The Times Literary Supplement

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 181

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Imagined monsters are generally more successful than manufactured ones where nasty tales are concerned, and Fritz Leiber demonstrates this effortlessly with [Night Monsters]. One or two of the early stories tend towards the weak and garrulous, and "The Girl with the Hungry Eyes"—which is about the devouring She rather than vampirism proper—would surely have been impossible at a later stage of Mr. Leiber's psychosexual knowingness. But the more recent tales such as "Midnight in the Mirror World" are sincerely horrid, this particular one being an extension of Charles Addams's cartoon about the man in a washroom standing between double mirrors and seeing a dozen dwindling versions of himself of which the third or fourth version is emphatically not him at all. Mr. Leiber intuitively knows … that correct atmosphere can overcome most deficiencies of plot. His imagined fragments of dark have a tactile quality about them such as only the best writers in the genre achieve.

"Science Fiction in Short," in The Times Literary Supplement (© Times Newspapers Ltd. (London) 1974; reproduced from The Times Literary Supplement by permission), No. 3769, May 31, 1974, p. 591.∗


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