A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
I can’t offer a permanent escape from the earth yet; not one that doesn’t involve death. Perhaps I never will be able to. For now, all I can offer you is a vacation, a change, a taste of another world and a look at your own desires. You know my fee.
I was genuinely surprised to learn that Robert Sheckley never wrote an episode of The Twilight Zone. He seems a perfect fit—deceptively simple plots, clever twists, and one big idea laid out in every story.
“Store of the Worlds” is a great example. It’s a trim seven page story about a man who is trying to escape his reality, to discover a kind of perfect world for himself. Right away you know the twist is coming. I mean, has any character not been undone by that kind of ambition in a story? Ever? But in the end Sheckley outsmarts you anyway, and you’re left wanting to start over from the beginning just to watch the author at work again.
Stop by our SF section for a physical copy of our Sheckley collection, including this tale. Some of his other stories are copyright free and available from Project Gutenberg here.
Review by Matthew