Sheckley, Robert 1928–2005

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Sheckley, Robert 1928–2005

(Phillips Barbee, Ned Lang, Finn O'Donnevan)

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born July 16, 1928, in New York, NY: died of complications from a brain aneurysm, December 9, 2005, in Poughkeepsie, NY. Author. Sometimes considered a forerunner to science-fiction writer Douglas Adams, Sheckley combined satire with his future visions to comment on modern society. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War before attending New York University. There he completed a B.A. in 1951 and set out on a freelance career. In his early years, he contributed science-fiction stories widely to genre magazines; he was so prolific, in fact, that editors requested he submit stories pseudonymously so that his byline would not repeat so often. His first book, Untouched by Human Hands (1953), was a short-story collection, while his first novel, Immortality Delivered, was published in 1958. Many more collections and novels would follow, and Sheckley built his reputation as a science-fiction author with a dark sense of humor. His works touch on such themes as immorality, government and corporate control of the masses, and the war between the sexes. Several of his novels were adapted to film, as well, including Immortality, Inc. (1959), which premiered in 1992 as the Mick Jagger film Freejack. The winner of the Jupiter Award for best short story in 1974 for his short story "A Supplicant in Space," Sheckley was recognized again in 2000 when the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America presented him with an Author Emeritus Nebula award. Among his other novels are Mindswap (1966), Options (1975), Futuropolis (1978), Dramocles: An Intergalactic Soap Opera (1983), and Draconian New York (1996).

OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Los Angeles Times, December 20, 2005, p. B13.

New York Times, December 10, 2005, p. A16.