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)
©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 » http://pixabay.com/en/clouds-moon-sky-day-323426/ by jrperes