The Status Civilization is not a SF aficionado must-read, but it's a fairly enjoyable romp through an interesting world. The starship is soon revealed to be a prisoner transport and he is abandoned on the prison world of Omega, home to a twisted society run by deported criminals. The Status Civilization was written in 1960, and occasionally the books age peeks through, a wrinkle here, a saggy bit there (computers in the future being programmed via punch cards was a LOL moment) but for the most part its pretty spry for its age, leading the reader on a pacy dash through the twisted world of Omega and beyond.
In The Status Civilization Robert Sheckley turns the idea of society and morality on its head in his world-building for the planet Omega. However, Sheckleys output tends to be (often brilliantly funny) short stories and The Status Civilization is one of his few novels. If you have never read Robert Sheckley before, I have very good news, many of his short stories, including this very novel being reviewed, are in the public domain, available for download as e-books (and some as audiobooks). While The Status Civilization is less humorous than a typical Robert Sheckley narrative it is still sharply satirical and made me laugh several times. At a mere 132 pages The Status Civilization moves at a brisk pace, Sheckley somehow manages to squeeze in plenty of plot and world building even within the modest page count. Characterization does fall by the wayside a little as Will Barrent generally just drives the narrative along with his adventures, and while the writing is very good, the dialogue tends to be rather stiff, reminding me of Philip K. Notes: Download The Status Civilization free e-book here, at Project Gutenberg Free audiobook version at Librivox. I read The Status Civilization as part of the The Robert Sheckley Megapack which I will review soon.
I planned to read a chapter each day as I perused the comics, news, and celebrity gossip - BUT it turned out to be a real page-turner (or mouse-clicker...or whatever you want to call an involving story read online...) I ended up sitting in my uncomfortable computer chair, back aching, long past the time I should have been doing something else. The prison turns out to be a strange village comprised of criminals.
Sheckley is an under rated SF author with some great ideas, although he reminds me of PKD with his odd sense of humor that I just don't get sometimes.
L'autore americano ci fa riflettere sul tema del rispetto della legge e per farlo utilizza la descrizione di questa società spietata presente sul pianeta Omega in cui si muore per qualunque cosa, anche per una sciocchezza (vedi il caso di Will che a un certo punto viene condannato dal giudice solo perché si stava comportando bene, non frequentando più il negozio dei sogni in cui venivano somministrate delle droghe). Il protagonista è praticamente perseguitato dalle società in cui vive: prima da quella terrestre (si scoprirà nel finale) e poi da quella aliena omegana. "Siamo noi che ci creiamo delle catene" sembra volerci dire l'autore in ogni campo (etico, sociale, politico, filosofico, religioso, etc.) e spesso siamo "incatenati" da certi sistemi senza neanche accorgercene, anche quando crediamo di essere liberi. Sheckley è il giusto esempio di autore di questo tipo, che oltre a tessere una buona trama (per carità anche con i suoi difetti, tipo la veloce scalata sociale del protagonista) ti dona una profondità incredibile di riflessioni sulla nostra natura umana.
3.75 Un roman peste care timpul a curs bine. Îns un roman care aduce a Philip K.
The author's version of a futuristic Earth and the reasons behind why it evolved so is fascinating and disturbing. The protagonist wakes up on a starship that's on its way to planet Omega where criminals of Earth are deported to.
Two vastly different social structures (on two different planets) were packed into this novella.
One of science fiction's great humorists, Sheckley was a prolific short story writer beginning in 1952 with titles including "Specialist", "Pilgrimage to Earth", "Warm", "The Prize of Peril", and "Seventh Victim", collected in volumes from Untouched by Human Hands (1954) to Is That What People Do?