Known in his lifetime primarily to readers of science fiction and fantasy, Fritz Leiber is now recognized as one of the finest writers of popular fiction of the twentieth century. An intimate of H. P. Lovecraft, Leiber crafted the twentieth century's first great stories of urban horror, created the sword and sorcery tale almost single-handedly, and wrote strong, resonant science fiction. Nothing less than a visionary American author, Leiber is considered by critics and fans alike to be one of our most original and versatile storytellers.
The seventeen tales selected for this volume showcase Leiber's virtuoso range and unforgettable characters: from the fabled, decadent streets of god-haunted Lankhmar to the eerie underworld of a Martian gambling hall; from a sunless, frozen Earth to the shattered, bombed, and violent wreckage of a post-atomic New York, and beyond. Edited by master anthologist Jonathan Strahan and Locus magazine founder Charles N. Brown, Fritz Leiber: Selected Stories presents a wide sampling of his best short fiction so that a new generation of twenty-first century readers can continue to discover and enjoy his groundbreaking and memorable fiction.
Fritz Reuter Leiber, Jr. (1910–1992) was an American author of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. The son of Shakespearian actors, Leiber was also an actor, expert chess player, and champion fencer. Born in Chicago in 1910, Leiber spent his youth touring with his parents' theater company. He graduated with honors in philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1932. Leiber married Jonquil Stephens in 1936. In 1938, their son Justin was born. After Jonquil's death in 1969, Fritz Leiber moved to San Francisco, where he lived until his death on September 5, 1992.
Leiber's formative sword-and-sorcery story, "Two Sought Adventure," was published in Unknown magazine in 1939. Subsequent stories and novels would appear in such publications as Astounding, Dangerous Visions, Fantastic, Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Galaxy, Other Worlds, Star Science Fiction Stories, and Weird Tales. A number of Leiber's works have been adapted for film or television.
In addition to multiple Hugo, Nebula, Derleth, Lovecraft, and World Fantasy awards, Fritz Leiber received the Grand Master of Fantasy (Gandalf) Award in 1975, World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1976, the Grand Master Nebula Award in 1981, and the Bram Stoker Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987.
"I learned how to play the game of literature—a game of power and precision and elegance—from reading Fritz Leiber, but it was a lesson I learned in fits, chasing his stories across scattershot anthologies. What a blessing and a pleasure that we can all now be schooled, easily and everlastingly, by this marvelous collection." —Michael Chabon
"He was one of the giants of genre literature and it is hard to imagine the world of tales we read today being the same without him . . . Fritz Leiber's better short stories do the thing a fine whisky does . . . they leave aftertastes in memory, an emotional residue and resonance that remains long after the final page has been turned." —Neil Gaiman
"For anyone who loves great literature, Fritz Leiber walked on water." —HARLAN ELLISON
In a working-class city with roots deep in the Confederacy, five men will endure seven deadly weeks that will forever alter their perceptions of the world. These haunting events transpiring over the summer of 1948 will irrevocably mark their understanding of race and responsibility in postwar America.
Laconic, nuanced, and stylish, master storyteller Jack Cady's depiction of mid-century Louisville, Kentucky, is fraught with racial tension, precise detail, and the delicate, figurative ghosts of the actions and inactions of the past.
From Jack Cady, award-winning author of The Hauntings of Hood Canal and Ghosts of Yesterday, comes the astonishing final novel Rules of '48, a stirring semi-autobiographical examination of changing social conventions and the development of the American conscience in the aftermath of the greatest war in history. Jack Cady died in January 2004, but his insightful vision of American life lives on in Rules of '48.
"For more than 30 years, Cady has been one of America's great chroniclers of characters and places . . . . Few writers can capture the rhythms of blue-collar speech as well as Cady does . . . " —Publishers Weekly
"Jack Cady is above all, a writer of great, unmistakable integrity and profound feeling . . . Jack Cady's is a voice we need to hear." —Peter Straub
In a world pushed beyond the moral simplicity of black and white, all that survives is Grey.
High fashion, corporate malfeasance, celebrity culture, and an obsessed media collide with exuberant violence and volatile intensity in Grey, the explosive debut novel by newcomer Jon Armstrong.
For Michael Rivers, life is perfect. Michael has everything; tall, handsome, and famous, he is worshipped by billions of fans around the globe. He is wealthy beyond measure, the heir apparent to RiverGroup, one of the handful of high-tech corporations that controls the world. He is fashionable, setting trends with his wardrobe of immaculate designer suits, each a unique and celebrated work of art. And Michael is in love, perfect love, sharing a private language based entirely on quotes from the latest fashion magazine advertisements, with Nora, his beautiful, witty, and equally perfect fiancee, the only woman with whom he can see surgically-altered monochromatic eye to eye.
When an assassin's bullets pierce Michael's body before the unblinking eyes of cameras, reporters, and viewers at a press junket, everything changes, forcing Michael to question everything about his previously perfect world. Illusions shattered and forcibly separated from Nora, Michael seeks to uncover the reasons behind the attempted assassination, embarking on a quest that leads him to question his relationships with his loud, pro-fane, and narcissistically Ultra father; his estranged mother; and the perilous, contaminated, neo-feudalistic world that lies beyond the safe and protected bubble of corporate family life. Michael must delve deep into his past, finding that all paths he uncovers seem to lead to the now-closed PartyHaus, and to a time when he was the golden boy, dancing furiously to the beat of notorious all-night Rage parties thrown by his father.
"Grey is a legendary book waiting to happen. It's a mad, stylish, trippy, endlessly inventive romp through the biohazardous wastes of post-genre literature. Jon Armstrong is a genius, with an umlaut, to the fifth power." —Michael Chabon, author of The Amazing —Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and The Wonder Boys.
"If F. Scott Fitzgerald had ever imbibed himself into a science-fictional state of mind, subsequently pouring his talent for vivid images and acid observation into a futuristic dystopian extravaganza, the result might very well read like Jon Armstrong's debut novel. This formidable newcomer has given us, in Michael Rivers, a grey Gatsby who will revisit your reveries long after the last page is turned." —James Morrow, author of The Last Witchfinder
"Grey is a truly extraordinary and original work—a deft and raucous mash-up of William Gibson and J.D. Salinger by way of Fellini. It'll change your outlook, your brain chemistry, and your wardrobe." —Catherynne M. Valente, author of The Orphan's Tales
"Grey is a fascinating book. It's a fusion of the quasi-apocalyptic corporatism of Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination with Blade Runner and a big hunk of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg." —Jay Lake, author of Trial of Flowers
"Two thumbs up . . . I couldn't put it down." —Cherie Priest, author of Four and Twenty Blackbirds
". . . a stylish, weird, funny, and inventive debut." —Tim Pratt, author of The Strange Adventures of Ranger Girl