In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.

Pulp Appeal: Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser

I came to read Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser in my early 30s, so I don’t have the same connection that many fans do. But I certainly enjoyed what little of it I have read.

Broadswords and Blasters

Originally conceived in collaboration between Fritz Leiber and Harry Otto Fischer (Leiber would long credit Fischer with the original conception of the characters), and born in the middle of the Great Depression, the seven-foot tall barbarian Fafhrd and his diminutive companion, the former wizard’s apprentice Gray Mouser, would come to codify sword-and-sorcery, leaving behind a long and colorful legacy. Unlike Robert E. Howard’s Conan, Fafhrd (despite his barbarian upbringing) and the Gray Mouser were urban characters, happy to be adapted to civilization and prowl its streets and alleys. Leiber would go on to publish six collections and one novel starring the pair.

Leiber’s stories always held a special appeal for me. They are removed from the sweeping epic fantasy of Tolkien, instead zeroing in on a couple of rogues who are (mostly) out for themselves. If they end up saving the city of Lankhmar (their home and the setting for…

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