|After graduating from the University of Chicago in 1932 with degrees in psychology and physiology, Fritz Leiber followed his father's footsteps by becoming an actor. After a few years, though, he left the world of acting, marrying Jonquil Stephens in 1936. Two years later, she gave birth to a son and, in 1939, Leiber published his first fantasy story, "Two Sought Adventure". This story began one of the most long-lived and acclaimed fantasy series of all adventures of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, also known as the Swords series. With this series, Leiber is credited with coining the term "swords and sorcery." Though working as an editor during the daytime, over the next ten years he wrote nearly 40 short stories and serials, including his first masterwork, CONJURE WIFE, published in novel form in 1953. In 1947, the influential publisher Arkham House collected many of his early stories under the title NIGHT'S BLACK AGENTS. The novel THE GREEN MILLENNIUM, about a mysterious green cat, was published in 1954. It was the first of many works by Leiber, an avowed cat-lover, to feature cats in important roles. 1958 was an important year for Leiber. "Lean Times in Lankhmar" was published, introducing Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser to a new generation, and he won the Hugo Award for THE BIG TIME, the first novel of his Changewar trilogy. It was also the year that he became a full-time writer. Leiber won further Hugos for a novel, THE WANDERER (1964), and a short story, "Gonna Roll the Bones" (1967), which also won a Nebula Award. The next year, the first two Swords books were published--a novel, SWORDS OF LANKHMAR, and a collection, SWORDS AGAINST WIZARDRY. These two books were extremely popular and became very influential to many future fantasy writers. When his wife died in 1969, Leiber went into an alcoholic depression that lasted several years, but he continued writing, producing another Hugo and Nebula winner, "Ill Met in Lankhmar", arguably his most well-known story. Moving to San Francisco, Leiber wrote the partly autobiographical novel, OUR LADY OF DARKNESS, and continued to write short stories, including award winners like "Belsen Express" (1975), "Catch that Zeppelin!" (1975), and "The Button Molder" (1979). In the 1980s, Leiber wrote less, but did continue the Swords series, with the KNIGHT & KNAVE OF SWORDS collection receiving several award nominations. He married longtime friend Margo Skinner in 1992, but, sadly, he died later that year. Before he died, Leiber had begun a large-scale effort to collect all of the Swords stories together, sequentially, and in revised and corrected versions. This project was completed posthumously, in the mid-1990s, and will serve to introduce yet more generations to Leiber's unique vision of fantasy.