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Tales of Sheckley
Robert Sheckley
Guest of Honour
Christopher Priest
(An appreciation written for the programme book of Skycon, the 29th British Easter SF Convention, 1978)

One of the first science fiction books I ever read was a novel by Robert Sheckley called Pilgrimage to Earth. I had great difficulty in understanding the plot.

Chapter 1, called "Pilgrimage to Earth", was about an innocent young man called Alfred Simon travelling to Earth to discover love. Chapter 2, called "All the Things You Are", dealt with a completely different group of characters landing on an alien planet; Alfred Simon, whom I had grown to like and was worried about, was not even referred to in passing. Chapter 3, called "Trap", was about a sort of trap that appears outside a cabin somewhere in the backwoods, and in which a variety of strange alien beasts keep appearing; still no sign of what had happened to Alfred. I read on, growing steadily more confused, but equally determined to see this thing through. The plot became ever more complex; the next chapter was about a man being turned into a dog.
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Christopher Priest Writing about Robert Sheckley

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