Robert Sheckley (1928-2005) was an American science fiction writer, best known for his voluminous production of witty and cynical short stories in the 1950's and 60's. His story "The Prize of Peril" is particularly notable for its early prediction of the rise of reality television, and likely served as an inspiration for Stephen King's novel The Running Man. Sometimes collaborated with fellow authors such as Roger Zelazny.
The movie Freejack is in theory based on one of his books.
Tropes associated with Mr. Sheckley's stories:
- Black and Gray Morality
- Blood Sport / Deadly Game / Game Show Host: The Prize of Peril
- Conservation of Competence: The Minimum Man
- Death Seeker
- Do Androids Dream? / Moment Killer: Human Man's Burden
- Frickin' Laser Beams: The Gun Without a Bang
- Gainax Ending: Over and over and over. The worst offender is probably Down the Digestive Tract and Into the Cosmos with Mantra, Tantra, and Specklebang.
- Grand Theft Me: Bodyswap
- Mind Screw
- Mind Virus: There is a short story of his where everyone on Earth learns to levitate. If, however, they ever doubt their ability to levitate, they lose it. Additionally, if one person sees another who is unable to levitate, it would automatically plant doubt into their minds as well, in effect becoming a fast-spreading virus.
- Things That Go Bump in the Night / Shared Mass Hallucination: Ghost V
- Robotic Spouse: The Perfect Woman
- Robot War
- See-Thru Specs: Is THAT What People Do?
- Split At Birth / Literal Split Personality: The Alchemical Marriage of Alistair Crompton
- Tomato Surprise
- Utopia: A Ticket to Tranai
- What Is This Thing You Call Love?
- White Man's Burden: Parodied in the short story "Human Man's Burden", using robots instead of some non-white ethnicity.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Dimension Of Miracles