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Selected Stories

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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  169 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Fritz Leiber's work bridges the gap between the pulp era of H. P. Lovecraft and the paperback era of P. 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. Edited by aw ...more
Hardcover, 359 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Night Shade Books (first published March 1st 2001)
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RandomAnthony
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Fritz Leiber's legend looms large, but I'd not read any of his work. His catalog is so goddamn big I didn't know where to start. In turn I was intrigued a couple weeks back when I stumbled upon a newer Selected Stories edition, with an introduction by Neil Gaiman (who bugs me lately, but that's another story, and I'm sure he's very distressed by the news). About an hour before wandering the B and N aisles I dropped my family off at the Milwaukee airport for a Florida visit with my wife's mom. Th ...more
Robert Zoltan
Apr 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Leiber is fantastic, as many current popular writers (like Neil Gaiman, Michael Chabon, Harlan Ellison, etc.) will attest. He's my literary father.

He wrote for many decades, so the quality of his stories vary (depending on where they were written, why, for whom, etc.). At his best, he is the best. No one had the sense of mystery, meaning and synchronicity that Leiber brought to his stories. Compared to his work, most modern writing has very little style or poetry to it.

Some of these stories wer
...more
Chas
Aug 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Gaiman's right--most of Lieber's Science Fiction stories haven't aged so well, or at the very least, they're way less interesting than his horror and fantasy stories, of which his Gummitch (represented here by the brilliant Spacetime for Springers) and his Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser stories (represented here by "Ill Met in Lankhmar" and "Bazaar of the Bizarre") are the best.
Arlen
Sep 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful walk backward in time for me. I first ran across Leiber with his chess story "64-Square Madhouse," but I didn't really fall in love until "Ill Met In Lankhmar". The first is not in this collection (though another of his chess stories, "Midnight by the Morphy Watch" is) but the second is, as are a number of his immortal tales, such as "A Pail Of Air" and "Four Ghosts in Hamlet."

Writers like Leiber don't come along very often, and it's sad to see so much of his material out of
...more
Gerry Huntman
Jul 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I am a huge fan of Fritz Leiber (pronounced 'Lie-ber') from my early days and this book does a faithful job of representing his scifi, fantasy and dark fantasy writing career. I was pleased to see two Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories....

What can I say except he was seminal, original, and a truly wonderful short story writer. All I can say is read it. It is worth it.
Patrick
Jan 18, 2014 rated it liked it
I can’t recall where I first encountered Fritz Leiber — probably in an anthology somewhere — but you don’t see too many of his works in the average bookstore these days. He’s one of those authors who had the fortune to be relatively successful during their lifetime, but who have fallen off the radar in recent years. In this case I suspect the problem is partly that his prose style is very much of its time, and in some respects it hasn’t aged all that well. While the power and range of his imagin ...more
Lord Humungus
Neil Gaiman gave a glowing foreword so I was really looking forward to some great stories, especially in light of the fact my previous Leiber reads had been disappointing.

I felt this collection was a mixed bag. I can say without hesitation the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser stories were thoroughly entertaining, some great fantasy writing that put a smile on my face with every story. I felt the stories earlier in the collection, which also represent his earlier work chronologically, were stronger. They m
...more
Will
Jul 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Where Leiber turns most completely from the hardboiled tone and attendant misogyny prevalent in the earlier stories, this collection becomes thoughtful, diverse, and sometimes magnificently strange.

In the better stories, even the queasy anxiety about women and desire gets worked through in a satisfying way, delineating a character's madness as in "The Inner Circles," or loneliness as in "Horrible Imaginings" (which seems in many ways to be about an elderly writer confronting some of his hang-up
...more
Clara Mazzi
Sep 29, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't finish it. It took me almost the entire book to force myself to drop it (I never drop a book!) but I realized I was so deadly bored I wasn't really reading. I bought this book because I wanted to have examples of "sword and sorcerer" literature and Fritz Leiber was a quoted and founder member of the contained gang. Of all his book I found on Amazon, this was the one that readers appreciated the most, so I got for this. But I didn't find what I was looking for. First: only two stories ...more
Anthony Panegyres
A MATTER OF CONTEXT


The thoughtful foreword by Neil Gaiman along with back cover praise from Michael Chabon and Harlan Ellison reflect the vast influence that Fritz Leiber, an author often heralded a master of his era, had on contemporary writers. Selected Stories is a wonderful homage to an author who not only influenced so many other writers but was also profoundly respected by readers of his own era as his numerous Hugo and Nebula Awards indicate, as does his World Fantasy Award for Life Achi
...more
Marissa
Sep 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Disappointing. My favorite stories were two I'd already read in other anthologies ("Smoke Ghost" and "The Girl with the Hungry Eyes") plus one that was new to me and I quite liked ("Belsen Express") but I was expecting more of that, i.e., horror/sci-fi/"weird" fiction. The sword-and-sorcery fantasy stories set in Lankhmar weren't particularly bad, but they were so jarringly different from the other stories that I resented them for taking up space in the book that could have been filled with more ...more
Kyle Hawthorne
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
I actually didn't completely finish this book. I tried various stories over time but finally decided there are too many good books to waste my time struggling through this one.
I'm a fan of Lovecraft and John Collier and thought this might be similar but I just couldn't get interested in the characters, settings, or stories so...
Hazel
Mar 09, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leiber wasn't one of my favourites, but I'm really enjoying some of these. I remember Gonna Roll The Bones which is extraordinary and still gives me a thrill. This collection includes the story of the first meeting between Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, and a delightful piece about a kitten with a sense of destiny.
Ron
Dec 28, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of short stories from an author that I had never read before. Most of the stories were either variations of fantasy or ghost stories. There was one sci-fi story which I did enjoy. I suspect I'll only read stuff by him in the future if it is clearly sci-fi.
Andrew
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
His goodreads bio calls him a stepping stone from H.P. Lovecraft to Phillip K. Dick. Throw in a bit of Robert E. Howard and Frederik Pohl and you have a pretty good idea of the kind of short stories you might find in this excellent collection.
Michelle
Aug 13, 2010 rated it did not like it
Dull. Dated. Couldn't finish.
Peveril
May 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
I've read (almost?) all of these stories before but not in this configuration. I'd rate the earlier stories 4 or 5, but this isn't the best collection and not one I'd turn to again.
McNevin Hayes
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Uneven, but always interesting, with some solid five star elements, especially Spacetime for Springers, and three Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories, which I highly recommend!
Shane
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
excellent mix of genre writing, sci-fi, horror, abstract, et al. Leiber can really spook you out, i'll be keeping this collection.
Stacey Klassen
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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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