Conjure Wife as it came in the same volume as Our Lady that I have. Thanks!
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 07:27 am:   

The Button Moulder and Black Glass are my favorite Leiber pieces,
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Bruce
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 07:47 am:   

Two of my favorites are his classics: 'The Death of Princes' and 'A Rite of Spring' - you can find them in Terry Carr's Best of the Year #6 & #7 anthologies. 'Black Glass' is in #8 and reminds me of 'Catch That Zeppelin'...two great stories from Herr Leiber's pov.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 08:53 am:   

Lucius and Bruce, yes, see, whatever I do I'll leave out everything. Just get started, Jeff, and there's plenty to keep you going for a long time.

Leiber was big on the frisson...the little inexplicable moment that transcends the story and chills you to the bone. His best horror always has at least one of these. The other writer who does this routinely, as if it is a technical building block and not at all magical, and I cannot ever for the life of me figure out how, no matter how close I stare, is Peter Straub. There is always a moment in his best books when I go, Okay...it's happening again...I'm not sure what the hell it is but it's freaking me out.
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Richard Parks
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 09:35 am:   

CONJURE WIFE, OUR LADY OF DARKNESS, THE WANDERER, "Ill Met in Lhankmar," "Lean Times in Lhankmar," "Coming Attractions," "The Bleak Shore"...

Damn, I'm overdue for a re-read. Leiber on a bad day was still better than most.
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EDatlow
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 10:02 am:   

"Gonna Roll them Bones" and "Spacetime for Springers"--hey, what can I say? I'm a cat lover.
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jeff ford
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 10:19 am:   

Richard: I think the one that Gordon reprints in the new anthology is "Ill Met in Lhankmar."

Richard, Ellen, Bruce, Lucius: Thanks for the suggestions. I'm going to go up to my office and try to find that collection I have and see now what matches up with all your suggestions.

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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 10:20 am:   

Oh yeah, Ellen, those too!
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Richard Parks
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 11:26 am:   

Hard to go too far wrong with Leiber no matter where you start. Though I'll certainly echo "Spacetime for Springers" and "Gonna Roll the Bones," and add RIME ISLE and "The Girl With the Hungry Eyes."
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 11:49 am:   

And those.

I think the thing with RIME ISLE as with all the later Fafhrd/Mouser stories is that they are better if you read the earlier ones first, because eventually they become very convoluted. There's a place in SWORDS IN THE MIST (I think) where Mouser realizes that all his lovers' names started with the same letter, and that they are all shades of the same woman? (I think this is when he falls in love with a rat.)

These are misty memories for me. I'd have to dig those books out, and then I'd have to read them gingerly because they're signed in (purple) ballpoint.

I started my correspondence with him by offering to take over the Fafhrd & Grey Mouser series when he was dead. (I was the most tactful kid you ever met.) He politely declined. He also sent me some racy postcards from the Tenderloin.

Anyway, this is not supposed to be a Fritz Leiber adoration thread.

Sounds like a nice collection, Gordon!
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 11:55 am:   

I'm a big Leiber fan myself. Mostly for his fantasy and horror. I just read his story "Smoke Ghost" this afternoon, and what a wonderfully creepy story it is.
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Bruce
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 02:15 pm:   

A great place to start is that old Ballantine paperback, 'The Best of Fritz Leiber'. Hell, the other twenty odd books in that series style; it started off with 'The Best of Stanley G. Weinbaum' introduced by Isaac Asimov. Get 'em all at Abebooks.

'The Book of Fritz Leiber' [Daw] is also mandatory reading!
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 04:13 pm:   

Yes, those are both excellent Leiber collections. The DAW one has "Belsen Express" in it.

I was thinking about that Weinbaum collection just yesterday...probably because I was thinking of the Leiber collection...I've got most or all of those packed away somewhere. Indispensible!

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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 05:33 pm:   

Hey, a Fritz Leiber adoration thread is good anytime. I sent him a fan letter when I was a kid, too. Leiber and Zelazny. They both sent me back postcards, I think I still have them both.

I must confess, though, that when I did the alternate history anthology, I reread "Catch That Zeppelin!" and didn't think it had aged well at all.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 09:50 pm:   

I was just thinking today that it was time to dig out THE DOORS OF HIS FACE, THE LAMPS OF HIS MOUTH, that great Zelazny collection. I never got into Amber and only read a couple of his other novels, but the stories in there...what a perfect classic collection...
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 09:52 pm:   

Gordon, I hope your fan letter didn't start, "When you are dead..."
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ben peek
Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 05:28 am:   

i'm just here to join the leiber adoration thread :-)

there were collections done (and i think still being done, though i've not seen a fourth) from dark side press, i think. nice books, though with an occasional glitch in them :-( but that said, i found a lot of stuff i'd never read of leiber's in the three i have, just due to the fact that i wasn't around for the publication of most.

i'm a big fan of 'smoke ghost' and 'our lady of darkness' and others, but my favourites of his are the fafhrd and mouser stories. the novel 'swords of lankhmar' is probably my particular fav, but i'm real partial to ill met in lankhmar and the mouser goes below. but really, there aren't many i don't like.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 05:35 am:   

Marc---

No, I saved that fan letter for Robert Bloch. (Kidding!) I can't remember the content of my letter to Leiber.
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jeff ford
Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 06:13 am:   

The collection I have is called The Best of Fritz Leiber and is put out by Doubleday. I was wrong, it's not the late 60's but the early 70's. The cover is ridiculous -- bad pink and orange drawings of ass-head aliens with antennae. It's got a lot of the ones you guys mentioned and I read "Gonna Roll Them Bones" last night. I also noticed that it's missing quite a few of the ones people here have said are their favorites. Neither of the ones Lucius mentioned, etc. Will be going to Worldcon early tomorrow morning, so while there I'll scour the dealers room and see if I can come up with some better collections. Gordon, if you notice any good ones in the dealer's room, let me know.
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Bruce
Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 07:10 am:   

...just one more.

Strangest Leiber story? It's gotta be 'Ship of Shadows'. Only multi-generation, post-apocalypse vampire novella I've ever read.

And Marc, you may be interested in the posthumous cleanup collection of Zelazny's short fiction, Manna From Heaven'. It's uneven but worth the price. Sure miss that gentleman; I once had the chance to speak with him in Edmonton.
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 09:14 am:   

Ben I agree, I think the Fafrhd and Mouser stories are some of the greatest contributions to sword and sorcery (as Leiber himself called them). I love the wit and satire, I also love how the two heroes arn't your typical squikey clean fantasy heroes. I have old pocket book editions I found in a used book store up to The Swords of Lanhkmar, so I still need to get the final two volumes.

Hey I'm wondering where you would find the two favs Lucius mentioned? I havn't read them and am curious.

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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 09:17 am:   

Stephen, Jeff,

I don;t know where the stories I mentioned were originally printed, but I found them In two of Terry Carr;s best novellas of the year collections.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 09:52 am:   

Here's a link to an article about The Button Molder which at the end lists its various appearances.

http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~pardos/ArchiveLeiber.html

Black Glass is in Leiber's collection THE GHOST LIGHT.

Another good frightening one is "The Terror from the Depths" which appeared in E.P. Berglund's DISCIPLES OF CTHULHU.

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ben peek
Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 06:34 pm:   

jeff: the button moulder and black glass are (at least where i found them) in the collection SMOKE GHOST AND OTHER APPARITIONS. check ebay out for it if you can't find one a dealers table.

stephen: what i love about the mouser and fafhrd stories is the arc of their psychology over the books, especially in relation to women, and the fact that they spend the majority of their time trying to find replacements for their first love. (or dating a similar kind.) it's a real disappointment when i find people who haven't read them and won't because the names strike them as being odd. yet they'll read countless other sword and sorcery stuff, nearly all of it less intelligent and just nowhere as close to being as well written as leiber's stuff.

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jeff ford
Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 06:38 pm:   

Ben, Lucius, Marc, Stephen: Thanks for the tips on finding these stories. I'll hunt them down.

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stephenb
Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 07:31 pm:   

Ben, thats partly what I meant by not your typical sqeaky clean heroes. I can relate with those characters on a personal level with the girls. Once you have found that love that seems so perfect at the time, and then loose her, it can be devastating emotionaly to a young man, causing a change. I've loved and lost, and then just went on a streak of sleeping with lot's of girls (of all types), many of whom I cared nothing for, without becoming attached. In your own mind none of those girls are as beautiful (and she was beautiful), or have as great of a soul, and it turn inspiring your own soul as much. So like Fafrhd and Mouser you can go through many girls without a care, looking to replace that first true love. But I also see it as another experience in life that makes you grow, something neccissary to go through to move ahead emotionally and even intellectually. I think that there could be an even greater love out there, and this time I'll be ready for it, so the search is endless?

Jeff ford, hey thank you for being such a good writer.:-)
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 10:27 pm:   

Don't try to make this be about Jeff! This isn't his----oh wait, yes it is.
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on line kasino
Posted on Sunday, November 14, 2004 - 04:59 pm:   

Very useful comments - good to read

<p>on line kasino</p>

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