Talk:Robert Sheckley

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Twilight Zone[edit]

Are we sure that Mr. Sheckley, who just passed away, wrote episodes for The Twilight Zone? The imdb only credits him with Captain Video, not TZ. Is this right in the article? 12/9/05

No, I don't believe so, certainly not during the days of Serling. Sheckley wrote for Twilight Zone Magazine, including book reviews and many excellent stories such as "Shootout in the Toyshop", "5 Minutes Early" and also "Juleeeeeeeen!" which was cowritten with his wife Jay Rothbell Sheckley. He wrote so many stories in the 1950's that Robert Sheckley was believed by many other writers to be a pseudonymous "house name." Sheckley himself said that he heard that the Sheckley name was used by tv writers for The Twilight Zone as a character name, to show that they knew he wasn't real. He was.

Slapstick[edit]

Should Sheckley's novels be considered slapstick? Lefty 15:32, 2004 Feb 21 (UTC)

Describing Sheckley's books as slapstick is debatable, I think. I'm going to mull this over for future modification. Additional comments on the subject welcome! kjfasimpaur 14:06, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)

IMHO Sheckley's novels are not slapstick in general, although slapstick is used in some of them as a vehicle. Perhaps I would consider Mindswap a slapstick novel, but I find Immortality Incorporated and The Status Civilization to be deeper. His short stories have even more conveyed meaning than his novels, very recently I recommended someone to read A Ticket to Tranai to convey a philosophical point :-)

It has been reported that Robert Sheckley died. I'm not going to add that information until confirmation and I ask others don't either. General sources for things like this are Locus Online and the SFWA News--T. Anthony 17:55, 9 December 2005 (UTC)[reply]
As there is now an obituary up at this SFWA News link, the information can probably be added to the article now by someone who wishes to. Brendan 19:22, 9 December 2005 (UTC)[reply]

"cited" v. "claimed"[edit]

"His novel Dimension of Miracles is often cited as an influence on Douglas Adams, although in an interview for Neil Gaiman's book Don't Panic: The Official Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Companion, Adams claimed not to have read it until after writing The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy."

Perhaps it is my imperfect grasp of the English language (I am a native Dutch speaker), but to me this sounds like the author thinks Adams was lying. "Cite" sounds more authoritative to me than a mere "claim". But perhaps I am seeing things that aren't there?--82.92.181.129 03:53, 21 January 2006 (UTC)[reply]



Sheckley's work _prefigured_ Adams.

Too many low-value links[edit]

I would like to do some work on this article. One thing that strikes me is the large number of redlinks to works of fiction and the links to years (or, in some case, xxxx in fiction). Would anybody mind if I removed these? The redlinks are probably not realistic (if somebody seriously intends to write these in the near future I'll hold off), and the year links add little. --Guinnog 15:18, 28 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Less Personal Information, More Career[edit]

I would like to take out the references to Mr. Sheckley's marriages and stick to his career. I don't see the particular relevance for scholarship by opening discussions about his private life in this case. Also, I would like to add more about Condorman and Freejack, and his years as editor at Omni - there is some career material that is lacking. I'd also like to add a better picture - one that makes him look alive. —Preceding unsigned comment added by JohnVHenley (talkcontribs) 22:21, 7 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Mentioning a person's marriages and children is not a "discussion about their private life", it's standard procedure in biographies. For example, our article on Johann Sebastian Bach mentions his two marriages and lists his children, as does the article on Bach in New Grove (which covers the topic in much more detail, too) and nobody ever complained about either. I can't see why Sheckley should be an exception. It's not like we're starting a gossip column here. As for career material that is lacking, you're very welcome to add anything, provided you have reliable sources; at some point I tried very hard to find those to expand this article (which was in an even worse state before I worked on it), and failed. Also, the photograph is indeed horrible, but Wikipedia only allows using copyright-free or CC-licensed pictures, and none surfaced so far. A copyrighted image may be useable under fair use, but we would have to include publisher and photographer information, and again, I've tried finding suitable pictures with that information intact, and found none. --Jashiin (talk) 22:48, 7 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]


Jashin - thank you for your thoughtful reply. I am working on compiling some material that can be referenced and cited. I fully agree with that policy and position. And I want to add more material on Robert Sheckley. However, I am new to Wikipedia and need to figure out some of the ropes. May I email you or contact you on this page for help on getting content in? Also, regarding the personal information - maybe there is a way we can work together - a matter of writing style or something like that - so that the personal material is present, but not presented in such a way that makes it look like Robert Sheckley was married every other year. My thanks for your reply. Oh, point of order: so, if editing this page, I should come to this page first and talk with you about it, or run it by you? johnhenley.henley@gmail.com http://www.johnVhenley.com —Preceding unsigned comment added by JohnVHenley (talkcontribs) 23:25, 7 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Sure, contact me if you need any help. You can use my talk page to do that. But getting material in is usually easy, provided it's cited; your previous edits were reverted because you deleted a lot of information and haven't given any explanation, such edits always look suspicious. And I'm pretty think the problem you describe ("was married every other year") will go away on its own if more material is added. Finally, you don't have to contact anyone in order to edit articles, per WP:OWN nobody "owns" any articles, they're all collaborative efforts. But some substantial edits, like massive deletions or addition of uncited material, usually require some sort of explanation in the edit summary at least, or a discussion at the article's talk page. --Jashiin (talk) 21:01, 8 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]


Thank you Jashiin - I totally get why you revised the revisions now. I like the way you think - more information to serve as a blanket. I'm currently awaiting a photograph of Robert Sheckley that the family will allow to become publically acessible. And, I've gotten some old OMNI's and Galaxies on order in high hopes that these will shed some more information about his work in those magazines. Can't be sure - but perhaps. Also, I've contacted Playboy to see if they will allow me/wikipedia/us to use a picture from 1971 that shows Hugh Hefner with a number of "cutting edge" writers - which includes Sheckley. Their copyright agent is looking into it and will talk with me on the phone sometime soon. They might not allow it, but we'll see. Unfortunately, the editor of Penthouse/Omni, Bob Guccione, just passed away, as did his wife a few years ago - so I won't be able to get much from that angle. The family is willing to share stories, but I want it to be more than a series of oral histories, though I suppose that would be alright if it were so framed? What do you think about that? I look forward to learning more about Wikipedia and working with you on this project. More soon. My gratitude. John Henley —Preceding unsigned comment added by JohnVHenley (talkcontribs) 02:46, 10 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]


Jashlin,

My apologies for having been out of contact for three or more months. To make a long story short: new job. Mrs. Gail Sheckley has given me a photograph of Robert Sheckley with his daughters Molly and Robin. It's a much better picture than the picture up online now. Mrs. Sheckley understands that this photograph will become universal property, but I believe that she would like some kind of note that this picture was hers. Also, after a long discussion with Playboy, it seems that there is no contention about using the group Photo from the Playboy Book that has Robert Sheckley way in the back. It is not a great photo of Robert Sheckley. Please email me at johnhenley.henley@gmail.com and I can send you the photograph as an attachment. I'm still trying to get my hands on some of the OMNI magazines to see if I can glean any biographical information about Robert Sheckley from them - though I am not sure that I can. Thank you. John V. HenleyJohnVHenley (talk) 00:23, 11 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Collections vs compilations[edit]

Is there a good reason to have a list of "short story collections" followed by a list of "short story compilations"? I don't understand the difference, especially as the only Wikilinked "compilation" is described on its own page as a "collection". Can these lists be merged? Pastychomper (talk) 13:49, 18 October 2017 (UTC)[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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External links modified (January 2018)[edit]

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Popularity in Soviet Union[edit]

If it has any sense, I think, it should be mentioned that Robert Sheckley's stories and novels were extremely popular in USSR. He is still one of the most popular science fiction writers in post-soviet countries.178.68.90.2 (talk) 03:10, 22 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Do you know of a source for this? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 03:19, 22 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]

It is really hard to confirm taking into account the fact that USSR didn't publish any book sales statistics. But as a Soviet-born man I can say that it is true. He has been to former USSR republics many times (for example his final international trip was to Ukraine). The Russian version of the article mentions this fact too.176.59.11.0 (talk) 23:55, 17 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]