Robert Sheckley

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Robert Sheckley in the ’50s

Robert Sheckley was a very prolific writer of comical or absurdist writings. He also had a very interesting and varied working life and career as well as marrying no less than five times. He is credited with predicting the rise of reality TV. Nominated for Hugo and Nebula awards, Sheckley was named Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 2001. Proof of the Pudding provides a nice overview of Sheckley slightly satiric style of writing. Given how prolific he was, I full anticipate adding more of his work to future collections of Incredible Science Fiction: Amazing Tales from the ’50s and Beyond.

Proof of the Pudding

When I was editing Incredible Science Fiction: Amazing Tales from the 50’s and Beyond Volume Two together, I thought it would be nice to switch tone a little bit after the aeon spacing gravitas of Wainer. In Proof of the Pudding by Robert Sheckley we get an interesting, though somewhat whimsical spin on the post-apocalyptic world setting. The protagonist of the story thinks he is the last man on earth and has somehow acquired godlike powers to create or destroy anything he wants or can imagine. But what happens when his subconscious mind starts using these powers? It’s a fun romp with only a little bit of contemporary sexism baked into the mix.

An Illustration from the Magazine Publication of Proof of the Pudding

Here’s a five minute sample of my narration of the Audible Version of the story:

Proof of the Pudding by Robert Sheckly 5 minute Sample Narration by Andrew G Gibson

Proof of the Pudding is the eighth story in Incredible Science Fiction: Amazing Tales from the ’50s and Beyond Volume 2. The full-length version of the story is 15 minutes and 38 seconds long.