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Summary

Untouched by Human Hands consists of 13 stories of beings who dwell on the strange borders of reality. Some of these stories tell of people you know or of events that might happen - but haven't yet. Some will take you to the furthermost reaches of the sky and to planets whose names are unknown this side of Arcturus. And some - perhaps the richest and most memorable of these stories - open into the interior of strange minds to reveal the reflection of ourselves.

This classic collection consists of the following short stories:

  • "The Monsters"
  • "Cost of Living"
  • "The Altar"
  • "Shape"
  • "The Impacted Man"
  • "Untouched by Human Hands"
  • "The King's Wishes"
  • "Warm"
  • "The Demons"
  • "Specialist"
  • "Seventh Victim"
  • "Ritual"
  • "Beside Still Waters"

©2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc., and Skyboat Media, Inc. (P)1954 Robert Sheckley

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The Main Man in Sci-Fi

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend all Robert Sheckley's work to anyone interested in science fiction history. His work is very much of its time - 50's/60's - but retains much style and character despite the humour being rather dated now.
Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy owes everything to this man's work.

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Superb

Classic sci fi with a good touch of humour. excellently performed. Very enjoyable experience. Most certainly recommend.

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Profile Image for Niels J. Rasmussen
  • Niels J. Rasmussen
  • 11-03-15

Some Of Sheckley's Best Short Stories...

Any additional comments?

CONTENTS:
1 - "The Monsters"
2 - "Cost of Living"
3 - "The Altar"
4 - "Shape" a.k.a. "Keep Your Shape"
5 - "The Impacted Man"
6 - "Untouched by Human Hands"
7 - "The King's Wishes"
8 - "Warm"
9 - "The Demons"
10 - "Specialist"
11 - "Seventh Victim"
12 - "Ritual"
13 - "Beside Still Waters"

I have a soft spot in my heart for all of Robert Sheckley's stories, but as true as with anything, some are better than others.
The 3 best stories from this collection have got to be;

"Cost of Living" - a description of a future (not too unlike our own present) in which homeowners rack up so much debt to stay comfortable with all of life's latest products and gadgets that mathematically, it would be impossible to pay off before death. It's a shame this story wasn't as prophetic as it was. I would have preferred that this one stay under 'fiction'.

"Seventh Victim" - Sheckley's first short story that started his entire "Victim" trilogy of books. If you haven't read them, go check them out NOW! ("The 10th Victim" is the trilogy's first installment).

"Beside Still Waters" - A heartbreaking study in loneliness and isolation. A man who lives on a large asteroid builds himself a robot to be his only friend. I won't ruin the ending for you, but it's great.


9.59 / 10.00

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  • Elisabeth
  • 25-11-20

Loved it

This is a fantastic collection of sf stories. They have depth, they are humorous, and Sheckley's evocative writing drops the reader right into each unique vignette. There are a lot of first contact stories and stories from the alien pov of view, which was rather remarkable considering these stories were written in the 1950's. While there is nothing really wrong with Gabrielle de Cuir's narration, I just wasn't a fan of it. Only one story is narrated by Harlan Ellison, who was friends with Sheckley. (1953)
The Monsters, narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir. 3 stars. First contact from the aliens pov.
Cost of Living, narrated by Stefan Rudnicki. 5 stars. A prescient story about consumerism.
The Altar, narrated by Harlan Ellison. 2 stars.
Keep Your Shape, narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir. 5 stars, a story about freedom.
The Impacted Man, narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir and Stefan Rudnicki. 3 stars. A humorous story of a time paradox impinges upon New Yorkers trying to move out of their apartment.
Untouched by Human hands, narrated by Stefan Rudnicki. 2 stars. Silly and funny.
The King's Wishes, narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir. 1 star. This one is a miss.
Warm, narrated by Stefan Rudnicki. 2 stars. Anders listens to a voice in his head.
The Demons, narrated by Stefan Rudnicki. 5 stars. A clever twist on the 'bargain with the devil' trope.
Specialist, narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir. 5 stars. Looks at the interdependence of all living things.
Seventh Victim, narrated by Stefan Rudnicki. 5 stars. Classic, reminiscent of The Most Dangerous Game' and 'The Lottery".
Ritual, narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir. 3.5 stars. A humorous story about miscommunication.
Beside Still Waters, narrated by Stefan Rudnicki. 3 stars. At what price solitude.


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  • Sammie
  • 12-09-20

Not my cup of tea

I listened to the first 2½ stories but the gave up. Just not cup of tea despite the good reviews I read.

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  • Anita
  • 12-04-21

one of the greats!!

this is a Dandy little collection a great short stories written by a master storyteller. And in one case red buy a master storyteller. Harlan Ellison makes what is certainly one of his very last appearances to read a friend's story and to do it as beautiful and dynamically as ever he red flash perform to anything shut it down. With as much love and passion preceded by an introduction a kind words and highest recommendation, and two that I can do no better. every story is worth a listen. enjoy!

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  • yoni yacobi
  • 18-09-20

Remarkable classic sci-fi

I'm a big fan of classic science fiction.
For some reason, i don't remember Robert sheckley, and this book was an amazing way to get know his writing style.
the stories are very well written and have fabulous ideas.
I will definitely going to look for more books of sheckley.

one lust thing - his Jew origins are well noticed in is style.

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  • Syd
  • 11-12-19

Fantastic, thought provoking, and funny as Hell!

Sheckley works magic with short stories, its such a shame he is a largely ignored figure in the science fiction literature world, often overshadowed by his contemporaries. His long form novels are a little weak comparatively, but when it comes to short stories he really shines. This book is a collection of that, they're fantastic, and so creative and different from average science that getting into his small stories is really quite a blast. There are several different narrators (one of which is Harlan Ellison who gives a little speech about Sheckley I believe before the story he reads) and I enjoyed all of them immensely as they each gave every story such a unique touch.

If you are new to Sci-Fi and aren't ready to go into the intense dryness of Asimov or Lem but still want to try something new I HIGHLY recommend Sheckley as a jumping off point.

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  • jason
  • 22-07-21

great stories!

they held up well to time, one of the narrators is great, the other is good. I enjoyed these.

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  • danny nichols
  • 30-04-21

Alright for free

Some of the story's were good but I didn't find most of them very interesting

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  • i love this game so much you will once you start playing it!
  • 30-04-21

Just absolutely amazing.

I can’t believe this was written in 1954. It must have been revolutionary at the time and now I understand why Sheckley became such a star. Fabulous stories.

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  • Kalispell
  • 14-03-21

Annoying Narrators

Scheckley is one of my favorite sci-fi authors, so it was disappointing to be unable to listen to this book. 1. Vocal fry from first narrator, a sound which right up against one's ear is almost painful rather than just simply annoying. 2. When will narrators stop trying to be actors? I wish they would just *read* and not attempt to 'act', because most of the time the attempt fails miserably and ruins a good book.