Robert Sheckley was one of the most prolific and influential science fiction writers of the 1950s. Along with the other writers working for the pulp magazines, he was often trying to produce the maximum number of words, sometimes at a loss of quality. He is probably best known for the short story "The Tenth Victim" which was made into a popular movie, but best represented by the novel "Mindswap" which should be placed alongside Vonnegut's "Cat's Cradle" for its richness of ideas and Adam's "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" for laugh out loud humor.
This volume is a collection of his shorter short stories -- I'm uncertain of the word count but would say 2.5 - 3000 words each. They show the richness of his imagination and diversity of ideas, but because of the comparative brevity, don't show all that Mr. Sheckley could do with language. Even so, limiting himself to this format, he produced several collections of highly enjoyable reads, often with insights into our relationship with technology. There is a dark brilliance to his work even when he only sketches in the details.
"Is That What People Do?" is (I think) a collection of his early work, and although he improved with age, is a fine display of insight and imagination spread across many of the themes of science fiction. Because the stories are relatively short, it's a volume that can be read for a while, put down, and picked up again without ever growing dull.
- Publisher: Henry Holt & Co (1 June 1984)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0030637074
- ISBN-13: 978-0030637070
- Package Dimensions: 24.1 x 16.3 x 4.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 726 g
- Customer Reviews: 4 customer ratings