Friday, August 15, 1997

Robert Sheckley

Robert Sheckley is a living icon. A national treasure. A man who began writing stories in the 1940’s and ‘50s and was one of the major creators of the genre of science fiction.

Bob was born in Brooklyn in 1928 and raised in New Jersey. He studied at NYU after serving in Korea. He began writing stories and selling them to science-fiction magazines after graduation, producing several hundred stories over the next several years. He became a bohemian writer on the Spanish island of Ibiza in the 1970s, haunting Paris and London as well. He returned to NYC ten years later as fiction editor of OMNI magazine.

Bob has written about sixty-five books to date, including twenty novels and nine collections of short stories. He often worked in collaboration with Roger Zelazny. He wrote fifteen scripts for the "Captain Video" television series, and sixty scripts for "Behind the Green Door," narrated by Basil Rathbone. He won the Jupiter Award for the best science fiction story of 1974. Was named Visiting Scholar, Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT in 1983. In 1991, he received the Daniel F. Gallun award for contributions to the genre of science-fiction.

Several of his books have been made into movies. His first novel, published in 1958 was Immortality, Inc. That became the movie, "Freejack," starring Mick Jagger, Renee Russo, Emilio Estevez, and Anthony Hopkins. He wrote the story for "The Tenth Victim," starring Marcello Matroianni and Ursula Andress. Outside of science-fiction, his most famous work is The Game of X.

Harlan Ellison wrote: "If the Marx Brothers had been literary rather than thespic fantasists….they would have been Robert Sheckley."

Robin Cody

ROBIN CODY grew up along the rivers surrounding Portland, his family moving frequently in the search for financial survival. Robin graduated from Yale, taught at the American School of Paris, in France, then returned to Oregon and became Dean of Admissions for Reed College. He decided, in 1984, to be a writer and penned many feature articles for Northwest Magazine of the Sunday Oregonian. One of those stories won the Western Writers of America’s Silver Spur Award for short non-fiction in 1986.

As a freelance technical writer, Robin joined the Bonneville Power Administration’s Writer’s Pool. One assignment was to write a children’s booklet explaining the Columbia River. The research for that book encouraged Robin to spend a summer solo canoeing from the mouth of the Columbia to the Ocean. A trip that took 82 days. Voyage of A Summer Sun, the book written as a result of that trip, won him an Oregon Book Award.

Voyage of A Summer Sun is historical, giving the geological history of the Columbia. Yet it’s personal, really him, Robin Cody, paddling down and looking through his own particular eyes. He declares he wasn’t an environmentalist when he began his trip and he wasn’t one when he finished it. But he comments on how the dams destroyed the area’s Indians, wild fish runs, and the small towns which were flooded when the water backed up.

Robin’s first book, Ricochet River, a novel, was published by Knopf in 1992.