Friday, August 10, 2012

Forgotten Books: Citizen in Space -- Robert Sheckley

  • "The Mountain Without a Name"
  • "The Accountant"
  • "Hunting Problem"
  • "A Thief in Time"
  • "The Luckiest Man in the World"
  • "Hands Off"
  • "Something for Nothing"
  • "A Ticket to Tranai"
  • "The Battle"
  • "Skulking Permit"
  • "Citizen in Space"
  • "Ask a Foolish Question"

  • When Robert Sheckley came on the scene, he produced a lot of amazing stories in a short period of time. This collection contains some of those he wrote from 1953-1955, and they're still just as clever and amusing now (to me, anyway) as they were long ago. A couple of these are favorites of mine. "Skulking Permit" is about a planet with no crime, where the citizens try to create some because they wouldn't want their earthly visitors to be disappointed in them. "Ask a Foolish Question" is supposed to have had a small influence on Douglas Adams. "The Accountant" is about the perennial problem of a father disappointed by his son's choice of profession.

    If you haven't read Sheckley, you've missed out on some of the most entertaining short stories of the great era of the SF digests. Check him out.

    4 comments:

    Todd Mason said...

    Because he was a bit funnier, he never gathered the cult Dick did?

    Bill Crider said...

    Could be. He was a better stylist, I think, as well.

    Bud said...

    Oh, Sheckley was a master writer. He just was unfortunate to have a writing style that made it all seem easy. His works will be read and appreciated for a looooooooooong time! Also, scratch a successful SF writer (& many non-successful ones) and you will find a Sheckley admirer!

    George said...

    I loved CITIZEN IN SPACE when I first read it decades ago. I'm also very fond of the recently published Store of the Worlds: The Stories of Robert Sheckley (New York Review Books Classics). Highly recommended!