Where to Start With Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser
Mar15

Where to Start With Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser

Where to Start with Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser by Bill Ward Aside from Conan the Cimmerian, there can be no more iconic image in all of sword-and-sorcery fiction than the dynamic duo of “the Twain.” Fafhrd, towering Northern barbarian, and Mouser, weaselly little thief, form a wonderfully visually complementary whole, and that’s even before you get to their actual personalities. Bawdy and...

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Adventures in Fiction: Fritz Leiber
Dec24

Adventures in Fiction: Fritz Leiber

Our Appendix N Archeology and Adventures in Fiction series are meant to take a look at the writers and creators behind the genre(s) that helped to forge not only our favorite hobby but our lives. We invite you to explore the entirety of the series on our Adventures In Fiction home page. Adventures in Fiction: Fritz Leiber By Michael Curtis We’ve talked a lot about Fritz Leiber, whose birthday we’re celebrating...

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Ten Sword-and-Sorcery Tales For the Haunting Season
Oct08

Ten Sword-and-Sorcery Tales For the Haunting Season

Ten Sword-and-Sorcery Tales For the Haunting Season by Brian Murphy On a blog such as this, I doubt I’m alone in my irrational love of Halloween, a holiday for me that, more than Thanksgiving or Christmas, evokes a Ray Bradbury-like level of nostalgia and anticipation. Here in New England, I find that as the leaves begin to turn and October shadows lengthen, so too do my thoughts drift from my natural sword-and-sorcery bent toward the...

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Short Sorcery: Fritz Leiber’s “Thieves’ House”
Sep28

Short Sorcery: Fritz Leiber’s “Thieves’ House”

Short Sorcery: Fritz Leiber’s “Thieves’ House” by Bill Ward More than any other classic sword-and-sorcery series, Fritz Leiber’s Lankhmar tales of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser are associated with thievery. It isn’t just that the twain, the dynamic duo of tall Northerner Fafhrd and shifty little Mouser, are themselves consummate rogues of wild daring and tremendous fame, but that the world they usually inhabit, the crazy...

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Classic Covers: Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser
Sep24

Classic Covers: Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser

From the magazine covers of Fantastic, to endlessly reprinted mass market paperback collections, and comics and role playing game supplements by the score, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser have long proven an irresistible subject for artists and illustrators. The giant, tawny-haired barbarian and his nimble-limbed roguish companion make for a striking contrast not only narratively, but visually as well. Of course, there are more than a few...

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Michael Curtis Visits Leiber’s Legendary Lankhmar Library in Houston
Sep21

Michael Curtis Visits Leiber’s Legendary Lankhmar Library in Houston

To celebrate the release of DCC Lankhmar: The Greatest Thieves in Lankhmar and the new stories featuring Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser appearing in Tales From the Magician’s Skull #6, we are re-posting this article about Michael Curtis’ trip to research the Fritz Leiber Papers in Houston. Our Appendix N Archeology and Adventures in Fiction series are meant to take a look at the writers and creators behind the genre(s) that...

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Sifting Through a Sword-and-Sorcery Definition
Sep17

Sifting Through a Sword-and-Sorcery Definition

Sifting Through a Sword-and-Sorcery Definition by Brian Murphy When Michael Moorcock asked readers in the May 1961 issue of Amra to “put a tag” on the style of fantasy he was writing with his Elric stories, he cast a wide net, letting it drag through a sea of stories that readers today would likely consider heroic fantasy, high fantasy, or sword-and-sorcery—or all of the above: We have two tags, really — SF and “Fantasy” —...

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Adventures in Fiction: Fritz Leiber, H.P. Lovecraft, and the Origin of Sword-and-Sorcery Stories
Sep14

Adventures in Fiction: Fritz Leiber, H.P. Lovecraft, and the Origin of Sword-and-Sorcery Stories

Fritz Leiber, H.P. Lovecraft, and the Origin of Sword-and-Sorcery Stories by James Maliszewski In the May 1961 issue of the fantasy fanzine Amra, future stalwart of Appendix N, Michael Moorcock, wrote a letter to the editor in which he proposed the term “epic fantasy” for the literary genre pioneered by Robert E. Howard in his stories of Conan the Cimmerian. In the July issue of that same year, however, Fritz Leiber offered another...

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Where to Start With American Fantasy Series
May11

Where to Start With American Fantasy Series

Where to Start With American Fantasy Series by Bill Ward While J.R.R. Tolkien may be the most famous and ubiquitous of fantasy writers, introducing generations of readers the world over to fantasy fiction through The Hobbit and influencing the way such stories are forever told with his masterwork, The Lord of the Rings, American letters has perhaps contributed more profoundly to the development of the modern secondary world fantasy...

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Short Sorcery: Fritz Leiber’s “Bazaar of the Bizarre”
Nov10

Short Sorcery: Fritz Leiber’s “Bazaar of the Bizarre”

Short Sorcery: Fritz Leiber’s “Bazaar of the Bizarre” by Bill Ward If I had to describe Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories in one word, that word would be ‘fun.’ Not the dismissive ‘fun’ often given as a back-handed compliment to fiction that doesn’t rise above the level of the merely entertaining, but visceral, in the bones,...

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