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The Best of Fritz Leiber

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  425 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Fritz Leiber's work bridges the gap between the pulp era of H. P. Lovecraft and the Paperback era of Philip K. Dick, and arguably, is as influential as both these authors. From a historical context, Leiber in fact knew both of the authors, and his work can be seen as a bridge connecting the many different flavors of genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.
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Library Binding, 168 pages
Published June 1st 1997 by Amereon Limited (first published June 1st 1974)
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Nandakishore Varma
Fritz Leiber is a legendary name in science fiction and fantasy, up there among the stars with the likes of Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke et al. I do not know whether the present book includes his best (since the author has endorsed it himself, it should), but it does have some fantastic stories.

Leiber calls himself a “Science Fantasy” writer in the introduction: it seems an apt term, because there is nary a hard SF story in the whole volume, and many of them are outright fantasies. The author
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Jean-marcel
Mar 19, 2016 Jean-marcel rated it really liked it
This is a great collection of Leiber short stories spanning from the 1940s to the 1970s. What sets it apart from the other three or four such anthologies I have is that Leiber chose the stories himself, and at the end of the book he places an Afterword where he writes a paragraph or two about each one. leiber is one of my favourite writers, but I don't have a lot of insight into the man himself and his thoughts. I find this to be good, actually; plenty of times have I been a little put off by a ...more
Manny
Feb 25, 2009 Manny rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Some classic SF short stories. "Gonna Roll the Bones" is roughly The Seventh Seal with craps instead of chess... an effective piece of magical realism that won him a Nebula. But my favorite is "A Pail of Air", a kind of "Little House in Near Interstellar Space". The Earth has somehow been pulled out of its orbit, and the outdoor temperature has dropped to a few degrees Kelvin. All the atmosphere has frozen and is lying on the ground, layered according to the condensation points of its different ...more
Dee Bitner
Jan 24, 2016 Dee Bitner rated it really liked it
I hate writing this review, because it makes me feel the way some other works of great literature feel: I can see why it's amazing, but it leaves me cold. And that's a shame, because I desperately want to like Fritz Leiber. He was far ahead of his time, a fantastic writer, and from all reports everywhere a good man. I just can't get into him.

The Best of Fritz Leiber has a number of stories that on paper, I should like. The plots read as fun plots, the characterization is clear and the writing cr
...more
Steve Merrick
Jan 15, 2014 Steve Merrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fritz Leiber is long gone now, but the language and writing style are as mind blowing as some of the subjects and concepts he was playing with. The stories in this compilation literally cut across his entire career from 1944 through to 1970. Using words like enjoyable or engrossing really don't cut it for a review of this book. It's intoxicating, It's addictive, and like much of his other work its in a class of its own.

Trust me and read it.


Note; Just saw that it has no author written in the box
...more
Jerry
Dec 06, 2015 Jerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many of these stories are more slice of life than narrative.

These are a grave reflection of the pessimism of some people during the times Leiber wrote. In one story there was a hint of optimism when, even in the wake of a Third World War, we still managed to have regular trips to Mars, but that hope was quickly dashed. The most optimistic is probably “A Pail of Air” for its portrayal of the resilience of the human spirit.

A Third World War ushers in a priesthood of intellectuals, ruling mankind w
...more
Ketan Shah
Aug 13, 2011 Ketan Shah added it
Shelves: fiction
A good collection of Fritz Leiber's short stories from 1944 to 1970.He easily skips between the fantasy,SF and horror genres with some standout stories. Marianna is like a proto Philip K Dick story,while the Man who Never Grew Youngreads like vintage Ray Bradbury.My personal favourite is the whimsical yet sad Space Time for Springers,which makes Leiber the only writer I know,other than Cordwainer Smith,to incorporate cats and SF into surprisingly compelling stories.My other favourite is Coming A ...more
David Allen
Jun 15, 2015 David Allen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hadn't read any Leiber, making the excellence of this story collection all the sweeter. Neat ideas, deft prose. I liked almost every story here, and a few of them -- "The Man Who Never Grew Young," with its backward history; "Rump-Titty-Titty-Tum-Tah-Tee," a satire on modern art; and "Space-Time for Springers," told from a cat's point of view -- are astonishing.
TrumanCoyote
Feb 22, 2015 TrumanCoyote rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(FIRST READING: * * * * *)

My favorites here: "The Man Who Never Grew Young," "The Ship Sails At Midnight" (very intriguing indeed, although I didn't recall it from my previous reading), "Coming Attraction" (of course), "A Pail of Air" and "Mariana." A coupla duds too ("The Enchanted Forest" and "The Foxholes of Mars"). Fortunately they didn't include any of that Grey Mouser stuff. Rather goofy and blathering intro by Poul Anderson.
Raj
Mar 07, 2010 Raj rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, short-stories
I've not read much Leiber before but I'm really glad I picked up this volume (another of the many that I got from Jonathan). It presents Leiber's pick of his short stories from when he started writing in the '40s to the book's publication in the '70s, with the bulk of the selection being from the '50s.

Some of the writing reminded me heavily (and in a good way) of Ray Bradbury. He has the same fun with language and the stories tend to linger in the mind. His dystopian visions of future America's
...more
Mark
Sep 19, 2013 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leiber is quite the writer. The three-star rating really does his writing no justice, but the content itself, a bit uneven is what drives me to rate it so. It started at a nice trot with an interesting take on gambling in a fantasy-land, but some stories sauntered while others galloped. "A Pail of Air" and "The Man Who Never Grew Young" are stand-outs in particular, a fresh perspective on science fiction and fantasy that is rarely seen in this sort of anthology. Others, however, seemed a bit sho ...more
Lane
I generally didn't dislike any of the stories in this collection, but they didn't all astound me like I was hoping. Some of that is probably because these were primarily Lieber's more science fiction (or science fantasy, as he calls them in the afterword) works instead of his ghost stories or dark fantasies like the Fafrd and the Grey Mouser stories. There were a few, like The Long Walk, that I really liked though, and Poor Superman I decided I especially liked after I found out it was based on ...more
Norman Howe
Science-Fiction
Gregory K.
Apr 21, 2013 Gregory K. rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Here is a set of stories from the golden age of science fiction. If you enjoy science fiction with a definite 1960s flavor to it then I recommend this book. All of the stories in it are unique and interesting as well as wonderfully entertaining. I would recommend borrowing this book though rather than buying a copy since most of the stories are built around mysterious elements that, once revealed, lower the re-read value of those stories.
Tracey
Dec 18, 2007 Tracey rated it liked it
Lieber is another SF author with whom I am/was woefully under-acquainted.
I'd read "Roll the Bones" in Dangerous Visions some time ago, and "Pail of Air" in some school anthology many moons ago & a couple of other stories seemed vaguely familiar. Good, dark stories with the occasional twist. Reminded me a bit of Sturgeon, for the most part. Definitely someone I'll have to explore further.

Jeff
[from my book lover's journal; presumably written months after reading it]
I took this one back to the library too soon, but i liked at least one of the stories enough to recall its title & plot: "A Pail Full of Air" (or is it "Bucket"?). I also remembered one about the magic inkspot/phrase/beat.
Kevin Brown
Dec 12, 2011 Kevin Brown rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I have not liked Leiber's award winning SF: The Wanderer was awful and The Big Time mediocre. This collection of short stories was more enjoyable, and gave me hope for Fafhrd and Gray Mouser (what I have heard is his best).
Allen Houston
Jun 23, 2013 Allen Houston rated it it was ok
I've tried several times to "get into" Fritz Leiber. Another failed attempt. I like pulp writers. This one isn't my cup of tea. There's always next time.
Richard
Sep 28, 2010 Richard rated it it was amazing
I can't review Fritz Leiber. I can gush a bit, though. Arguably one of the best if not the best f/sf writer to emerge from the late pulp tradition.
Alan Edwards
Apr 06, 2011 Alan Edwards rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A collection of some of the best short stories by one of the best-ever sci-fi and fantasy authors. I can't recommend it enough.
Ralph McEwen
Oct 19, 2012 Ralph McEwen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are several very good stories and a couple of just strange mind twisters but no bad tales. I enjoyed this book.
Mark Dickson
May 14, 2010 Mark Dickson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the essential read authors of this genre.
bluetyson
The Best of Fritz Leiber by Fritz Leiber (1974)
sam
Oct 05, 2010 sam marked it as to-read
author of x maks the pedwalk
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Fritz Reuter Leiber, Jr. was one of the more interesting of the young writers who came into HP Lovecraft's orbit, and some of his best early short fiction is horror rather than sf or fantasy. He found his mature voice early in the first of the sword-and-sorcery adventures featuring the large sensitive barbarian Fafhrd and the small street-smart-ish Gray Mouser; he returned to this series at variou ...more
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“I'll never stop writing. It's one occupation in which being crazy, even senile, might help.” 5 likes
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