Fritz Leiber's classic comic fantasy.

Fritz Leiber, "Swords in the Mist"

2011-04-17 · in Books, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser · 69 words

The third Fafhrd/Grey Mouser book, collecting together a set of previously-published stories, with some glue and minor tweaks. Most of this is excellent; creative, entertaining storytelling that managed to simultaneously define and send up the genre. It's only let down by the last third, a novella written considerably earlier than the other stories, set on Earth rather than Nehwon and lacking Leiber's usual dry humour. Recommended nonetheless.

Fritz Leiber, "Swords Against Death"

2010-02-15 · in Books, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser · 83 words

Second Fafhrd/Grey Mouser book. Excellent stuff. Terry Pratchett wasn't kidding about this being an influence on the Discworld books. (Viz. the treatment of guilds and secret entrances in "Thieves' House" and "Men at Arms"; crossdimensional shops in "Bazaar of the Bizarre" and "Soul Music"...)

I was particularly taken by the narrative ingenuity demonstrated in several of the stories -- there are a couple here where Leiber avoids narrating tedious (or, sometimes, quite interesting) bits of story by having someone else tell it.

Fritz Leiber, "Swords and Deviltry"

2006-07-06 · in Books, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser · 187 words

The first few stories in Leiber's popular Swords series: one each for Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser on their own, and one that describes how they met. In these editions the short stories were sensibly rearranged into plot order rather than the order they were written, so the second story here predates the others by several years.

This is exceptionally well-written swords-and-sorcery fantasy with plenty of comedy thrown in:

Fafhrd stopped, again wiped right hand on robe, and held it out. Name's Fafhrd. Ef ay ef aitch ar dee.

Again the Mouser shook it. Gray Mouser, he said a touch defiantly, as if challenging anyone to laugh at the sobriquet. Excuse me, but how exactly do you pronounce that? Faf-hrud?

It's notable as the universe that the first Discworld book set out to affectionately parody; Discworld fans will recognise several characters and situations from the Rincewind stories here. (It might be coincidence, but there's a bit in "Feet of Clay" that's awfully similar to the start of "Ill Met In Lankhmar" too.)

Thoroughly recommended -- and, fortunately, it's an easy series to get hold of second-hand.