|Robert Sheckley was born
in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in New Jersey. He went into the
U.S. army after high school and served in Korea. After discharge he
attended New York University, graduating with an arts degree. He began
to sell stories to all the science-fiction magazines soon after his
graduation, producing several hundred stories over the next several
During this time Mr. Sheckley also wrote 15 episodes for the television
series, CAPTAIN VIDEO. He wrote 60 short-short stories that were read
aloud by Basil Rathbone on Monitor Radio. He also wrote THE PEOPLE
TRAP for ABC-tv which became the basis for a two hour television special.
Robert Sheckley wrote the short story Something for Nothing in 1952,
while living in a third floor apartment for $65 a month in the West
Village in New York City. In 1993 the story became the basis for The
A veteran science fiction writer, Bob began his career in New York
City during what is often referred to as the classic period of science
fiction writing. His work was published in "Galaxy" and for other
pulp magazines that paid up to four cents per word for each story.
A master at the humor/fantasy genre, Bob was never lacking for story
ideas back in the 50's when a trip to the moon was still a decade
away. After filling countless notebooks with ideas, he began focusing
on wish fulfillment stories, particularly Aladdin and his lamp, but
with added twists. One major twist became the idea of immortality
as a terrible penalty, rather than a desirable wish, and the story
took shape after that.
Bob continues to write at his home in Oregon. "It's a high, this writing
thing," he says, "a kind of drug, and once you experience it nothing
else is ever the same. Ordinary life seems like a prison sentence
in comparison to the freedom of writing."
His first novel, IMMORTALITY, INC., was produced as the movie FREEJACK,
starring Emilio Esteban, Mick Jagger and Renee Russo. This book was
republished in America by Tor Books, and in England, together with
his classic MINDSWAP, by Legend, a division of Random House UK.
His best-known books in the science-fiction field are IMMORTALITY,
INC, MINDSWAP, and DIMENSION OF MIRACLES. They have had numerous publishers
including Victor Gollancz in England and Dell, Delacorte and Bantam
in the United States. He wrote the story which was the basis for the
movie THE TENTH VICTIM, starring Marcello Mastroianni and Ursula Andress.
The novel was published by Ballantine Books. His short story, THE
PRIZE OF PERIL, was the basis for the French movie LA PRIX DU DANGER.
Mr. Sheckley collaborated with Roger Zelazny in a three book fantasy
series. The titles are BRING ME THE HEAD OF PRINCE CHARMING, IF AT
FAUST YOU DON'T SUCCEED, and A FARCE TO BE RECKONED WITH. These books
were published by Bantam Spectra.
He has written three novels in a humorous private detective series:
THE ALTERNATIVE DETECTIVE, DRACONIAN NEW YORK, and SOMA BLUES. Mr.
Sheckley's private detective, Hob Draconian, lives in Ibiza, in Spain,
but spends a lot of his time in Paris.
Mr. Sheckley also worked on the computer game NETRUNNER.
He wrote ALIEN HARVEST, number 5 in the Aliens series, licensed by
Dark Horse Comics and published by Bantam Books, and THE LAERTIAN
GAMBLE, a Deep Space Nine Startrek Novel, published by Pocket Books.
Both of these novels appeared on the Locus media-related best seller
Mr. Sheckley has produced about 65 books to date, including 40 novels
and 9 collections of his short stories. In 1991 he received the Daniel
F. Gallun award for contributions to the genre of science-fiction.
In 1998 he was awarded the Strannik Award in St. Petersburg, Russia,
for contributions to the field of humor and of science-fiction. His
newest science-fiction novel, GODSHOME, was published in January 1999
by Tor Books. Currently, along with other projects, he is publishing
a novel in progress online at:
Robert Sheckley was married to the writer Gail Dana.
His obituary can be read here.