by Fritz Leiber
“A Bit Of The Dark World” originally appeared in Fantastic Stories of Imagination, February 1962. It is presented here as the 7th part of our 10 episode “A CENTURY OF HORROR” celebration – with 9 other episodes made available only to subscribers!
FRITZ REUTER LEIBER JR. (1910-1992) was an American writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. He was also a poet, actor in theater and films, playwright and chess expert. With writers such as Robert E. Howard and Michael Moorcock, Leiber can be regarded as one of the fathers of sword and sorcery fantasy, having in fact created the term. Leiber was heavily influenced by H. P. Lovecraft and Robert Graves in the first two decades of his career. Beginning in the late 1950s, he was increasingly influenced by the works of Carl Jung, particularly by the concepts of the anima and the shadow. From the mid-1960s onwards, he began incorporating elements of Joseph Campbell’s THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES into his work.
Your Reader – Norm Sherman – did a heroic reading job for this extra-long story! Give him a hand!
“… and then one of the last rays of the sun must have struck a mirror-surface in the summit-crag, perhaps an outcropping of quartz, for it struck back at me like a golden rapier, making me blink, and then for an instant the beam was glitteringly black and I thought I saw (though nothing as clearly as I’d seen the black all-knowing spider-centipede on the pinnacle) a black shape — black with the queer churning blackness you see only at night with your eyes dosed. The shape coiled rapidly down the crag, into the cavern gullies and around the rocks and finally and utterly into the undergrowth above the fold and disappeared.”