Fritz Leiber
by Bill Wall

Fritz Reuter Leiber (pronounced LYEber), Jr. was born in Chicago on December 24, 1910. He was science fiction writer and chess expert who referenced chess in many of his short stories and novels. He was also an actor and playwright. He coined the term sword and sorcery and is regarded as one of the fathers of sword and sorcery fantasy.

His father, Fritz Leiber, Sr. (1882-1949), was an American Shakespeare actor in the theatre. He was one of the pioneers of modern Shakespearean drama in the United Sates. In film, he appeared in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), Phantom of the Opera (1943), A Tale of Two Cities (1935), and Bagdad (1949). He appeared in over 60 films.

His mother was Virginia B. Bronson Leiber (1885-1970). His grandfather was a Captain on the Union side in the Civil War.

Fritz learned chess as a child, but did not take chess seriously until he was in college.

In 1928, he graduated from Lakes View High School in Chicago, Illinois. He toyed with becoming a scientist, but drifted from the physical sciences into psychology, then to philosophy while in college.

In 1928, Fritz toured with his parents' Shakespeare Repertory Company before entering the University of Chicago. At the University of Chicago, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest academic honor society in the United States. While in college, he had talent as a fencer. Fritz was very tall, standing at 6 feet and 5 inches, but weighed around 150 pounds.

Around 1929, Alexander Andre, one of the actors in his father's theatric company, gave him chess lessons. His father also played chess.

In 1930, he was active in chess at the University of Chicago's Reynolds Club, the primary student center.

In 1932, he received a Bachelor of Philosophy degree in psychology and physiology from the University of Chicago (another source says it was a B.A. with honors in Philosophy).

From 1932 to 1933, he worked as a lay reader and studied at the General Theological Seminary in Manhattan, but did not take a degree. He operated as a minister at nearby Episcopal churches in New Jersey. Around the same time, he began publishing children stories in the Episcopalian magazine The Churchman.

From 1933 to 1934, he did graduate work in philosophy at the University of Chicago, but did not take a degree.

In 1934, he started his literary career, writing several short stories. He wanted to be a writer. He was influenced by his college friend, Harry Otto Fischer (1910-1986) of Louisville, who suggested and sketched the characters Fafhrd (fah-furd) and the Gray Mouser, a heroic fantasy duo. Fischer was very short and Leiber was very tall, just like these characters. Chess and chess-playing characters also became a recurrent motif in Leiber's work.

On January 16, 1936, he married Jonquil Stephens, a British poet with similar interests in fantasy, supernatural horror stories, and witchcraft. She was born in London.

In April 1936, he moved with his parents to Beverly Hills, California. He was trying to become a movie actor.

In 1936, the Fritz Leiber wrote Adept's Gambit, and sent it to the American writer, Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937). Lovecraft liked the story, but pointed out possible points that needed revision. Leiber tried to get it published in Weird Tales, but it was rejected. It was finally published in 1947.

In 1936, Fritz and his friend Harry Fischer, wrote "The Lords of Quarmall." It was finally published in 1964.

From 1936 to 1939, he appeared in several films, including a character named Valentine in Camille (1936), The Great Garrick (1937) and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) with his father.

By 1936, Leiber had several half-finished novels, but never completed these projects. Also, his short story submissions to Weird Tales were consistently rejected.

In March 1937, Leiber suffered from small intestine cancer and malnutrition. He would later suffer from drug addiction and alcoholism. He returned to Chicago. It was also around this time that his mentor, H. P. Lovecraft, died. It was Lovecraft that encouraged Leiber to write, and gave him a rationale for considering fantasy as serious literature. Leiber modeled his stories upon Lovecraft's. Leiber called Lovecraft "the chiefest influence on my literary development after Shakespeare."

From 1937 to 1941, he was employed by Consolidated Book Publishing in Chicago as a staff writer for the Standard American Encyclopedia.

In 1938, he and Harry Fischer designed a three-dimensional board game called Lahkmar.

On July 8, 1938, his son, Justin Leiber (1938-2016) was born. He also became a science fiction writer and philosopher.

In 1939, he wrote "Two Sought Adventure," and introduced the characters Fafhrd (the swordsman) and the Gray Mouser, two sword-and-sorcery heroes. This was his first professionally-published short story, which appeared in the August 1939 edition of the John W. Campbell-edited Unknown fantasy fiction magazine. His characters would eventually appear in about 40 tales written over a period of 50 years.

In 1941, he moved back to California. Leiber served as a speech and drama instructor at Occidental College in Los Angeles.

In 1942, he moved to Santa Monica. There, he wrote Conjure Wife, a supernatural horror novel. It was published in the April 1943 edition of Unknown. It was published in book form in 1950. He also wrote Gather, Darkness, which was published in the May 1943 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. It was published in book form in 1953.

In January 1943, he wrote the novel You're All Alone and hoped that it would be sold to John W. Campbell for publication in Unknown science fiction magazine. However, the magazine was to be discontinued shortly. With no other outlets, Leiber stopped working on the story.

In 1943, he worked at Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica as a precision (quality) inspector, working primarily on the C-47 Skytrain military transport aircraft.

In 1945, he wrote "The Dreams of Albert Moreland," which appeared in The Acolyte, Spring 1945 and later re-printed in Avon Fantasy Reader #7, 1948. He used chess as a metaphor throughout the story. Albert Moreland thinks of himself as a professional chessplayer and plays arcade chess for a quarter a game in Manhattan in 1939.

In 1945, he returned to Chicago, where he served as associate editor of Science Digest. He held that role until 1956.

In 1947, his first book, Night's Black Agents, was published by Arkham House. It was a short story collection. One of the stories was "Adept's Gambit." He used the word gambit in the title, but there is no reference to chess.

In 1947, Leiber resumed work on his You're All Alone novel and expanded it to 75,000 words. He tried to sell it to William Sloan Associates, but they discontinued publishing fantasy due to poor sales. He then sent the novel to the editors of Fantastic Adventures. They agreed to buy it only if Leiber could cut it to 40,000 words or less. In 1950, Leiber went back to the original 1943 version and sent that to Fantastic Adventures for publication.

In 1950, he published "You're All Alone," which appeared in Fantastic Adventures, July 1950 and re-printed in Fantastic, Nov 1966. Jane and Carr MacKay escape into the Caissa Chess Club.

In 1950, his first science fiction novel, Gather Darkness, was published.

In 1951, he wrote "Appointment in Tomorrow." It was published in Galaxy, July 1951. It mentions chess and Malezel's automaton chess player.

In 1951, he was the guest of honor at the World Science Fiction Convention in New Orleans.

In 1951, he wrote "A Pail of Air," which appeared in the December 1951 issue of Galaxy.

In 1952, he started drinking heavily and became an alcoholic.

In 1953, Leiber sent his longer version of You're All Alone to Universal Publishers and Distributors. Due to the contract, the publisher could make any changes it wanted. The result was "the Sinful Ones." The publisher added "sexed up" chapter titles such as "The Strip Tease" and "Bleached Prostitute" and other changes to the original novel. They left the chess scenes alone.

In 1953, Leiber's collection of stories, Conjure Wife, was published. Arkham was originally contracted to publish it, but it was eventually published by Twayne.

In 1954, he wrote "Let Freedom Ring," also known as "The Wolf Pack." It appeared in Amazing Stories, April 1954 and re-printed in Thrilling Science Fiction, February 1972. It mentions chess. "His gaze roved suspiciously to either side as he came through the door. He paced back and forth for a few moments biting his lip, then let fall, 'I found another of those damned chess sets.' 'Makes three in a week.' J'Wilobe continued in staccato bursts. 'I destroyed it, of course, but it shook me up. Obviously, someone knows I could have been the greatest chess-player in the world.' He threw back his head. 'Knows I gave up the game to devote myself wholly to government—couldn't serve two masters. Knows what a vice chess is. Knows how I'm still tempted. Leaves the sets around to upset me. Knows what the right of one does to me.'" "To J'Wilobe it was as if a long-awaited chess-game had begun. Someone had moved pawn to king's fourth. Then he saw a hand on the table. Someone had made an impossible move with a knight." "The door opened, the finger poked through his skull, the laughter exploded, and then the whole world blacked out, and J'Wilobe realized that he had fallen millions of miles and landed in a cozy, velvet-lined cell where he could eternally play a thousand simultaneous blindfold chess games and win them all. With a calm happiness that he had never known before, he made his thousand first moves."

In 1955, he wrote Changewar. It mentions chess.

In March 1956, his short story, "A Pail of Air," was dramatized on the radio show X Minus One. This was an American half-hour science fiction radio drama series.

In 1956, his job at Science Digest had ended when alcoholism and blood-poisoning incapacitated him. He joined Alcoholics Anonymous and quit drinking for eight years.

In the summer of 1957, Leiber moved from Chicago to Santa Barbara and became a full-time fiction writer.

In 1958, he wrote "A Deskful of Girls." It appeared in Fantasy & Science Fiction, April 1958 and The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction 08, 1959. It mentions chess. There is space enough for a couple of life-size girls if they were doubled up like the hidden operator of Maelzel's chess-playing automaton.

In 1958, he wrote "Bullet and his Name." It was published in Galaxy, July 1958. There was one reference to chess. Ernie considered people as puppets in his private chess games and circuses.

In 1958, his science fiction novel, The Big Time, won the Hugo Award for Best Novel. It was Leiber's favorite novel. It had one chess reference. "Maud had sat down at the other end of the bar and was knitting—it's one of the habits like chess and quiet drinking, or learning to talk by squeak box, that we pick up to pass the time in the Place in the long stretches between parties."

In November 1958, he won the open tournament of the Santa Monica Bay Chess Club (Santa Monica Open), scoring 7.5 out of 8. He won 7 games and drew with Paul Wrangell. The event was held at the Santa Monica Bay CC in Lincoln Park, 7th and Wilshire in Santa Monica. (source: The California Chess Reporter, December 1958, p. 70)

Fritz Leiber (1847) — Andy Kempner, Santa Monica Open, Nov 1958, Rd 7
1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 e6 4.c4 Be7 5.Nc3 O-O 6.Nh3 d6 7.O-O Nbd7 8.Nf4 Nb6 9.b3 Qe8 10.e4 fxe4 11.Nxe4 c6? [11...e5] 12.Ng5 Bd8 [12...e5 13.Nfe6] 13.Re1 e5 14.dxe5 dxe5 15.Ba3 Bc7? [15...Ng4 16.Bxf8 Kxf8 17.Qc2 [17.c5!] 17...g6 18.Qb2 Bf5 19.Qa3+ Kg7 20.Bh3 Bxh3 21.Nfxh3 Kh8 22.Rad1 [22.Nf4] 22...h6 23.Ne4 Nh5 24.Kg2 Qf7 25.Qc1 [25.Nd6!] 25...g5 26.Qe3 Rf8 27.Nd6 Qg6 28.Qxe5+ Rf6 29.Qe8+ [29...Qxe8 30.Rxe8+ Kg7 31.Re7+ and 32.Rxc7] and Black resigns, 1-0

In January-February 1959, he participated in the Santa Monica Masters-Experts chess tournament. He tied for 10th place, scoring 4 out of 8 (3 wins, 2 draws, 3 losses). (source: The California Chess Reporter, March 1959, p. 118)

On the Feb 5, 1959 USCF rating list, Fritz Leiber of Chicago was rated 1847. In late 1859, it was 2011.

In July-August 1959, he participated in the Santa Monica Invitational. He tied for 9th place, scoring 4 out of 8 (3 wins, 2 draws, and 3 losses). (source: The California Chess Reporter, August-September 1959, p. 11)

In November 1959, the headline on the cover of Fantastic magazine said "Leiber is Back!"

From 1960 through 1962, Leiber sometimes played Board 1 for the Santa Monica Bay Chess Club in the Southern California Chess League, winning several games as Board 1 against other league Board 1 players.

In 1960, his USCF rating was 1960.

In 1960, he wrote "Topsy-Turvey World of the Knight," which appeared in the January-February 1960 issue of the California Chess Reporter, pp. 83-85. It was all about how a knight moves.

In 1960, he wrote "The Night of the Long Knives." It was published in Amazing Stories, Jan 1960. It has some chess references. "Would I tell her, or anyone, about how I worked the ruses of playing dead and disguising myself as a woman, about my trick of picking a path just before dark and then circling back to it by a pre-surveyed route, about the chess games I played with myself, about the bottle of green, terribly hot-looking powder I carried to sprinkle behind me to bluff off pursuers? A fat chance of my revealing things like that!" "It was a little like two savages trying to decide how to play chess by looking at the pieces."

In September 1960, he played in the California Open, held in Fresno. He tied for 49th place (there were 117 players), scoring 3.5 out of 7 (3 wins, 3 losses, and 1 draw). (source: The California Chess Reporter, October 1960, p. 38)

In September 1960, he played in the Santa Monica Invitational Tournament. He tied for 14th place, scoring 3 out of 8 (2 wins, 4 losses, and 2 draws. (source: The California Chess Reporter, October 1960, p. 40)

In October 1960, he played in the Southern California Chess Championship, held in Los Angeles. He tied for 24th place, scoring 3.5 out of 8 (3 wins, 1 draw, and 4 losses). (source: The California Chess Reporter, November-December 1960, p. 52.)

In 1960, he lost a game after 50 moves to Larry Evans during a simultaneous exhibition that Evans gave at the Santa Monica Bay Chess Club.

In the early 1960s, he ghosted a year's worth of continuities for the Buck Rogers comic strip.

In the early 1960s, he lived at 833 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica.

In the 1960s, Fritz served as president of the Santa Monica Chess Club.

In January 1961, Samuel Reshevsky gave a simultaneous exhibition against 44 opponents at the Santa Monica Bay Chess Club. Reshevsky won 33, drew 10, and only lost one game — to Fritz Leiber.

Samuel Reshevsky — Fritz Leiber, Santa Monica, 1961
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 4.c3 Bb6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Nce7 7.d5 c6 8.Bc4 cxd5 9.exd5 d6 10.Bg5 f6 11.Bd2 Bg4 12.Qa4+ Bd7 13.Qb3 Ng6 14.O-O N8e7 15.Nc3 O-O 16.h3 Ne5 17.Be2 Nf5 18.Nxe5 fxe5 19.Kh2 Qh4 20.Be1?! [20.g3?? Nxg3 21.fxg3 Qxh3 mate; 20.Bg4] 20...Nd4 21.Qd1 Qf4+ 22.Kh1 Rf6 23.Bg4? [23.Bd2] 23...Bxg4 24.Qxg4 Qxg4 25.hxg4 Rh6+ [25...Nc2] 26.Kg1 Rc8 [threatening 27...Rxc3 28.bxc3 Ne2 mate] 27.g3?? [27.Bd2] 27...Nf3+ 28.Kg2 Rf8 29.Rh1 Nxe1+ [30.Raxe1 Rxf2+ 31.Kg1 Rd2+ 32.Re3 Bxe3+ 33.Kf1 Rxh1 checkmate] White resigned 0-1

In 1961, his USCF rating was 1996 and his California State Chess Federation Rating was 1980.

In 1961, he wrote "The Beat Cluster," published in Galaxy, October 1961. It mentions three-dimensional chess and a 3D chess tournament.

In 1961, he wrote "Hatchery of Dreams," which appeared in Fantastic, November 1961. It references chess. "He was at least par for the Boston course, he decided. For instance, he had recently given up chess and concentrated on bird-watching because Mr. Mather had pointed out that too many Slavic and Baltic types played chess. Semite too, of course. Mather had finished primly. I think we must look on it as purely a Russian game." "You persecuting, smug, self-satisfied, hypocritical fiends, he shouted. You're worse that the Russian with your brainwashing. I'm letting you off easy. If you'd actually injured my wife, I'd make you really suffer. But believe me, after this you're never going to browbeat me, any of you. And I'm going to start playing chess again and seeing my mother as often as I please!"

In September 1961, he played in the California Open, held in Fresno. He tied for 23rd, scoring 4 out of 7 (3 wins, 2 draws, and 2 losses). There were 100 players in the event. (source: The California Chess Reporter, September 1961, p. 39)

Fritz Leiber — Henry Gross, California Open, Fresno, Rd 1, Sep 1, 1961
1.d4 f5 2.g3 e6 3.Bg2 Nf6 4.c4 Be7 5.Nc3 O-O 6.e4 fxe4 7.Nxe4 Nc6 8.Ne2 Nxe4 9.Bxe4 d5 10.Bg2 Kh8 11.O-O dxc4 12.Be3 Bd7 13.Qc2 b5 14.a3 Rb8 15.Be4 g6 16.Nf4 Bf6 17.Rad1 Ne7 18.d5 e5? [18...exd5] 19.Ne6 Bxe6 20.dxe6 Qe8 21.Bc5 Rg8 22.Rd7 Nc8 23.Rfd1 Rg7 24.Rxg7 Bxg7 25.Rd7 [25.Bc6! Qxc6?? 26.Rd8+] 25...Nd6 26.Bxd6 [26.Bd5] 26...cxd6 27.Rxd6 [27.Bd5] 27...Qe7? [27...Bf8] 28.Qd2 Bf8 29.Rd7 [29.Rc6] 29...Qxe6 30.Rxa7 Bc5 31.Rc7 Bb6? [31...Qd6] 32.Rc6 Qe7 33.Bxg6! hxg6 34.Rxg6 Bd4 35.Qh6+ Qh7 36.Qg5 Bxf2+ 37.Kg2! [37.Kxf2? Qxh2+ 38.Ke3 Qg1+ will draw] 37...Qb7+ 38.Kh3 Qd7+ 39.Kh4 Qd4+ 40.Kh5 Rb6 41.Qxh6 checkmate. 1-0

In October 1961, he played in the Southern California Amateur Championship. He tied for 3rd place with a 6-2 score (5 wins, 2 draws, and 1 loss in the final round). (source: The California Chess Reporter, November 1961, p. 56.)

In 1962, his USCF rating was 2002.

In 1962, he wrote "The Moriarty Gambit," which appeared in Chess Review, February 1962 (pages 45-47). It was a chess-themed short story about Sherlock Holmes playing chess with Moriarty at an 1883 London International Tournament. Holmes tells Watson, "You knew I reveled in crypotograms, problems, and analysis of all sorts. Moreover, it ought to have occurred to you that no strongly intellectual man who used the anodynes of morphine and cocaine could possibly have failed to try the supreme mental anodyne of chess." Leiber's story was reproduced in Chess in Literature by M. Truzzii, 1975.

In 1962, he wrote his most famous chess-themed short story, "The 64-Square Madhouse." It first appeared in Worlds of If, May 1962. Set in Los Angeles, it is about the first chess-playing computer that enters a chess tournament (which first occurred in real life in 1967 — see my article on it at "Silently, so as not to shock anyone with illusions about well-dressed young women, Sandra Lea Grayling cursed the day she had persuaded the Chicago Space Mirror that there would be all sorts of human interest stories to be picked up at the first international grandmaster chess tournament in which an electronic computing machine was entered." "You are not the first to be shocked and horrified by chess," he assured her. "It is a curse of the intellect. It is a game for lunatics—or else it creates them." All the human players are plays off the name of real grandmasters, such as Angler for Fischer, Jal for Tal, Vitbonnik for Botvinnik, Serek for Keres, and Krakatower for Tartakower.

In 1962, he published "The Snowbank Orbit." It appeared in Worlds of If, September 1962. It had several references to chess. Two astronauts, Croker and Ness are playing chess. The first move was Knight to King Bishop Three. The response was Knight to King Knight Two, Third Floor. Croker says, "Hey, I meant flat chess, not three-D." Ness responds, "That thin old game? Why, I no sooner start to get the position really visualized in my head then the game's over." Croker then says, "I don't want to start a game of three-D with Uranus only 18 hours away."

In 1962, he published "The Creature from Cleveland Depths," in Galaxy, December 1962, which mentions chess. "Well, here's this one little guy and every morning he wakes up there's all these things he's got to keep in mind to do or he'll lose his turn three times in a row and maybe a terrible black rook in iron armor'll loom up and bang him off the chessboard." "Leaving the hall door open Gusterson got out his .38 and cleaned and loaded it, meanwhile concentrating on a chess problem with the idea of confusing a hypothetical psionic monitor. By the time he had hid the revolver again he heard the elevator creaking back up. Daisy came dragging in without her hat, looking as if she'd been concentrating on a chess problem for hours herself and just now given up."

In January-February 1963, he played in the Santa Monica Rating Tournament. He tied for 8th place with a 4.5-3.5 score (4 wins, 1 draw, and 3 losses). (source: The California Chess Reporter, April 1963, p. 97)

In 1963, he wrote, "Crimes Against Passion." It appeared in Gamma, July 1963. It mentions chess. Lancelot and Guinevere were composing a new chess problem.

In 1964, Fritz Leiber and Harry Fischer published "The Lords of Quarmall," which appeared in Fantastic, February 1964. It has one reference to chess. "He saw the first stroke of the fight, he saw Gwaay's litter unguarded, and then as if he had seen entire a winning combination of chess and been hypnotized by it, he made his move without another cogitation."

In 1964, his novel The Wanderer received the Hugo for Best Novel.

In 1964, a collection of his stories, including "The 64-Square Madhouse," was published in paperback under the title A Pail of Air.

In July 1964, he participated in the Santa Monica Masters and Experts tournament. He tied for 9th place, scoring 3-3 (3 wins and 3 losses). (source: The California Chess Reporter, July 1964, p. 9)

In September 1964, he was a guest speaker at Pacificon II, the 22nd World Science Convention, held in Oakland, Claifornia. He gave a talk on monsters and monster lovers.

In 1964, he wrote "Midnight in the Mirror World." It was published in the October 1964 issue of Fantastic Stories of Imagination. It mentions chess. the main character, Giles Nefandor, analyzes chess games of Adolf Anderssen, Wilhelm Steinitz, and Kieseritsky.

In October-November 1974, he played in the Southern California Amateur Chess Championship, held in Santa Monica. He tied for 11th place with a 4-2 score (3 wins, 2 draws, and 1 loss). (source: The California Chess Reporter, November 1964, p. 36)

M. Carr - Fritz Leiber, Southern California Amateur Ch, Santa Monica, CA
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.d4 Bg7 4.e4 O-O 5.f3 d6 6.Be3 Nbd7 7.Qd2 c5 8.Nge2 Nb6 9.Ng3 cxd4 10.Bxd4 Be6 11.Nd5 Bxd5 12.cxd5 e6 13.dxe6 fxe6 14.Bd3 d5 15.Bc5 Rf7 16.Qb4 Nfd7 17.Bd4? [17.Bf2] 17...Ne5 [17...a5] 18.Bxe5 Bxe5 19.Ne2? [19.Rd1] 19...Rc8 20.Nc3 Qc7 [20...Qg5!] 21.Nb5 Qb8 22.h3 Nc4 23.Bxc4 Rxc4 24.Qb3 Qf6 25.a3 Qc5 26.Rd1 a6 [26...Bg3+ and 27...Qf2 wins for Black] 27.Nc3 Qe3+ 28.Kf1 Bg3 [28...Rxf3+! 29.gxf3 Qxf3+ 30.Kg1 Qe3+ 31.Kg2 Rc7] 29.Qc2 dxe4 30.Qe2 Qc5 31.Rd8+ Kg7 32.Nxe4 Rxe4, White resigns 0-1

In April 1965, Leiber played on the Santa Monica Team that defeated the Herman Steiner Club for the Southern California Chess League championship.

In July-August 1965, he played in the 3rd Santa Monica Masters & Experts tournament. He tied for 13th place, scoring 2.5-3.5 (2 wins, 1 draw, and 3 losses). (source: The California Chess Reporter, July-August 1965, p. 14)

In 1965, he published "Knight to Move," which appeared in the December 1965 issue of Broadside Magazine. The action is set in the middle of an interplanetary chess tournament. "The beautiful hawk face hooded by black bangs searched the golden hall below, where a thousand intelligent beasts from half as many planets were playing chess. ...Just an interstellar chess tournament, Swiss System, twenty-four rounds, being conducted on the fifth planet of the star 61 Cygni in the year 5037 A.D., old Earth Time."

In November 1965, he played in the first American Open, held in Santa Monica and won by Pal Benko. Leiber ended up in 38th-53rd place with 4.5 points out of 8 (3 wins, 3 draws, and 2 losses). (source: The California Chess Reporter, November-December 1965, p. 48)

In April 1966, Leiber wrote Tarzan and the Valley of Gold. It was the first authorized novel by an author other than Edgar Rice Burroughs. It was the 25th book in the series. It was based on Clair Huffaker's screenplay.

In 1966, he wrote "The Mighty King's Bishop," which appeared in the September-October 1966 issue of The California Chess Reporter, pp. 41-44.

In 1967, he moved to 1415 Ocean Front Walk in Venice, California and was less active in over-the-board chess, but still included chess in his stories. He lived there for two years.

In 1968, he wrote "A Specter is Haunting Texas." It appeared in Galaxy, September 1968. It mentions chess. They chatted about Alekhine and Keres. Chess sets were from the Black Republic.

In 1968, he wrote "Far Reach for Cygnus." It appeared in Great Science Fiction #12, Fall 1968. It mentions chess. "Professor Seibold was writhing his narrow shoulders and jogging his right knee very fast, like a chess player with a minute in which to make twenty moves."

In 1969, he wrote "Ship of Shadows," which won the Hugo Award for Best Novella (a story between 17,500 and 40,000 words) in 1970.

In 1969, he wife, Jonquil, died. Fritz then moved from Venice to San Francisco. From 1969 to 1977 he lived at 811 Geary Street.

In 1970, he wrote "Ill Met in Lankhmar," which won the Hugo Award for Best Novella in 1971.

In 1970, he wrote an article called "Fantasy Books." It appeared in Fantastic, October 1970. It mentions chess and that in 1960 the magazine editor, John Campbell, told Leiber that a chess-playing computer wouldn't be programmed for many decades, if ever. However, in 1967, MacHack was programmed to play chess and entered a chess tournament.

In 1970, he acted in the film Equinox. He was a professor who opened dimensional doorways to another world.

In the 1970s, he had a column called "Fantasy Books," which appeared in Fantastic.

In 1973, he wrote "Midnight by the Morphy Watch," which was published in Worlds of If, August 1974. This was his first supernatural-horror story set in San Francisco. It is a chess-themed story about Paul Morphy's gold watch being sold for $700 to Stirf Ritter (German for Knight), an aging chess enthusiast, who found it in a San Francisco secondhand shop. The watch is haunted with special powers that makes Ritter a strong chess master. The story was included in the chess anthology Pawn to Infinity, edited by Fred Saberhagen.

In 1974, he donated many of his papers to the Lilly Library Manuscripts Collections at Indiana University. The correspondence and manuscripts are mostly from the Santa Monica years, particularly from 1964 through 1968.

In 1975, he wrote "Catch That Zeppelin!" which received the Hugo Award for Best Short Story and the Nebula Award for Best Short Story in 1976.

In 1975, he was named the second Gandalf Grand Master of Fantasy by participants in the 1975 World Science Fiction Convention, after the posthumous inaugural award to J.R.R. Tolkien.

In 1976, he won the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement.

In 1976, a simplified version of Leiber's game, "Lahkmar," was released commercially as Lankhmar by TSR, the publishers of Dungeons and Dragons.

In 1977, he published "The Pale Brown Thing," which appeared in Fantasy & Science Fiction, February 1977. It references chess. Fernando the janitor is an expert chess player. The story later evolved into the novel, Our Lady of Darkness.

In 1977, he wrote Our Lady of Darkness. It mentions chess, specifically, chess endings. The novel originally appeared at shorter length as "The Pale Brown Thing."

In 1977, he wrote "Rime Isle." It was published in Cosmos, May 1977. It mentions chess. The Islers play chess with chunky stone pieces.

In 1978, Leiber repurchased the rights to the 75,000-word version of You're All Alone (The Sinful Ones).

In 1979, he was guest of honor at the 1979 Worldcon (World Science Fiction Convention) in Brighton, England.

In 1979, he appeared in the film, The Bermuda Triangle.

In 1979, he wrote "The Man Who Was Married to Space and Time," which first appeard in the Seacon '79 Program Book. It was later published in The Best of Omni Science Fiction #3, 1982. It mentions chess.

In October 1980, You're All Alone (The Sinful Ones) was reprinted by Pocket. He rewrote some of the sex scenes to bring the language up to date. The Gregg Press edition, which came out in December 1980, reprinted the Pocket version.

In 1981, the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) made him its fifth SFWA Grand Master.

In 1982, in one of his Fantasy columns, he listed chess pieces as one of his favorite symbols system in his works.

In 1984, he published Ghost Light. One of the stories is called "Not Much Disorder and Not So Early Sex: An Autobiographical Essay." In it, he wrote that he played little skittles between his periods of tournament completion. "Chess seemed too important a game to be trifled with," he wrote.

In 1988, the Horror Writers Association awarded the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement to Fritz Leiber.

In May 1992, he married his second wife, Margo Skinner, a journalist and poet.

Before he died, he donated most of his work and correspondence to the University of Houston. The Fritz Leiber Papers are housed in 60 manuscripts boxes, 5 storage boxes, and 3 oversized boxes. One box is devoted to all his chess activities and chess writings.

In August 1992, he traveled to London, Ontario for a science fiction convention. He returned to San Francisco where he died of a stroke on September 5, 1992 at the age of 81.

Leiber won a total of six Hugo Awards and four Nebula Awards. He authored over 200 short stories, over 50 articles, and over 20 novels.

In 2001, he was inducted in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.

In June, 2014, the original version of "Adept's Gambit," along with Lovecraft's extensive notes, was published by Arcane Wisdom Press, edited by S. T. Joshi.

One strange thing that Leiber always did was keeping a long-handled axe in a back cupboard wherever he lived, because, he said, his father had always told him that you never knew when you might need one.


Brown, Charles and Jonathan Strahan, Fritz Leiber: Selected Stories, 2010
Byfield, Bruce, Divination and Self-Therapy: Archetype and Stereotype in the Fantasies of Fritz Leiber, Master of Arts (English) Thesis, 1981 and 1989 Byfield, Bruce, "The Allure of the Eccentric in the Poetry and Fiction of Fritz Leiber"
Fritz Leiber — ISFDB -
Fritz Leiber bibliography -
Fritz Leiber, Jr. (1910-1992), "Tellers of Weird Tales" Aug 29, 2012
Fritz Leiber, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction -
Fritz Leiber, The Nebula Awards -
Gioia, Ted, "Fritz Leiber at One Hundred," Conceptual Fiction -
Joshi, S., and Ben Szumskyj, Fritz Leiber and H. P. Lovecraft: Writers of the Dark, 2003
Journal of the H. P. Lovecraft Society, 1976
Kaye, Don, "Author, Author: What You Need to Know About the Fanstical Friz Leiber" — SYFYWire -
Leiber, Fritz, Not Much Disorder and Not So Early Sex, 1984
Leiber, Justin, "Fritz Leiber & Eyes," Starship #35, Summer 1979
Samman, Paul, Interview with Fritz Leiber," Twilight Zone, March 1982
Shumaker, Curtis, "Literary Chess: The Stories of Fritz Leiber" Chess Life, August 2014, p. 36
"Special Fritz Leiber Issue" — The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July 1969
Stalcar, Tom, Fritz Leiber, 1983
The Fritz Leiber MEGAPACK, Wildside Press, 2015

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