By in Sci Fi & Paranormal

Science Fiction Short Story Review: "The Moon is Green" by Fritz Leiber

This is another in the series of “It Came from the Pulps!” where I review science fiction short stories that were originally published in the pulp magazines of mid-20th century. Many of these have become available in electronic form as free downloads, particularly from Project Gutenberg, or for a low price.

Effie has transgressed by opening the shutters and Hank is not about to let a thing like that go. It could get them sent back down below. He’d worked so hard to get them a ground floor apartment. What was she thinking, opening the shutters and looking out? She knew what was out there after the war. Freaks.

Effie was just longing for beauty. She wanted to look at the moon.

Well, now, it wasn’t all bad, Hank conceded. Before he had to admonish her, he actually had good news. He was promoted to Junior and was going to be honored at a dinner tonight.

But Effie, pregnant, isn’t feeling well. Hanks storms off. When is his gone, Effie opens the shutters. She sees movement. There’s the face again…

This is statement about human longing not only for beauty but for love. It is bleak, but well told. Hank is a bully and, as is so often the case with bullies, a coward. Yet it’s difficult to hate him, for he’s desperate. Effie seems almost contemptible at first with the way she takes Hank’s abuse, but she’s not without her means of rebellion. This is a well-crafted story, but it’s not the most fun.

Author Fritz Leiber was born to parents who were actors and toured for a while with the Shakespeare company before entering the University of Chicago. Theater and actors find their way into much of his fiction. He created the term "sword and sorcery" to describe a particular type of fantasy literature and wrote writing award-winning work in fantasy, horror, and science fiction. He's probably best known for Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories.


Title: “The Moon is Green” first published in Galaxy Science Fiction April 1952

Author: Fritz Leiber (1910-1992)

Source: ISFDB

Wikipedia :



©2015 Denise Longrie


An earlier version of this review appeared on another site. It has since been removed from there and is no longer visible there or anywhere else. It has been updated and expanded for its inclusion in PP.

Image Credit » by jrperes

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crowntower wrote on May 7, 2015, 6:03 PM

I guess this is something I hate about sci-fi and other movies or dramas, is when a stubborn leading character is always putting themselves at the risk of what is outside. Like peeking to the window when they know that is the foolish thing to do... but anyway sometimes the stories begin on those foolishness. Hehehehe.

msiduri wrote on May 7, 2015, 7:15 PM

Thanks for the kind words. I realize sci-fi is not everyone's cup of tea and understand that.

msiduri wrote on May 7, 2015, 7:17 PM

But if we all stayed home and did as we were told, where would the story be? emoticon :smile:

CalmGemini wrote on May 8, 2015, 3:14 PM

Not a great story but good enough.A serious story. Will read some more stories by Fritz Leiber.

msiduri wrote on May 8, 2015, 5:41 PM

He has a lot of fun stuff. This is not representative of his works, I think.