In my youth I tried to visit as many of the libraries within my reach as possible; one of them was the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Finding its science fiction section undoubtedly re-inforced my interest in that genre. One thing I noticed, but didn’t think about at first, was that each of the books in the science-fiction section was stamped, indicating that it was part of the “Leiber-Fischer Collection”.
Now, I had probably already run into Fritz Leiber’s work, in the form of one of the paperback collections of his Fafhrd and Grey Mouser stories, but I probably hadn’t read that much of his work. Luckily, due to the Clarksburg library that changed. It was there are I found the rest of his Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser stories, which I loved, and from there branched out into his other works. (He had signed at least one of the books in the collection.) So how did this collection, which had such an influence on my reading, come to exist?
Leiber was friends with a man named Harry Otto Fischer. According to the Author’s Introduction to Swords and Deviltry, Fischer created Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser and their patron wizards Ningauble of the Seven Eyes and Sheelba of the Eyeless Face, and with Fritz Leiber’s help the city of Lankhmar. Leiber wrote the rest, except for 10000 words of “The Lords of Quarmall”, which Fischer also wrote.
The Author’s Introduction to Swords Against Wizardry tells us:
Now Harry’s home is in the hilly city of Clarksburg in the Appalachian heartland, while I bivouac in another hilly city on the West Coast, but the comradeship is as always. Fritz Leiber, San Francisco, Oct. 19, 1973.