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Bread Overhead

Fritz Leiber

Book Overview: 

"Bread Overhead" is a story Fritz Leiber could have written to send up today's bewildering bread aisle -- all those claims of low-cal and low-low-carb. Leiber slyly imagines a near-future when giant machines not only harvest the wheat field, but grind flour and bake bread on the spot -- the ultimate in big farming. In this toasted tomorrow, the highly-mechanized Puffy Products is bent on producing the supremely lightest loaf. The story is what happens if bread isn't just airy, but pumped full of lighter-than-air helium. Leiber ("Ships to the Stars") didn't often bake up such a souffle of spoof, but he's a master in the kitchen. And "Bread Overhead" has just enough to say about human nature to be filling, besides

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .er scene was being enacted in the pressurized penthouse managerial suite of Puffy Products. Megera Winterly, Secretary in Chief to the Managerial Board and referred to by her underlings as the Blonde Icicle, was dealing with the advances of Roger ("Racehorse") Snedden, Assistant Secretary to the Board and often indistinguishable from any passing office boy.

"Why don't you jump out the window, Roger, remembering to shut the airlock after you?" the Golden Glacier said in tones not unkind. "When are your high-strung, thoroughbred nerves going to accept the fact that I would never consider marriage with a business inferior? You have about as much chance as a starving Ukrainian kulak now that Moscow's clapped on the interdict."

ROGER'S voice was calm, although his eyes were feverishly bright, as he replied, "A lot of things are going to be different around here, Meg, as soon as the Board is forced to admit that only my quick th. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Despite being surprised to find a story I hadn't read by Leiber, I had to read this because of how weird the title was. A story about flying bread - don't mind if I do. Absurd, surreal and still good because of Leiber's great style.

This was a silly story about America's never ending quest for whiter, fluffier bread. A company experiments with CO2, helium, and then hydrogen aerated breads to much fanfare. A quick, easy read. I liked that there were robot workers at every level of employment. This must have been published in...more

This is a simply comical short story, featuring an almost implausible obsession with "light bread". Compared however to the equally implausible trends we live through every day in our culture, it is not as absurd as we might like to think. Leiber's comic tone also softens the absurdity.

A sci-fi short story about a society obsessed with bread. Alright.

Hilarious!

Old-Timey SF.

what would you do when bread takes to the sky in flocks of millions, terrorising cities?
Now what if is this was all planned by an evil robot uprising, taking advantage of our consumerist tendencies to destabilize our society?!

that is why i love reading old sci-fi stories

A short fiction story about bread. Totally weird, but fun.

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