The Night of the Long Knives – Editor’s Notes

In The Night of the Long Knives and The Creature from Cleveland Depths Fritz Leiber offers up two very different visions of the future.

The first is a rather grim story of a post-apocalyptic world where life is every man for himself and the only protection is a quick hand with a gun or a knife. In this world, the paths of two drifters in the Deathlands cross. It starts out as a fairly conventional story until the advent of the Pilot, a healthy individual unmarked by radiation, who crashes his plane. The plane seems to offer a hope of salvation, but does it?

The second story is rather less grim. Sure, there is still the threat of nuclear destruction, but that doesn’t stop it’s hero, Gusterson, from trying to make ends meet by supplying ideas for inventions to those who have sought shelter below ground. When one of these ideas threatens to enslave the human race, he must save the world while still providing for his wife and family in the ruins of the surface.

These two novellas show the polar extremes of Leiber’s talents. While he was quite capable of writing straight science fiction and horror, he could also turn the conventions on their head and wrap them around a dose of humor. One of his best known creations, the sword wielding pair Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, were a playful spin on the sword and sorcery genre, and many of his short stories verge on farce.

With that in mind, I hope you will enjoy Resurrected Press edition of The Night of the Long Knives and The Creature from Cleveland Depths.

About the Author
Fritz Leiber (1910-1994) was born to a pair of Shakespearean actors in Chicago. After stints as an actor and a lay preacher he turned to writing. He wrote numerous novels and short stories in a career spanning over fifty years. Among his best known works are Conjure Wife, The Big Time and Our Lady of Darkness as well as the series of fantasy stories featuring Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. Conjure Wife has been made into a number of movies.

Greg Fowlkes
Resurrected Press

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