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Leiber, Fritz
THE THREE OF SWORDS
(reprint) omnibus: 1989
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SFBC
1989

Hardcover
Dean Morrissey

Book= VG+
Dustjacket= near-Fine

THE THREE OF SWORDS, an omnibus of the first 3 books in the "Fafhrd & Gray Mouser" series by Fritz Leiber. It contains Swords and Deviltry (1970), Swords Against Death (1970), and Swords in the Mist (1968.)

Fritz Leiber has always been known for his fantasy as well as his SF - he coined the term "Sword and Sorcery," and his first "Fafhrd & Gray Mouser" story appeared in Weird Tales in 1939.

Swords and Deviltry (1970) - in the late Sixties, Ace Books began a uniform edition of the Fafhrd & Gray Mouser books. Though not the first to appear, this book concerns the early adventures and meeting of the heroic duo - making it chronologically the first. "The Snow Women" (1970) and "The Unholy Grail" (1962) were Hugo nominees, "Ill Met in Lankhmar" (1970) won both the Hugo and Nebula awards for "best novella." This is one my 10 favorite books, and I strongly recommend it. As good as the Hugo/Nebula winner is, I almost prefer "The Snow Women" for the set-up and execution of its climax.

Induction
The Snow Women
The Unholy Grail
Ill Met in Lankhmar

The long pieces first appeared in Fantastic (1962, 1970) and Magazine of F&SF (1970.) "Induction" was an original introduction to Two Sought Adventure (1958.)

Swords Against Death (1970) - second by chronology in the series featuring Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.

The Circle Curse
The Jewels in the Forest - (original title: "Two Sought Adventure")
Thievesí House
The Bleak Shore
The Howling Tower
The Sunken Land
The Seven Black Priests
Claws from the Night - (original title: "Dark Vengeance")
The Price of Pain-Ease
Bazaar of the Bizarre

The first "Fafhrd & Gray Mouser" book was Two Sought Adventure from Gnome Press in 1957 - all 7 stories from that book (plus 3 more) are included in this second book in the "new" Ace chronology. "The Circle Curse " and "The Price of Pain-Ease" are original to this book (although the latter was reprinted in Magazine of F&SF in 1971.) The next 7 are from Two Sought Adventure - with 5 stories from Unknown (1939 to 1943), then 2 stories from Other Worlds (1953) and Suspense (1951.) "Bazaar of the Bizarre" was first collected here, and is from Fantastic (1963.)

Two Sought Adventure is not totally contained in this book. That 1957 book began with an original short introduction to the characters, titled "Induction." That piece was reprinted as the beginning of the first book in the "new" Ace cannon: Swords and Deviltry (1970.)

Swords in the Mist (1968): This is third by chronology.

The Cloud of Hate
Lean Times in Lankhmar
Their Mistress, the Sea
When the Sea-King's Away
The Wrong Branch
Adept's Gambit

2 vignettes were original, 3 shorts were from Fantastic and novella-length "Adept's Gambit" was original to the famous Leiber collection: Night's Black Agents.






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