Re: "The Black Gondolier" by Fritz Leiber
"Horrible Imaginings" finishes out the Midnight House trilogy of Leiber's horror fiction. I believe "Horrible Imaginings" is the "cheaper" of the three but is still fairly pricey (congrats on securing a copy of Black Gondolier and Smoke Ghost). John Pelan also has a book of his sci-fi (Day Dark, Night Bright) that is also well done, although I tend to prefer Leiber in his horror/weird fiction mode so I tend to not put a lot of emphasis on that collection (to each their own right). John tends to perpetually bring his A-game to his editing so I usually have a flat recommendation for anything he produces. The standard collection of Leiber is "Night's Black Agents" by Arkham House but if you have the Midnight House trilogy you're pretty much covered as I personally feel John created the definitive collection of Leiber horror/weird fiction with Black Gondolier, Smoke Ghost, and Horrible Imaginings. I'm open to dissenting opinions though. I'm a die hard fan and bought "Nights Black Agents" anyway and have no regrets but it's a bit pricey in hardcover (although there are usually copies available on ebay or Abebooks) so I'd probably lean more towards Horrible Imaginings as a purchase if you have the money. With the two you have, however, you have an outstanding representation of Leiber's power as a horror/weird fiction writer. It truly showcases why he is one of the rightful heirs to the Lovecraft legacy. The only thing you would be missing (and you guessed it) is his novels. I would cite the two you did, Our Lady of Darkness and Conjure Wife, as two of the finest horror novels ever, not just two of Leiber's personal best. Conjure Wife is one of the most intelligent and well executed ideas for a horror novel I've ever seen and Our Lady of Darkness is that as well but it's also a homage to everything we love about weird fiction. Those are in my top 20 of all time great weird fiction novels.
Sorry for the long winded response, so to answer your questions a) his other collections tend to mix sci-fi/fantasy with his horror/weird (still good but may not be what you're looking for) and you already have his, in my opinion, definitive set with the exception of Horrible Imaginings, which is admittedly pricey and b) Conjure Wife and Our Lady of Darkness are every bit as good (arguably better) as his short stories (though I would argue that he is one of the masters of the weird short story). Hope that helps.
With a career spanning more that 50 years, Fritz Leiber was named Science Fiction Grand Master and easily won ever major award in fantasy and horror. His work has influenced generations of writers and fans. Yet, while his novels have been readily available for years, his fantastic short fiction is less easily found. This collection seeks to change that, presenting rare talWith a career spanning more that 50 years, Fritz Leiber was named Science Fiction Grand Master and easily won ever major award in fantasy and horror. His work has influenced generations of writers and fans. Yet, while his novels have been readily available for years, his fantastic short fiction is less easily found. This collection seeks to change that, presenting rare tales by a true Grand Master.
Assembled from magazine submissions, fanzines, and even “lost” manuscripts discovered amongst the author’s personal papers HORRIBLE IMMAGININGS includes the following short stories: Horrible Imaginings; The Automatic Pistol; Crazy Annaoj; The Hound; Alice and the Allergy; Skinny’s Wonderful; Answering Service; Scream Wolf; Mysterious Doings in the Metropolitan Museum; When Brahma Wakes; The Glove; The Girl With the Hungry Eyes; While Set Fled; Diary in the Snow; and The Ghost Light.
See why Fritz Leiber is a must-read for any fan of science fiction, fantasy, or horror. Suspense, surprise, wit, and weirdness--they’re all here for old fans to welcome back and new readers to discover. ...more
Hardcover, limited to 500 numbered copies, unsigned, 246 pages
Published 2004 by Midnight House