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Am I Not Your Virus? Am I Not Your Virus?

Dimension of Sheckley

Anthology Reviews and Ratings *****


This only includes anthologies that contain stories that don't appear in any of Sheckley's own books.
ESCAPE TO EARTH (1963) edited by IVAN HOWARD

Sheckley’s "We are alone" is a good story about an elusive alien race. It originally turned up in Future magazine. The other stories are not distinguished. *


THE FUTURE MAKERS (1968) edited by PETER HAINING

An interesting collection of early stories by classic writers. Sheckley is represented by a five page effort "The Hour of Battle". Other authors include Bradbury, Clarke and (the prodigy in the pack) Asimov. ***


A WILDERNESS OF STARS (1969) edited by WILLIAM F. NOLAN

This includes the Sheckley novella "Carrier", a typical piece of fifties sci-fi about a society where people can fly (...and what happens to a man who loses this ability). Most of the other stories (including the disapointing short novel "The Lineman" by Walter M. Miller) are rather bleak. **


100 GREAT SCIENCE FICTION SHORT SHORT STORIES (1978) edited by ISAAC ASIMOV, MARTIN H. GREENBERG & JOSEPH D. OLANDER

100 stories in 300 pages i.e. they really are short shorts. An interesting idea, but definetly one to dip in and out of. Sheckley contributes "The Perfect Woman", "Feeding Time" and "Starting from Scratch". The former is a witty effort that doesn't appear in any of his own collections, though it has turned up in other anthologies. Other authors include Asimov, Niven and Knight. ***


TWENTY HOUSES OF THE ZODIAC (1979) edited by MAXIM JAKUBOWSKI

An "international" anthology with about half of the twenty stories translated from various languages. Sadly, they are outshone by those written in English. "I Can Teleport Anywhere" by Sheckley isn't one of his best. The highlight is "Zodiac 2000" by Ballard. ***


THE BEST OF OMNI SCIENCE FICTION (1980) edited by BEN BOVA & DON MYRUS

This is in the same glossy magazine format as OMNI magazine. Each story is accompanied by a fine painting (two by H. R. Geiger). Sheckley's "Bodygame" is a dark story about an old man who needs a new body (illustrated by Samuel Bak). "Unaccompanied Sonata" by Orson Scott Card is a strange but brilliant tale about an isololated composer. Other authors in this superior collection include Ellison, Bester and Zelazny. ****


THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF BATMAN (1989) edited by MARTIN H. GREENBERG

Fourteen new stories put together to celebrate the caped crusader's fiftieth birthday. Sheckley's "Death of the Dreammaster" is an affectionate novella in which Batman is haunted by visions of the Joker. Overall, Batman loses a lot of his appeal without any visuals. Check out the graphic novel versions by Frank Miller instead. **


THE BRADBURY CHRONICLES (1991) edited by WILLIAM F. NOLAN & MARTIN H. GREENBERG

A tribute to Ray Bradbury. Sheckley's "The Other Mars" is a nostalgic look back at the world of "The Martian Chronicles". One of the best stories is "Centigrade 233" by Gregory Benford, an ironic twist on the theme of "Farenheit 451". Some of the other tributes are rather more subtle i.e. I couldn't work out what they had to do with Ray Bradbury! ***


ALTERNATIVE PRESIDENTS (1992) edited by MIKE RESNICK

Each story considers what would have happened if a different candidate won various US elections. Sheckley's "Dukakis and the Aliens" is pretty weak. Maybe I would like this book more if I knew more about US politics. **


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