Of all the correspondents of H. P. Lovecraft, it was Fritz Leiber, Jr., who had the most important and accomplished writing career in the genres of science fiction, sword and sorcery, and horror fiction. In this collection we have the letters Lovecraft wrote to Leiber's wife Jonquil and to Leiber himself (relatively few, due to Lovecraft's untimely death). Then we have a number of short stories selected because of Lovecraftian connections. The first two items are a long short story and a poem that Lovecraft actually got to read and critique in their original versions. Leiber's writing career ran from about 1939 to 1977, with some interruptions due to personal problems. Finally, the volume concludes with some articles and appreciations of Lovecraft written by Leiber at various times, the most famous of which is the essay "A Literary Copernicus."
Leiber was astonished when Lovecraft, noting many historical deficiencies in the early version of "Adept's Gambit," followed up with a long letter giving a compete list of valuable references on the history, geography and architecture of the ancient world. When Jonquil dared to ask for details about Lovecraft's astonishing claim that his total food bill was considerably less than $1 per day, Lovecraft followed up with a detailed description of his typical daily menu, a horrific document that biographers and gentle readers have shaken their heads over many times in the years since.
As for the stories (and the one poem that Lovecraft critiqued), the worst of all is "The Dead Man," a sort of collision between Poe and the EC horror comics of circa 1950, which has an ending completely predictable by the time the reader has finished the first page. Of the stories I hadn't seen before, the best are the last two, one in which a visitor to Arkham finds that all the Miskatonic University professors who participated in adventures recorded by Lovecraft are still alive and well at ages in the 70s and 80s, and learns something inspirational about the ultimate fate of Lovecraft himself. In the final story, an obviously-doomed man receives a visit from a Miskatonic professor of English who is in manner and personality identical to Lovecraft himself, before the ultimate catastrophe.
The computer-scanned texts are, like all such texts that never get the attention of a human editor, full of misprints that may bother you.
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Fritz Leiber and H.P. Lovecraft: Writers of the Dark (Engelska) Pocketbok – 1 September 2004
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Pocketbok, 1 September 2004
- Utgivare : Wildside Press (1 September 2004)
- Språk : Engelska
- Pocketbok : 328 sidor
- ISBN-10 : 0809500787
- ISBN-13 : 978-0809500789
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