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The Masque of Mañana

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  55 ratings  ·  15 reviews
This volume contains the major short science fiction of Robert Sheckley.

Introduction by David G. Hartwell

Leech --
Demons --
Fool's mate --
Monsters --
Seventh victim --
Shape --
Untouched by human hands --
Something for nothing --
Accountant --
Thief in time --
Battle --
Milk run --
Ghost V --
Laxian key --
Skulking permit --
Squirrel cage --
Lifeboat mutiny --
Necessary thing --
Hardcover, 569 pages
Published August 1st 2005 by Nesfa Pr
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Of the 41 stories collected here, at least half represent the crème-de-la-crème of vintage SF satire of the 1950s and early '60s, boisterous philosophical hi-jinks with a scorpion strike of cynical glee.

Just be forewarned that potential new Sheckleyans will have to filter his dry, flaky, cliché-parched prose (the original markets for these tales were mostly drug-store pulps like Galaxy and Astounding, though five of these stories initially appeared in Playboy).

That being said, those of you
Riju Ganguly
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My entire feeling after reading this book (not once, but several times) can be summed up as: if only the recent lot (of authors) can dream of writing like this!. These stories are funny, poignant, serious, action-packed, tight, and under all circumstances highly readable. NESFA has done us, the lovers of science-fiction (the field has got really swamped by guys who are heavy on character-building & moods, at the expense of taut narratives and clean stories) a huge favour by bringing out ...more
John Bruni
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a great collection from a great SF writer! Only a couple of stinkers in this one, which is remarkable considering how many stories are in here. My favorites involve the AAA Ace guys, Arnold and Gregor. Someone please tell me that Sheckley did a series of novels about them. I could watch them in action all day long. But there were a lot of other interesting stories in here, too. If the STAR TREK writers weren't fans of Sheckley, I'll eat this book page by page. A lot of stuff in here was ...more
Mar 17, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Interesting mix of short stories in this. Some disturbing, some funny, some just odd, mostly good reads. This was a good book for reading over a long period of time, a few stories at a time, which is what I did.
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Classic SF humor.
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
only two science fiction story writers have been able to surprise me on a regular basis. The great Isaac Asimov was one. Scheckley is the other, His stories display exceptional cleverness in both setting up and resolving the central conflicts, all with a twist that left me consistently wowed.

Examples: In "Ghost V," two intrepid planet explorers have run up against monsters borne out of their childhood imaginations, finding the only way to deal with them is to revert back to their childhood
Dec 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
45 short stories by the brilliant satirist, famous in Russia but almost completely forgotten in his native country. Unfortunately, my favorite story of his, "Watchbird", is not there. I once stepped into a discussion in the Russophone blogosphere about whether the indigenous population of Kosovo are the Serbs or the Albanians. I noted that no anatomically modern humans are indigenous to Europe since we all came from Africa. The story "Sarkanger" makes it clear that wild cabbage predates both the ...more
Aug 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I've been a Sheckley fan since I was a kid getting into SF and I was thriled to be one of the people suggesting which of his short stories ought to be in this volume. This really is a collection of his very best, including -- to my knowledge -- the only place to have all of his "AAA Ace Interplanetary Decontamination" stories. If you love humorous SF and don't know Sheckley, this is the place to start.
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a great collection of sci-fi stories that take place in galaxies far, far away. Many are hilarious, and others force you to question humanity - "is this really what we're like?" I highly recommend it for everyone, but you should note that some of the stories seem a little repetitive (many of the characters are reoccurring), but this is easily fixed by reading one story, switching to something else for a day or two, and then going back to it.
Jul 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Wonderful, quirky collection of short stories. Got me hooked to Sheckley, so I am collecting his other books. Love his sense of humor which adds a nice twist to the endings of his short stories.
May 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
A nice collection of short stories by Robert Sheckley. However, they omitted my favorite Sheckley story of all time, "Hands Off" Still, most of the stories are awesome, so no complaints.
Feb 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed the book. I found many of the stories dated, but still a good read.
Sep 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
A collection of Sheckley's short stories. Excellent read.
Haralambi Markov
Sheckley in interested in a lot of themes. Some less interesting than others, but generally I thought the bulk of his work to be rather entertaining.
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Listened to "Sarkanger".
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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