Strange Stories # Smoke Ghost by Fritz Leiber. Strange Story # Smoke Ghost Author: Fritz Leiber Collected In: Selected Stories. Smoke Ghost & Other Apparitions has 48 ratings and 3 reviews. Carla Remy said : Dirt, detritus, flakes and dust of modern urban life obsess Leiber (here a. Smoke Ghost has 32 ratings and 5 reviews. When a man keeps on seeing a smoke ghost, he questions his own sanity.

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Read this when I was quite young, and it’s really stayed with me.

One of my all-time favourite weird stories. Thursday, 10 May Strange Stories Smoke Ghost by Fritz Leiber.

Fritz Leiber Collected In: Selected Stories Anthologised In: I mean a ghost from the world today I’ve read this story a number of times, most recently in the anthology The Weird. That was the first time, to my knowledge, that I’ve read it in a chronological sequence and been able to compare it to other stories of its time God how modern it seems. Fine stories all, and in some of their period detail you could perhaps date those stories after Leiber’s.


The quotation which I started this piece with comes from right at the start of the story, as if to let the unsuspecting Forties reader know that things had changed. It continues like this: The kind that would The setting of this story is predominately those deserted office buildings because late at nightas well as crowded commuter trains, and doctor’s offices, and creaking elevators.

It’s face, Catesby speculates, is an amalgamation of: And not just its face, we understand as we read this, but its emotions, such as they are, too.

The smoke ghost is all our negative, alienated feelings come back to haunt us It’s often said that it is the unknowable that is scary, both in life and in fiction, but like all truisms that doesn’t always hold true. Catesby’s terror is no less when he understands the nature of the smoke ghost, and neither is our uneasiness. Because like all the crap that we pump into the skies, it seems hard to imagine that all the stress and rage of modern life that we exude isn’t floating around too, forming god knows what shapes in the sky.


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