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'Fritz Leiber at One Hundred' by Ted Gioia | conceptual fiction

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  • 'Fritz Leiber at One Hundred' by Ted Gioia | conceptual fiction

    Courtesy of John C. Wright's Journal -

    A few weeks ago [24/Dec/2010], the 100th anniversary of author Fritz Leiber's birth passed largely unnoticed. The literary community offered up no tributes. No celebrations or symposiums were held. Perhaps that should come as little surprise. None of Leiber's books are in stock at my local chain bookstores, and most of his writing is out of print. Yet few authors of the 20th century anticipated the storytelling of the current day with more prescience than Leiber, who passed away in 1992 at age 81.

    A wide range of recent novels—from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books to Michael Chabon’s Gentlemen of the Road—reflect Leiber’s clear, direct influence, while other era-defining literary series, from Harry Potter to Twilight, draw on the same mystical-meets-the-everyday recipe that Leiber mastered decades ago. The term magical realism didn't exist back in the 1930s and 1940s, but Leiber could very well have trademarked it long before the Latin American literary lions turned it into a Nobel Prize-winning style. But Leiber’s impact is perhaps even more evident when one leaves behind prose fiction, and instead looks at other contemporary vehicles for storytelling: movies, graphic novels, video games, role-playing games, and other ways in which tales come to life in the modern day. When I was a freshman in college, my roommate devoted innumerable hours to Dungeons and Dragons, a pioneering open-ended game with clear borrowings from Leiber, just as today, my youngest son spends hours immersed in an on-line multiplayer game that bears uncanny similarities to Leiber’s adventure stories. Many of us, it seems, live in a Leiberian universe —or at least escape there in our free time.
    Read the rest of the article at
    Last edited by David Mosley; 02-18-2011, 05:00 PM.

  • #2
    For those who miss The Twain, do try "Gentlemen of the Road" by Michael Chabon, perhaps the only author to catch the spirit of those rascals.


    • #3
      I can't say how underwhelmeding I found Gentlemen of the Road tbh...

      I dearly love the little Leiber I've read, especially Conjure Wife!

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