Welcome, Guest. Please Login
SLINGING.ORG
 
Home Help Search Login


Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
Fictional Slinging Heroes (Read 3674 times)
ozymandias312
Tiro
**
Offline


I love YaBB 1G - SP1!

Posts: 10
Fictional Slinging Heroes
Apr 27th, 2004 at 11:44pm
 

Or anti-heroes anyway.

Anyone else here a fan of the late Fritz Leiber? Ever read any of his Fafhrd and Gray Mouser stories? The Mouser was an expert slinger, as I recall. (Fafhrd was a bowman.) I even vaguely remember the Mouser telling someone who asked him about it (his sling) in one of the latter stories of the series that "It's just as good as a bow, and a lot less trouble to carry." Then he demonstrated by swiftly loading a lead shot into his sling and slinging it accurately at the cross-piece of a wooden gallows some distance away, where it struck with a resounding "thunk."

Oz
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Johnny
Funditor
****
Offline



Posts: 620
Goodlettsville,TN
Gender: male
Re: Fictional Slinging Heroes
Reply #1 - Apr 28th, 2004 at 6:02am
 
I'm not familar with those books. Sounds correct though!

Tell me about the Irish legends, The Red Branch. I remember reading about that in the past and was not sure what book would have these stories in it.
Thanks!
Back to top
 

I also love sushi..!
TNslinger  
IP Logged
 
Hobb
Senior Member
****
Offline



Posts: 329
Denver, CO
Gender: male
Re: Fictional Slinging Heroes
Reply #2 - Apr 28th, 2004 at 11:05am
 
I've read a lot of Fritz Lieber short stories, but only one was about the Mouser and co.  I'll have to check the out.
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Douglas
Senior Member
****
Offline


Just give me a good stone
and plenty of room!

Posts: 260
Kalifornia
Gender: male
Re: Fictional Slinging Heroes
Reply #3 - Apr 28th, 2004 at 4:23pm
 
Quote:
Tell me about the Irish legends, The Red Branch. I remember reading about that in the past and was not sure what book would have these stories in it.
Thanks!

In the Ulster Cycle, the Cattle Raid of Cooley has Cu Chulainn casting stones and decimating armies! Shocked
Back to top
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Douglas
Senior Member
****
Offline


Just give me a good stone
and plenty of room!

Posts: 260
Kalifornia
Gender: male
Re: Fictional Slinging Heroes
Reply #4 - Apr 28th, 2004 at 4:24pm
 
Fritz Leiber describes the Mouser as using lead glandes, but when he slings the projectiles make buzzing sounds. Maybe they had flat spots cast into them...  ???
Back to top
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
ozymandias312
Tiro
**
Offline


I love YaBB 1G - SP1!

Posts: 10
Re: Fictional Slinging Heroes
Reply #5 - Apr 28th, 2004 at 11:02pm
 
Quote:
I'm not familar with those books. Sounds correct though!

Tell me about the Irish legends, The Red Branch. I remember reading about that in the past and was not sure what book would have these stories in it.
Thanks!


Well, Johnny, I am embarrassed to admit that it has been at least 15 years since I so much as held any version of the thirty-odd tales of the Ulster Cycle, also known as the Red Branch, in my hands, and my memories are very faded and fragmentary. Only bits and pieces come back to me.

What I can tell you is that it is a collection of stories about the adventures and misadventures of the ancient, pre-Christian Irish heroes and demigods. Apparently these legends or myths were passed down as an oral tradition for centuries before being written down in a somewhat Christianized form in the Twelfth Century.

Though some of the heroes' exploits are larger than life and rather Paul Bunyanesque, some of it is fairly earthy and believable. It is frequently violent and sometimes macabre. (One incident from it I *seem* to recall had one of the Red Branch guys -- not Cuchulain himself, I don't think -- passing by a gallows with some freshly hanged men swinging from it. At least one of the hanged men suddenly opened his eyes and mouth and addressed him. The weird thing was how he never missed a beat; he just engaged the dangling corpse(s) in conversation as if it were the most natural and normal thing in the world. But this story may spring from some other source. I'm just not sure.)

Anyhow, the title refers to a select band of warriors or chosen champions, sort of analagous to the later Knights of the Round Table, known as the men of the Red Branch. I forget whether the Red Branch was something they had sworn by or if it was just an emblem or symbol or insignia of some kind. It really has been a while.

The first two reviews of this book (you have to scoll down a little ways to see the reviews) seem to convey the spirit of the thing pretty well.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0312870191/104-5737423-081270

See also:

http://www.popula.com/sh/no_533/2108532.htm

and this

http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/

Hope this helps.

Oh dear, the URLs are not clickable. I thought you'd just be able to click on them as links. But apparently not. Sorry.

Oz
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
ozymandias312
Tiro
**
Offline


I love YaBB 1G - SP1!

Posts: 10
Re: Fictional Slinging Heroes
Reply #6 - Apr 28th, 2004 at 11:29pm
 
Quote:
I've read a lot of Fritz Lieber short stories, but only one was about the Mouser and co.  I'll have to check the out.


Gosh, I don't even know myself how many of those there are. Leiber wrote those over a long stretch of time, roughly from the late Thirties to the late Eighties, I think. The Gray (Grey?) Mouser's prowess with a sling comes up in many of the tales, some of which are very short, some of which are novellas, and at least two are of novel length. (They have never been filmed, and I for one hope they will not be, as I doubt they are filmable without gross Hollywood distortion.)

In what I believe was the first one published, "Jewels In the Forest," a.k.a. "Two Sought Adventure" (circa 1939), he knocks out but does not kill a pursuing foe by denting in his helmet with a slung shot of some kind. (It was not always spelled out what type of projectiles he was using. On long treks he may have run out of molded lead shot and been forced to resort to stones, which are free for the picking up.)

Sometimes the diminutive Mouser and his hulking pal Fafhrd's enemies use slings too. In "Ill Met In Lankhmar" the Twain (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser) are pursued across the nightime rooftops of smog-enshrouded, mummy-guarded Lankhmar by the vengeful members of the Thieves' Guild, who sling lumps or pellets of soft clay, "designed to stun, not kill" -- as in, they wanted to capture them alive, the better to be tortured -- at them, but miss, barely.

I kind of think that it was in the novella "Rime Isle" that a great deal of stress was laid on the Mouser's slinging prowess, but don't hold me to that.

Of course, both Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser were primarily *swordsmen*; Fahrd's bow and the Mouser's sling were just how they dealt with relatively distant threats. Wait, though: I recall a couple of occasions when the Mouser swung his loaded sling and bashed someone on the head, the way you might smite someone with a billiard ball in a sock, at close quarters.

If you can still find those, I hope you enjoy them as much as I once did.  Smiley

Oz

Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Hobb
Senior Member
****
Offline



Posts: 329
Denver, CO
Gender: male
Re: Fictional Slinging Heroes
Reply #7 - Apr 29th, 2004 at 11:31am
 
Oz -- Sounds like fun.  Off to the library I go.

I read a story about either Cuchulain or Conchabar -- I guess one was the other's father, but I can't remember which way it goes.  The son is sent by his warrior-witch mentor (who, for some reason, despises the father) to find his old man.  The witch makes him promise not to tell who he is or what he's looking for.  He gets to his dad's shoreline and impresses the locals (the red-branch gang, maybe?) by standing in his small boat and killing a bird with a sling so that it falls into the boat with him, dead.  They ask who he is and what he wants.  He refuses to tell them (he was kind of arrogant in this story), so, naturally, they all take turns trying to kill him.  One of the local knights comes charging down the shoreline on a horse.  The kid defeats him by knocking the horse out with a sling-stone and beating up the knight when he falls out of the saddle.

All of this was online, so I'm not sure of the source material, but it was a fun, sling-ful story.
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Hobb
Senior Member
****
Offline



Posts: 329
Denver, CO
Gender: male
Re: Fictional Slinging Heroes
Reply #8 - Apr 29th, 2004 at 11:49am
 
Sorry, my mistake -- I went looking for that website (couldn't find it, sorry) and I guess Cuchulain in Conchobar's nephew, not his son.
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Douglas
Senior Member
****
Offline


Just give me a good stone
and plenty of room!

Posts: 260
Kalifornia
Gender: male
Re: Fictional Slinging Heroes
Reply #9 - Apr 29th, 2004 at 1:08pm
 
Quote:
Oz -- Sounds like fun.  Off to the library I go.

I think you'll enjoy the tone of those stories - very light-hearted and fun... Smiley
Back to top
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
ozymandias312
Tiro
**
Offline


I love YaBB 1G - SP1!

Posts: 10
Re: Fictional Slinging Heroes
Reply #10 - Apr 29th, 2004 at 2:58pm
 
Quote:
I think you'll enjoy the tone of those stories - very light-hearted and fun... Smiley


Well, not to be contrary, but the tone varies somewhat. Sometimes it is actually a little melancholy. This is particularly the case with some of the latter stories. In fact, you could probably break the stories down into distinct *periods* or phases -- into an early, middle, and late period anyway.

The earliest stories tend to be the most action packed (though there are exceptions), the middle period stories tend to be the most whimsical and humorous, and the late-period stories tend to be a little sad (though there is an element of dark humor that runs throughout almost all of them).

I'm tempted to try to pick out favorites, but there are so many good ones that I can't really do it fairly. I will say that I tend to like the stories set in and about the great city of Lankhmar the best. "Thieves' House" (an early period story, circa 1940 -- though there was no slinging in it that I recall; most of the fights were close fights, indoors) and "Ill Met In Lankhmar" (a late-middle period, (circa 1969-'70) tale, but action-packed in the manner of an early period one, which it should be because it is a sort of "prequel," that tells how Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser originally teamed up) stand out among these. I also like the pre-team-up Fafhrd origin story "The Snow Women." (No slinging in that one either, though.)

Oz
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
(Moderators: Curious Aardvark, Rat Man, vetryan15, Kick, Morphy, Chris)