Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser
October 29, 2020 4:41 PM - Subscribe

Do people think there's a way to get an OK discussion of Fritz Lieber's Fafhrd/Mouser stories on FanFare? There are definitely problematic elements scattered through them that make me uncertain about even trying.

I read them 30 years ago, kind of thinking about a re-read at some point, and there are some elements that are entertaining and interesting. But it's also swords and sorcery, some from 70 years ago. I don't remember them being as unrelentingly stereotypical as a lot of other stuff--this post has a fairly generous take on non-heterosexual tolerance in his stuff--but they are definitely from a different era.

There's also the fact that the stories vary pretty widely in tone and quality.

The best I can come up with was something like combining a few books at a time into a post (can we even do that on FanFare?), and highlighting some of the better quality stories in each one. Though TBH that's tied with just not starting down this path at all.

I've done a few random movie posts but never tried to plan ahead, and really have no idea how this would go. Anyone have any thoughts on this or suggestions?
posted by mark k (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't have any suggestions but I would like to make it known that I would for sure enthusiastically join any F&tGM discussions.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:26 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


I keep thinking about a re-read and then not doing it for fear of spoiling my memories of my forty year old read through of all the the last novel which hadn't been written yet. I remember them as being very variable in quality and writing style which is understandable considering that they were written over a half century and some were obviously written quickly for money.

I'd be up for a re-read if others are doing it too.
posted by octothorpe at 12:14 PM on October 31


Like everybody else it has been awhile for me (33 years in my case). I was considering rereading them as a sort of a memorial to my recently deceased uncle who had gifted them to me when I was a teen so I'd be interested. So maybe 2 posts which collect 4 of the books each? There's a 8th book - Swords Against the Shadowland by Robin Wayne Bailey which I've never read which we can include or not.
posted by Ashwagandha at 5:10 PM on November 6


Thanks for the comments all! Unless someone else wants to take the lead (which would be fine with me!) I'm going to go ahead, starting around Thanksgiving.

After reviewing which stories are where I think I'm going to go books 1,2,3 in the first post (which gets in all the stuff he wrote up through the 50s in one go, plus some later works), 4 & 5 (so two long novellas and a novel, IIRC pretty decent quality), then 6 & 7 (apparently 6 is the skeeviest of all the collections, hopefully the last one won't leave us on a sour note.)

Happy for more input if anyone has it.

I hadn't heard of the last non-Leiber book. A little annoying for my purposes that it happens early in the chronology. I think I'll worry about it later, maybe toss it in the last post.
posted by mark k at 12:28 PM on November 9


Yknow, we have so little new material going on in FanFare, I'd say go ahead and do one book per post. Bring up and discuss the problematic elements, it could be good for discussing them in relation to how Sword & Sorcery had developed.
posted by happyroach at 12:08 PM on November 11


All the books are available for free on Hoopla if you have access to that service via your library.
posted by octothorpe at 12:33 PM on November 11


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