Fritz Leiber, legendary fantasy and science fiction writer, delighted readers for decades with his stories of swords & sorcery, magic, and cats. Now, in the 21st Century, most of Leiber’s works are out-of-print. Now, Night Shade Books has published The Selected Stories of Fritz Leiber makiing some of Leiber’s best stories available for a new generation of readers. Here’s the Table of Contents:
Introduction by Neil Gaiman
Smoke Ghost
The Girl with the Hungry Eyes
Coming Attraction
A Pail of Air
A Deskful of Girls
Space Time for Springers
Ill Met in Lankhmar
Four Ghosts in Hamlet
Gonna Roll the Bones
The Inner Circles (aka The Winter Flies)
America the Beautiful
Bazaar of the Bizarre
Midnight by the Morphy Watch
Belsen Express
Catch That Zeppelin!
Horrible Imaginings
The Curse of the Smalls and the Stars
Sure, I would have chosen some other stories for inclusion, but this bunch will do for now. If you haven’t read Fritz Leiber, this is a good place to start.

This completes the April part of Carl V.’s fantasy challenge. To learn more about the fantasy challenge, click here.


    1. george Post author

      I was happy when I heard Night Shade Books was reprinting some of Leiber’s best stories, Jeff. They’ve been out-of-print too long.

    1. george Post author

      I’ve read all of the stories in this Leiber collection before, too, Bill. But it’s nice to have them in a nice Night Shade Books package.

  1. Richard R.

    Naturally, though I got my copy several days before you got yours, mine sits here with just the first three stories read. I was going to review it on my blog, though not as a forgotten book since it’s new, but the stories may well be forgotten so I have no argument with you there. I WILL review it on my blog after I’ve read it, but I’m sure my comments will parallel yours. Leiber is indeed a forgotten (with the thin possibility of his Lankmar stories) great.

    1. george Post author

      I dropped everything when THE SELECTED STORIES OF FRITZ LEIBER arrived, Rick. It was great to read those classic stories again. I hope a new audience discovers him.

  2. Todd Mason

    What startles me about this book, good as it is (it would be almost impossible to create a bad Leiber collection, or even a middling dull one without strenuous effort) is that is fails to be definitive, even as much so as THE LEIBER CHRONICLES, that fat, poorly-produced collection from Leiber’s estate’s agent much delayed in its eventual publication some fifteen years or so ago. But at least this one is here now, rahter handsomely produced it seems, and Night Shade is one of the strongest of the specialty publishers now. As an introduction, one could do much worse.

    1. george Post author

      For readers who want to discover the delights of Fritz Leiber’s work, this book is the perfect place to start, Todd. I’m hoping this volume sells well and Night Shade Books would issue more of Leiber’s work. I’d buy it just to have it in well designed hardcovers.

    1. george Post author

      Those literary prizes don’t go to genre fiction, Todd. The Pulitzer and the National Book Awards are corruptly political. The best prize is to continue to be read.

  3. Todd Mason

    All prizes are corrupt and political and no better than what they are awarded to. I wrote a paper on Borges and Leiber in high shcool, noting that the former had just joined the latter as a World Fantasy Convention Grand Master, but suspecting that this would be likely the greatest citation the two would ever share, and predicted Borges would be as consistently denied the Nobel as Leiber would be even the national prizes. I didn’t begin to think, given the staggering breath of their respective influences, that they’d both be so poorly represnted in print so few decades later.

    Such awards are given to “genre” books when their field of inspiration is fervently denied, or better, the subject is never raised by the ignorant.

    I could tell the tale of being denied the right to reprint the three Leiber autobiographical fantasies in playlet form (a parallel to Borges’s mulitply exercised meme in fiction of meeting other versions of himself), which have yet to be gathered together in one volume (!), but I’ll hold off. Still rankles. “The Winter Flies” is the only one in the volume under review.

  4. Todd Mason

    Among the many happy discoveries of my adolsecence at the Tower Records which opened on my bus route home in Honolulu in 1980 were the Bach Guild (an arm of Vanguard Records) recordings I could pick up at discount prices…so I augmented my purchase of 3 and 4-dollar CBS and W/E/Atlantic jazz and rock and folk LPs with purchases of these, and CBS Masterworks and Vox recordings, occasionally splurging for something a bit closer to full price (mostly imports). I have my MUSIC FOR THREE AND FOUR HARPSICHORDS and such still.

    A whole lot of lunch money was channeled there and in the Honolulu Book Shop (the actual name of the store) across the street and in the mall. The medium-small record store next to the HBS where Barack Obama and I sampled jazz records in the well-stocked listening booths (not ever, afaik, at the same time) didn’t take well to the advent of Tower there, as might be imagined. Froggies, a secondhand book/magazine/record store a few blocks away, and another used record store in Kailua, a bit further along my bus route, were my other usual haunts, aside from the libraries and their booksales. I liked bodysurfing at Kailua Beach, but I liked the lit and music more.

    1. george Post author

      I came to classical music late, Todd. My college roommate was (and is!) a huge classical music collector. Through osmosis I came to love Bach, Haydn, Vivaldi, Mozart, and the rest.

    1. george Post author

      THE WANDERER is Fritz Leiber’s masterpiece, Evan. If you can find a copy of that, read it! If you can’t find a copy, let me know and I’ll send you one.

  5. Todd Mason

    Och. By me, THE WANDERER is Leiber’s weakest novel. I would definitely choose to judge him by this collection instead (for his sf novels, I’d have to plump for that play in borderline novella-length prose, THE BIG TIME…but I prefer the three horror novels even to THE SWORDS OF LANKHMAR, which I gather Rick might suggest first [the novel in the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser sequence, otherwise made up of shorter fiction]. So there you have it…a talent so protean as well as influential that at least six of his novels could be considered his best with strong arguments. (The three horror novels neatly span the shank of his career–CONJURE WIFE from nearly the beginning and his first novel to be published, complete in one issue of UNKNOWN, YOU’RE ALL ALONE from the beginning of the middle period [the preferable short form-a long novella–in an issue of FANTASTIC ADVENTURES], and OUR LADY OF DARKNESS his last novel and one of his last major works…a short form serialized in F&SF as THE PALE BROWN THING.)

  6. Todd Mason

    My folks had a pretty good array of music in their collection, George, though it was a bit light on rock, folk, country and blues…I had to pick up on those on my own, mostly. But who could resist?


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