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The Night of the Long Knives

Fritz Leiber

Book Overview: 

In a Post apocalyptic world, the few people left must be strong. And must not hesitate to kill. Of course, killing another Deathlander was one of the chief pleasures and urges of all the solitary wanders in this vast wasteland. Kill and kill again. But this other was a girl and that brought up the second great urge: sex. Which was it to be today? Perhaps both? And who would walk away afterward?

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .d amused each other for a while and played games, you might say. Why, at one point we even had an old crank phonograph going and read some books. And, of course, how when the loot gave out and the fun wore off, we had our murder party and I survived along with, I think, a bugger named Jerry—at any rate, he was gone when the blood stopped spurting, and I'd had no stomach for tracking him, though I probably should have.

And in return she could tell me how she had killed off her last set of girlfriends, or boyfriends, or friend, or whatever it was.

After that, we could have a go at exchanging news, rumors and speculations about local, national and world events. Was it true that Atlantic Highlands had planes of some sort or were they from Europe? Were they actually crucifying the Deathlanders around Walla Walla or only nailing up their dead bodies as dire warnings to others such? Had Manteno made Christianity compulsory yet, or were th. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Who would think that the same guy who wrote those incredibly dull Fahfrd and Grey Mouser books could write such an entertaining and suspenseful tale as this!

While I was on my way over here to write my review, I tripped over the fact that this book was actually written in 1960, and I was absolutely astounded. I could've sworn it was written last year. It's post-apocalyptic, and pulls in just enough civilization to convince me that it was recently writ...more

Originally posted at FanLit. Just "Night of the Long Knives" (not "Other Works")

3.5 stars

"Murder, as you must know by now, I can understand and sympathize with deeply. But war? No."

After a nuclear holocaust, America is unrecognizable. There are a few cities left on the coasts, but most of America...more

The Tale of the Night of the Long Knives by Fritz Leiber is a tale of men and women at the end of the world. (The book was written in 1960 and published in Amazing Science Fiction Stories.) The story takes place in a world remade by Nuclear Holocaust.
"I was one hundred miles from Nowhere—and I m...more

Interesting science fiction, nuclear apocalypse style. Reminded me so much of fallout 1 and 2 and wasteland that I think they may have been inspired by this story. A scary view of what total destruction could do to a society.

What if the denizens of Mel Gibson's film, Mad Max, formed a support group called murderer's anonymous?

"Hi, everyone, my name is Mongo."

"HI, MONGO!"

"Thanks, I'm a little nervous, but it's been 12 days since my last murder, no ... wait, sorry, it's been 4 days".

Set in a post apocalyptic wastela...more

I

t's Fritz Leiber, of course it gets five stars. One two three f o u r five s i x.

This was a pretty entertaining--and fast--read, but I can't quite wholeheartedly recommend it. The beginning: excellent apocalyptica. No dialog, just lengthy narration from one wanderer of the devastated wastelands as he meets another, female wanderer. The Deathlanders, as they're called, have tw...more

Dystopian sci/fi from a master!

Fritz Leiber was master of fantasy and science fiction. This 1960 novella is a terrific read. In an age where something like "The Walking Dead" is popular it is nice to see how this sort of apocalyptic fiction is handled by a master story teller.

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