Store of the Worlds: The Stories of Robert Sheckley

Robert Sheckley, Author, Jonathan Lethem, Editor, Alex Abramovich, Editor
Edited by Jonathan Letham and Alex Abramovich. NYRB Classics, $17.95 ISBN 978-1-59017-494-4
Reviewed on: 02/27/2012
Release date: 05/01/2012
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-59017-508-8
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The late Sheckley (1928–2005) was known for a dark satirical style that keeps some of the more dated material in this retrospective collection fresh. At his sharpest, as in the alien-invasion tale “Shape,” Sheckley could mix complicated world-building and nuanced politics into a 15-page story. Many of the 26 inclusions—such as the title story, which explores the intersection of the many-worlds theory and upper-middle-class ennui—could be passed off as contemporary. Despite the poorly aged gender politics of the classic “Seventh Victim,” arguably Sheckley’s most famous short work, it offers humor that still rings true. Editors Lethem and Abramowitz provide an insightful introduction but otherwise let the individual stories stand on their own (not even providing their dates or provenance). That would be frustrating for a lesser author, but in Sheckley’s case, it only helps highlight the timelessness of his ideas. (Apr.)
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