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Tales of Sheckley
Not only had Alfred vanished from the story, but the spacemen in Chapter 2 had never reappeared, and at the end of Chapter 3 one of the characters had fallen into the trap, and I wanted to know what happened to him.

I was about halfway through the novel before I realised what now seems obvious. I was very young in those days, but I was also rather dim.

Some months later, when I had read every Sheckley book I could lay my hands on (because in spite of thinking it was a very advanced example of the avant-garde, I thought the individual "chapters" were some of the best and funniest writing I had ever read), I realised that I had been behaving like a character in a Sheckley story: a none-too-bright young man, very resourceful, very determined, but with a paranoid hunch that someone in the universe was out to get him.

So from the beginning, Bob Sheckley's stories have always been special to me. For a long time, my notion of a good SF short story was in seeing how close it came to Sheckley's standard.
Today, when I find most of the SF I discovered in the same period to be almost unreadable Sheckley is still one of my four or five favourite writers. Any book or magazine that includes one of his stories gets a guaranteed sale of at least one copy.
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Christopher Priest Writing about Robert Sheckley

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