“The Night He Cried,” Fritz Leiber, 1953

“The Night He Cried,” Fritz Leiber, 1953 — A tentacled “woman” from Galaxy Center teaches a hard-boiled detective a thing or two about the purpose of sex.

Comments: A satire of Mickey Spillane.  Utilizes stereotypical film persona/scenes, perhaps in keeping with Leiber’s exploration of the relationship between theatricality and masculinity/femininity.  Read in Laughing Space. See also the review at Year of One Hundred Stories, which quotes Leiber’s comments on the story in his afterward:

“I wrote ‘The Night He Cried’ because I was distantly angry at Mickey Spillane for the self-satisfied violence and loveless sex and anti-feminism he was introducing into detective fiction and because he had the temerity to publish a couple of stories in the fantasy field, about which I have a parental concern. My rage seems remote, now, yet the point was valid.”

Author: Wikipedia: “Fritz Reuter Leiber, Jr. (December 24, 1910 – September 5, 1992) was an American writer (of German extraction) of fantasy, horror and science fiction. He was also a poet, actor in theatre and films, playwright, expert chess player and a champion fencer…With writers such as Robert E. Howard and Michael Moorcock, Leiber can be regarded as one of the fathers of Sword and Sorcery fantasy. But he excelled in all fields of speculative fiction, writing award-winning work in horror, fantasy and science fiction…Leiber…was born December 24, 1910, in Chicago, Illinois, to the actors Fritz Leiber, Sr. and Virginia Leiber, and, for a time, he seemed inclined to follow in his parents’ footsteps (Theater and actors were prominently featured in his fiction). He spent 1928 touring with his parents’ Shakespeare company before studying philosophy at the University of Chicago, where he graduated with honors (1928–32).”


About jennre

Lifelong sf fan, first-time blogger
This entry was posted in 1946-1959, american culture, gender, genrecraft, humor, masculinity, photo/film/image, satire, sex/reproduction/sterility, theatre/performance, violence. Bookmark the permalink.

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