Monday, February 13, 2017

A Brief History of Faf and the Mouse

Their first appearance
in print
Normally, we just read these books and post our thoughts on them, but the history of the fantasy dynamic duo turns out to be interesting enough for a post in its own right.  For example, did you know that Fritz Leiber didn't create the two?  Strange, but true. 

If Infogalactic is to be believed, and I see no reason not to, they and the city of Lankhmar were named in 1934 by Leiber's friend, Harry Otto Fischer (a fellow author who actually wrote a Grey Mouser story published in The Dragon, Issue #18 and there goes my resolution not to mention D&D while discussing this book).  Leiber would have been 24 at the time.  The last story in the series, The Mouser Goes Below, was published in 1988.  That means Leiber spent fifty-two years writing about these two characters.  That's a lot of mileage to get out of fantasy's original buddy-cop pairing.

A couple of other bits ripped from Infogalactic for your enjoyment:
  • Bazarre of the Bizarre, chapter 10 of the collection we're reading from, is one of Leiber's three favorite stories
  • A sex scene from The Swords of Lankhmar, cut by editor Don Wollheim ("Good Heaven, Fritz, we're a family publisher...") was published in Fantasy Newsletter #49 (July 1982).
  • The characters were loosely modeled upon Leiber himself and his friend Harry Otto Fischer.
For those of you who game in 15mm, you can find a spitting image pair of miniatures in Splintered Light's Adventurers Pack #3.  They even painted them appropriately for their catalog:

1 comment:

  1. Good point. Fifty two years is a lifetime in many ways. How much would you or I change over that period of time, and how would it affect our writing? I say, read all of the F&GM stories and see for yourself.