Dimension of Miracles (Dimension of Miracles #1)
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Dimension of Miracles (Dimension of Miracles #1)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  648 ratings  ·  103 reviews
"The funniest science fiction novel ever written... it ranks among the half-dozen best novels the field has produced."
- Mike Resnick in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
Paperback, 214 pages
Published May 1st 1979 by Ace (first published 1968)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,267)
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Becky
I am a big fan of both The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Neil Gaiman, so when I saw that this was one of Neil's recommended/produced audiobooks, and that it was very similar to HHGTTG (though it came first), I decided to give it a listen.

And it was... interesting. It was quirky and different, and some parts of it had me giggling, but I didn't like it nearly as much as I'd hoped to. I thought about this book for a full day before writing this review, trying to figure out what I thought ab...more
Manny
This book is similar to the Hitchhiker's Guide series in construction, and nearly as good, but hardly anyone has heard of it. If you're an HHTG fan who's still in withdrawal following Douglas Adams's untimely departure, consider reading some Sheckley. Mindswap and the short story collections are equally brilliant.

Dimension of Miracles contains a brilliant and haunting idea which I often think about. (view spoiler)...more
Mike
I picked this up from Audible when I had some cash on my account that was about to expire. It caught my attention, because it was one of the Neil Gaiman Presents selections. I really like Gaiman's work and I figured I would probably also like a book that he recommends. I was right.

Dimension of Miracles was amusing, witty, and well-written. In many ways, it was like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, only it came first. It begins when Tom Carmody is whisked away from his New York apartment upon ac...more
Andy
I had never heard of this (seemingly not alone there), yet have read and enjoyed Hitchhiker's with which there are many similarities (though they are quite different in execution). I came to it through Neil Gaiman and Audible and in that sense, Neil's idea to bring books he loves to a wider audience is working.

The Book:
I enjoyed the story, the absurdity and scenarios and frequently found a wry smile on my face. Rarely a laugh though; maybe a chuckle once in a while. It's enjoyable and brief.

I th...more
Jamie Bradway
Dimension of Miracles is a bit fun, often very absurd, but not particularly engaging. For all the similarities, it is surprising that Douglas Adams never read this prior to writing the Hitchhiker's Guide. It even has one of the problems of Adams' series - that the main character is almost entirely acted upon, an unwitting bystander in his own story, rarely the actor. Adams overcame this by making Arthur Dent funnier and surrounding him with outlandish characters and situations. Sheckley provides...more
Rick Caster
Carmody has a visitor appear and award him a prize.... The Galactic Prize, that is. Things get stranger with every turn of the page. My favorite science-fiction writer from my youth and this is my favorite of his books. I think he was the inspiration for Vonnegut's Kilgore Trout and Douglas Adam's acknowledged this short novel as the blueprint for the Hitchhikers Guide books.
Will

This book was hilarious! Sort of Hitchhiker's Guide a la 1970's. Good read. I recomend that you don't eat or drink while reading this book; if you did, you would have an excellent chance of choking. Yes. You'll laugh that much.
Chip
I've read most of Sheckley's books and short story collections and I believe that the highest density of Sheckley style humor lies between these covers. Maybe onmy rivaled by the his great parable "Journey Beyond Tomorrow".
DoctorM
I read this long before I ever heard of Douglas Adams, and I find Sheckley to be funnier--- less self-conscious or precious, a bit edgier. This must be long out of print, but it's worth finding. Utterly hilarious.
Christine
Found this one thanks to the Neil Gaiman Presents audiobook series. Think Hitchhiker's Guide, but American and written in '68. Also, the audio version is narrated by the deranged millionaire John Hodgman. :)
Ian
Frequently cited as one of the inspirations behind Douglas Adams' HITCHHIKER series, it pales a bit in comparison, but is nonetheless one of the funniest SF novels ever written.
Mark
Computers are infallible. When they make a mistake, it is in fact correct, as the design included the probability of the error, and it performed as designed. Perfect.
Alan
Aug 06, 2011 Alan added it
I still remember the opening, when he receives "Greetings". Travel across the universe with no guarantee you will ever get back. Hilarious stuff.
Vladimir Toss
Oct 18, 2008 Vladimir Toss rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: sci-fi
Sheckley is so deeply wise and ironic that sometimes I think that he is the only one human-being among popular sci-fi writers
Larry
Wonderful science fiction. If you like the genre please read this.
Bryan
Nov 13, 2011 Bryan marked it as to-read-4-would-like-to
70's era book which was an inspiration for HHGTG...
Chris
I just finished reading Dimension of Miracles by Robert Sheckley as part of the Neil Gaiman Presents audio book series and as narrated by John Hodgman. It was a wonderfully rich and rewarding experience. The book was specially selected by Neil Gaiman for his special Neil Gaiman Presents series featured on Audible, the Amazon owned audio book service to which I subscribe. As such, Neil selects his favourite books to share with those fans who choose to download the audio files in his series. As Ne...more
Bruce
A friend once chastised me for being a fan of Douglas Adam's writing because he openly admitted that he "stole" his writing style fom Robert Scheckley. To that end, when he found this copy in a used book store, he sent it to me. I've finished reading it and I can indeed see how Mr. Adams might owe Scheckley for the style, but content wise there's no comparisons.

This book is the story of Thmas Carmody who one day learns that he's won a glactic sweepstakes but has to claim his prize himself. The...more
Doug
This pre-Hitchhiker's Guide sci-fi romp was a shot in the dark for me, and I'm glad I found it. It's a bit dated and sixties-ish, but that's no problem. It's very clever in its way of tackling big "meaning of life" questions through conversations with gods (and their shoddy contractors), and it makes funny comments about art, hipsters, fashion, architecture, self-absorption, bureaucracy, and much more. But the premise is what's most amusing: A guy winning the "galactic lottery" wrongly and by ac...more
Krissy
I can definitely see where Douglas Adams got the the inspiration for the Hitchhiker's "trilogy," and there are some similarities, but I still enjoyed Adams much more than Sheckley, despite what Adams himself may think. There were quite a few situations in DoM that I found amusing, but I am fairly certain I did not laugh out loud or physically smile while reading the book, whereas I did both when reading HGttG. Also although both are sci fi books that involve using your suspension of disbelief, I...more
La Stamberga dei Lettori
Un libro veramente sorprendente. L'originale venne pubblicato nel 1968, mentre la versione italiana nella collana Urania venne proposta per la prima volta l'anno successivo (n. 530) e ristampata nella collana Classici fantascienza nel 1981. Il nome di Robert Sheckley è da tempo noto ai cultori della fantascienza, ma quasi sconosciuto al grande pubblico. Proprio quest'anno la casa editrice Nottetempo ha proposto La settima vittima, un'antologia che ripropone molti racconti presenti nel n. 252 di...more
Gil
This was a book I really wanted to enjoy. I mean, a comic science-fiction romp through the galaxy that kept getting uniformly compared to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for its absurd humor? I dove right in.

First things first: this book is really not too much like Hitchhiker's. Its plot has a few parallels here and there, and it has the same kind of absurd spirit to its humor. But Dimension of Miracles takes itself extremely seriously. Whereas Hitchhiker's might sprinkle a bit of playful philo...more
Doug Henderson
Wow!

As a follower of Douglas Adams I can't believe I never knew about this book. Thanks to Neil Gaiman for digging it up.

I first experienced the Hitchhikers Guide by listening to the radio series, so it only seems fitting that I have listened to the audiobook of Dimension of Miracles before getting into its quieter cousin.

Despite being written in the late 60's this book has not aged. I was surprised how relevant most of the ideas and concepts still are.

There were times near the end of this book...more
Irena
Absolutely brilliant. Tour de force of masterful absurdity, the treasury of paradoxes, the bliss of irony and humor. I first read Dimension of Miracles some 30 years ago as a teenager and enjoyed it back then, but now I am totally infatuated with it's sheer brilliance. It was written before The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and Douglas Adams claimed he read it only after he wrote the Guide, but the similarity of tone and mood is amazing. This may be a dangerous thing to say, but I think that...more
Mario Liesens
Everybody keeps comparing Sheckley with Douglas Adams, but actually it should be the other way around as 'Dimensions of Miracles' was published years prior to 'Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy'.
There are some similarities no one can deny. For example, when Maudsley, the architect of the Earth, enters the scene it sure makes a bell ring(Big Ben size).

There's not that much action going on here, it's mostly talking/philosophy. Some dislike that, but i actually enjoy the thoughts on religion etc. Whe...more
Andrew
Apr 01, 2014 Andrew rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Andrew by: James
Shelves: fiction
The first half of this book has so much in common with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy that it makes me a bit suspicious ol' Dougie Adams. The biggest difference is DoM is unquestionably American in both attitude and satire. Deserves to be read as much as that other, much more celebrated series.
Greg R
An excellent story from one of the Grandmasters of SciFi. Sheckley explores a man's psyche in this one and how the character deals with the challenges presented to him. Strange challenges. I enjoyed it very much and think that the points made in it are very much valid in today's world, 50 years after it was written.
Doug
People accused Douglas Adams of ripping off this book for Hitchhikers. I don't think he did, but I think this is a wonderful quick-read comedy sci-fi story, back before comedy sci-fi was a genre. Some of it is dated. Some of it is prescient. (There's a world where people actually have clothes with the logo on the OUTSIDE so people can see what brand it is! Isn't that crazy?) You will finish it in one sitting, and won't stop smiling. This was my favorite book for decades. It is still my favorite...more
Artur
A book that is very similar to the 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series by Douglas Adams, but actually predates it. It follows Tom Carmody, an ordinary American, who wins a prize in the Intergalactic Sweepstakes, goes to collect it and then stumbles on a misadventure after misadvnenture while trying to find his way back home. The book is funny, absurd, satiric. And talky – very often the characters end up in a philosophical debate on the nature of reality, god, religion, but it's never bori...more
Shawn Misener
This book is a riot. It's pure joy if you crave something so surreal, so absurd, and so funny that you'll begin to wonder if you live on the right Earth at the right time. That being said, the author also manages to playfully tackle some pretty heavy SF topics in between the craziness: identity, consciousness, reality, technology, the nature of the godhead... You get the picture. There are civilized and compassionate talking dinosaurs, insecure Gods with whiny voices, shape shifting prizes from...more
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One of science fiction's great humorists, Sheckley was a prolific short story writer beginning in 1952 with titles including "Specialist", "Pilgrimage to Earth", "Warm", "The Prize of Peril", and "Seventh Victim", collected in volumes from Untouched by Human Hands (1954) to Is That What People Do? (1984) and a five-volume set of Collected Stories (1991). His first novel, Immortality, Inc. (1958),...more
More about Robert Sheckley...
Immortality, Inc. The Status Civilization Mindswap Untouched By Human Hands The 10th Victim

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“Wherever you go in the galaxy, you can find a food business, a house-building business, a war business, a peace business, a governing business, and so forth. And, of course, a God business, which is called 'religion,' and which is a particularly reprehensible line of endeavor. ” 10 likes
“It's the deep, fundamental bedrock of hypocrisy upon which religion is founded. Consider: no creature can be said to worship if it does not possess free will. Free will, however, is FREE. And just by virtue of being free, is intractable and incalculable, a truly Godlike gift, the faculty that makes a state of freedom possible. To exist in a state of freedom is a wild, strange thing, and was clearly intended as such. But what to the religions do with this? They say, "Very well, you possess free will; but now you must use your free will to enslave yourself to God and to us." The effrontery of it! God, who would not coerce a fly, is painted as a supreme slavemaster! In the fact of this, any creature with spirit must rebel, must serve God entirely of his own will and volition, or must not serve him at all, thus remaining true to himself and to the faculties God has given him.” 1 likes
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