Robert Sheckley (1928–2005) was born in New York City and raised in Maplewood, New Jersey. He joined the army shortly after high school and served in Korea from 1946 to 1948. Returning to New York, Sheckley completed a BA degree at New York University and later took a job in an aircraft factory, leaving as soon as he was able to support himself by selling short stories. In the 1950s and ’60s his stories appeared regularly in science-fiction magazines, especially Galaxy, as well as in Playboy and Esquire. In addition to the science fiction for which he is best known, Sheckley also wrote suspense and mystery stories and television screenplays; from 1979 to 1982 he was the fiction editor of Omni magazine. Sheckley traveled widely, settling for stretches of time in Greenwich Village, Ibiza, London, and Portland, Oregon. Many of Sheckley’s more than fifteen novels and roughly four hundred short stories have been translated and four have been adapted for film. In 2001 he was named Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
An original collection of stories from an overlooked master. “One of the few acknowledged humorists in SF, and by far the funniest, Sheckley plays with myths the way Mel Brooks plays with classic movies.” —The New York Times Book Review