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Coming Attraction

Fritz Leiber

Book Overview: 

Women will always go on trying to attract men ...even when the future seems to have no future!

A future New York City has changed since a nuclear bomb left areas of radiation that threaten the residents. Women wear coverings over their faces as the latest fashion trend. An Englishman in New York saves a girl from a speeding coupe with fish hooks on its fender. He finds himself attracted and repelled by the girl in this classic story of future shock from a science-fiction grand master.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I can't thank you now. And there's something you can help me about."

My arm, still lightly circling her waist, felt her body trembling. I was answering the plea in that as much as in her voice when I said, "Certainly." She gave me an address south of Inferno, an apartment number and a time. She asked me my name and I told her.

"Hey, you!"

I turned obediently to the policeman's shout. He shooed away the small clucking crowd of masked women and barefaced men. Coughing from the smoke that the black coupe had thrown out, he asked for my papers. I handed him the essential ones.

He looked at them and then at me. "British Barter? How long will you be in New York?"

Suppressing the urge to say, "For as short a time as possible," I told him I'd be here for a week or so.

"May need you as a witness," he explained. "Those kids can't use smoke on us. When they do that, we pull them in."

He seemed to think the smoke w. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Rather thinly veiled allusions to Heaven and Hell, with reference to "Inferno". Fictional take on the BDSM community, where partners consent to violence amongst each other. Without the few futuristic elements, including genetic mutation, this is merely a tale of a man who gets mixed up in a violent

-Read in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One-

Sensitive readers will rally against the themes here. I have no issue at all with troubling themes, I do however have issues with boring stories. There was some interesting world building here that just felt wasted on a poor story.

yeah. no. future settings where everything has gone to hell in a hand-basket doesn't really cut it for me although i appreciate that for some sci fi readers it's paradise. i prefer the quality of life the star trek series portrayed of the future and often wish that we could skip our current politica

One of my favorite stories from Fritz Leiber.

A well paced story set in a post nuclear future (one of the most used scenarios of the times) that offers an interesting glimpse in weird world. I would've loved to read more stories set in this universe.

Dystopian, post-nuke; unique development, as far as I know. Something hard-boiled, fragmented.

Good but depressing short story set in a post-apocalyptic, radiation-affected New York.

4.0 to 4.5 stars. A "classic" science fiction short story that deserves the title. One of my favorite pieces by Leiber. The story was named one of the best short stories of all time by the Science Fiction Writers of America and included in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame 1.

Written in 1950 the stor

Surprisingly good classic short story. The setting is a bit dated - WWIII/post-WWIII cold war between US an USSR - but the theme / atmosphere is not - the fall of the western world to depravity and immorality. The idea that the Americans have sexualized a woman's face so much that all women wear mas

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