Saturday, October 15, 2016

Swords Against Wizardry!

Swords Against Wizardry has some of the best Fafhrd and Gray Mouser stories every written. It also features the one yarn starring the duo written mostly by their co-creator Otto Fischer. Fischer was a close friend of Fritz Leiber's and the two of them created Fafhrd and the Mouser in a series of letters between buddies.

"In the Witch's Tent" (1968, first publication)

Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser consult a witch to get some insight into their future but their session is interrupted. They get limit info.

"Stardock" (novelette 1965 Fantastic)

This is wonderful adventure which takes our two heroes mountain climbing. It's the highest peak in all Newhon and one that Fafhrd's father, a mountain climber of repute did not master.

Fafhrd, Mouser and their Snowcat make the brutal, painful ascent pursued by enemies. What find at the top of the mountain is at once weird and strange and wonderful. It's also very dangerous. Some of Leiber's best. 

"The Two Best Thieves in Lankhmar" (1968 Fantastic) 

Our duo seek out the two best fences in all Lankhmar and find that their attempts to reap the benefits of their robberies is made more difficult when they don't know all the secrets.

The Lords of Quarmall (novella 1964 Fantastic), with Harry Otto Fischer

This one is an epic of sorts, a story written in part by Fafhrd and Mouser's co-creator. They two find themselves in a distant city-state of Quarmall, a weird internal territory, a city with many levels on which different rules are in play.

Quarmall is a city about to undergo a transition as its leader is dying and his two sons vie for control. They seek constantly to kill one another to achieve mastery over all levels of the city. Mouser and Fafhrd are hired out to the contesting sons, one to each and eventually find their service to odious.

It's a winding and complicated yarn with lots of magic and sorcery as the two heroes try desperately to find a way to save themselves, a few others and perhaps even make a profit in the balance. 

More to come tomorrow as we look at the first full-fledged novel with our heroes.

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