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Tales of Sheckley
David G. Hartwell
Pleasantville, NY
April 2005

Robert Sheckley is the subject of a recent essay by Brian Aldiss, who says "whereas most writers of this kind of futuristic fairy tale will go to great lengths, by deploying ordinary language, and by methods of realism adapted from the mundane or everyday novel, to reassure us that their feet are on the ground, even if their heads are in galactic space, Sheckley's heart is with the Unbelievable.  His main target is the Incredible.  With one swing of his computer he hacks through the string which suspends our disbelief.  It would crash down, were it not for the fact that there is no gravity in Sheckley's space."  Sheckley is one of the important living SF writers, whose reputation is based primarily on the quality of his quirky, subversive, satirical short fiction, a body of work admired by everyone from Kingsley Amis, J.G. Ballard, and Harlan Ellison to Roger Zelazny (with whom he collaborated).  And now, finally, he is the guest of honor at the World Science Fiction Convention, and this book of stories is published to commemorate that event.

I started reading Sheckley in the early 1950s in Galaxy, F&SF, and elsewhere.  I bought his collections, starting with Untouched by Human Hands and Citizen in Space, those wonderful Ballantine paperbacks, and read them avidly.
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David Hartwell Writing about Robert Sheckley

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