the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘Fritz Leiber’ Category

Ok, one new book, and everything else is older, but it’s all new-new stuff for. And so very pretty!

prettiest first:

I know they say “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, but I have been drooling over this book since I first saw the cover art a few months ago. I’ve read a few Marie Brennan short stories and enjoyed them, and I don’t even know even know what this one is about, I just knew I had to have it. Teh blurb, in case you are interested:

A Natural History of Dragons -

All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, knows Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light ofmodern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.

Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiousity, of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.

Wowza!!  When do I get to reward myself with reading this??  I’ll make you a deal: after I review Iain Bank’s Use of Weapons, and finish Athyra by Steven Brust, Seeds of Earth by Michael Cobley, and King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence, I’ll reward myself with this  beautiful book!

ok, on to some other new-to-me goodies:

Husband got me addicted to Fritz Leiber a few months ago, and we’d picked up the first book and the last book in the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series, so it was nice to find all the middle ones in the same printing.  You don’t need to read these in any particular order (book “one” was actually written last), but there is a sort-of chronological order to the lives of the characters.

and speaking of “you don’t need to read them in chronological order because they weren’t written that way”, I’m slowly filling the gaps in my Steven Brust collection. The problem is that I forget what I’ve purchased, so sometimes I end up with duplicates.  I can tell in the first couple pages of a book if I”ve read it before, and at the store I was pretty sure I was missing Athyra, so I grabbed it. I started reading it last night, this one was a good choice, as I”ve read the one that comes right after like 3 times, so it’ll be nice to see how that situation came about.

The Swords Against Tomorrow collection is a little volume of sword and sorcery and sword and planet tales, including a yes, you guessed it, a Fritz Leiber Lankhmar tale, yay!

I couldn’t resist the Rising Stars novel by Arthur Byron Cover. You probably recognize the name J. Michael Straczynski from Babylon 5, but he also wrote a wonder trilogy of graphic novels called Rising Stars. A little like X-Men, but no exactly. I hope I can find more novels in this series, as I LOVED the graphic novels!

For the most part, all this new stuff is rather slim, which means I can cram it into the remaining nooks and crannies in my bookshelves.

Swords and Deviltry (Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser, book 1), by Fritz Leiber

published in 1970

where I got it: purchased used

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On the very long (and growing longer) list of books and authors who were before my time and influenced entire genres is Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and The Grey Mouser series.  Born in 1910 in Chicago, Leiber spent his youth following in his actor parents footsteps. He later studied philosophy, religion, copy-editing, chess, and fencing.  He started publishing short stories in science fiction and fantasy magazines in the late 1930s, and would continue to publish until into the 1980s. His writings are highly influenced by spending his youth around Shakespearian actors, his formal studies, his love for Lovecraftian literature, and a passion for all things unusual.  Having just finished my first Leiber, two things have obvious to me: his potential for weird, and his influence on the sword and sorcery / dark fantasy genre.

The Fafhrd and The Grey Mouser series was originally a large smattering of short stories published in multiple magazines, which follow the two titular rogues on countless adventures. Later, Leiber figured out the chronology and wrote some additional stories to help bind everything together. Starting in 1970 and going until the late 80’s, the short stories were published into larger volumes, and the first of those volumes is Swords and Deviltry.

Swords and Deviltry is split up in three parts – the first part,  The Snow Women, introduces Fafhrd, the second part, The Unholy Grail, introduces The Grey Mouser, and in the third part, Ill Met in Lankhmar, the two meet for the first time and the bonds of friendship are secured through tragic events.

Read the rest of this entry »


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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.