ONE MAN’S AMBITION (A. Bertram Chandler, credited as “Bertrand Chandler”), 1958
A woman scornfully abuses her husband for reading science fiction, which she considers to be worthless escapist trash fit only for tasteless immature cheapskates like him. What’s the use in thinking about what people would do if they knew the world was going to end!, she challenges him. Then the radio announces that nuclear war has broken out and the end of the world is nigh. What are we going to do now!, she asks, terrified.
TWIST ENDING: he gets a huge butcher knife from the kitchen so that he can do something he’s wanted to do for a long time (to my knowledge, nobody has ever argued that this is anything other than the obvious ‘brutally murder the woman for being an obnoxious nagging bitch shrew harridan’).
Good lord, this is *awful*. Its only merits are what it tells us about the time in which it was written – note the presence of the cobalt bomb, for instance, and the absence of television. I’ve read that Chandler had some issues with female characters, but I’m pretty sure he wasn’t *usually* this disgustingly misogynistic.