Gonna Roll the Bones

Gonna Roll the Bones

by Fritz Leiber

Joe Slattermill is about to experience a night he will never forget.

Joe has a knack for dice throwing and figures he can take on any opponent.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Fantasy
  • Rating: 3.53
  • Pages: 32
  • Publish Date: October 1st 2004 by Milk & Cookies
  • Isbn10: 1596871768
  • Isbn13: 9781596871762

Read the Book "Gonna Roll the Bones" Online

All great gamblers have dark-shadowed deep-set eyes. But this one's eyes were sunk so deep you couldn't even be sure you were getting a gleam of them.

Joe Slattermill in Night Town: "At first Night Town seemed as dead as the rest of Ironmine, but then he noticed a faint glow, sick as the vampire lights but more feverish, and with it a jumping music, tiny at first as a jazz for jitterbugging ants. A near-perfect story.

https://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2950760.html "Gonna Roll The Bones" by Fritz Leiber won the Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novelette presented in 1968, beating Harlan Ellison's story "Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes" in both cases. This book dominated the awards that year, with five stories nominated in all three short fiction categories for the Hugo and winning two (beaten in the third by Ellison's own superb "I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream") and four nominations again scoring two wins in the Nebula awards (with the other short fiction award there being taken by Michael Moorcock's outstanding time-travel tale, "Behold the Man"). Although looking back at it now, it's difficult to appreciate quite what made the stories seem so radical almost forty years ago (some find them dated, others incomprehensible), it's reasonable to suppose that "Gonna Roll The Bones" owed at least some of the credit for its awards to reflected glory from the rest of the collection. I think it is a better story than "Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes" which it beat for both awards; but I think that several of its other competitors have shown better staying power - Philip K Dick's "Faith of our Fathers", nominated for the Hugo, where Dick managed unusually successfully to marry his usual themes of paranoia, drugs, and the questionable nature of reality with an actual plot which makes sense; and two Nebula nominations by Roger Zelazny, the grim romances of "The Keys to December" and "This Mortal Mountain" (the latter a superb tale let down badly by a silly ending). But nothing is out of place, unsure, or unclear." The story is full of arresting images - the dice whose faces look like miniature skulls; the sinister presence of the Big Gambler, and the dice hanging in his eye sockets, "rattling like big seeds in a big gourd not quite yet dry"; the last sentence as well - "Then he turned and headed straight for home, but he took the long way, around the world." And the description of the gambling in The Boneyard is unforgettable. Joe Slattermill sets off to deceive his wife, who he beats; she and her mother and even the cat are all pretty unpleasant house-mates anyway; the denizens of The Boneyard are just plain evil. Third, the framing narrative simply adds to my confusion about What Is Really Going On. So the whole thing was a spell put on Joe by his Wife, his Mother and (for some reason) the cat, "to let him get a little ways away and feel half a man, and then come diving home with his fingers burned"? I muttered above about the unnamed horror of the Wife and Mother; here are the two young women in the Boneyard: "Back a little from the other end was the nakedest change-girl yet and the only one he'd seen whose tray, slung from her bare shoulders and indenting her belly just below her breasts, was stacked with gold in gleaming little towers and with jet-black chips.

This is a oddest choice for a kids book I've ever seen.

The pictures tell the story of a brush with Death one night out, while the text turns it all a bit sideways and left me less clarity rather than more.

I am used to Wiesner's wordless picture books and this story had a lot to say. The story had a lot of detail but I think I would enjoy it more like his other books; wordless.

Fritz Reuter Leiber, Jr. was one of the more interesting of the young writers who came into HP Lovecraft's orbit, and some of his best early short fiction is horror rather than sf or fantasy.