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More Sheckley

I got a nice comment on my Sheckley appreciation from Martin Olson, who has a wonderful and touching eulogy eulogy of the Sheckman in a thread on Making Light, which is a blog run by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. Marty also reminded me about the www.sheckley.com site, and I’m right now downloading a one-hour talk-show video from there.

Marty mentioned something I’d forgotten; I worked a Sheckley-like short-short story about one “Boba Shekk” into my transreal futurological novel Saucer Wisdom. It's about a somewhat shecked-out writer who makes two “ohmie” clones of himself so as to be able to satisfy the demands of a Hollywood contract. He spreads his personality as a virus that gives him a cold; that is, to transfer himself, he sneezes on two tank-grown clones. [Here’s my illo for the episode, and a quote. As I recall, I drew the illo first, then thought it slightly resembled Bob, and then decided to give my character a variant of his name.]

“Your personality is like a disease they're catching?” says Etsuko. “Your memories? What if you went out into a crowd?”

“It would be a beautiful thing, wouldn't it,” says Shekk, grinning and loudly blowing his nose. “Gesundheit, baby.”

The little story is dark and satirical — one of the clones convinces Boba that he was the clone. I do imagine Bob would have gotten a kick out of the homage. But I confess to not having checked it with him.

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