Monday, March 6, 2017

Appendix N Madness Day 6: Leiber versus Offutt

Day 6 of Appendix N Madness brings us to Fantasy, where Fritz Leiber will face off with Andrew J. Offutt.

Fritz Leiber
Lived: 1910-1982
Notable Works: Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series, Conjure Wife, Gather, Darkness

Fritz Leiber was the son of a Shakespearian actor and was quite the capable player himself, acting in a number of productions and writing several plays. He was responsible for calling the heroic fantasy subgenre "sword & sorcery", a name quickly lifted by L. Sprague de Camp, and his Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser are excellent examples of the genre. He also wrote occult and horror influenced works, such as his novels Gather, Darkness and Conjure Wife, and was named a SFWA Grand Master in his lifetime. Leiber also had a closer relationship with the RPG community than most Appendix N authors, writing original stories that appeared in Dragon Magazine and putting his imprimatur on a TSR Lankhmar board game and AD&D supplements.

Andrew J. Offutt
Lived: 1938-2013
Notable Works: Swords Against Darkness (as editor), War of the Gods on Earth series

Andrew J. Offutt edited the Swords Against Darkness series that featured a number of excellent stories combining sword & sorcery and horror ideas into a sort of "dark fantasy" subgenre just at the wrong time, when heroic fantasy was about to be overtaken by epic fantasy. He also wrote several fantasy novels of his own, but it is his editorial work that got him into Appendix N. Offutt was a mover within the small fantasy writer community, but he also lived a double life, writing many erotic novels under the name John Cleve. These included the erotic sci-fi series Spaceways which reached 19 volumes. His son wrote a recent memoir called My Father the Pornographer.

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