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Comment: Title: Dimension of Miracles, Publisher: Littlehampton Book Services Ltd, Binding: Hardcover, 1969. 190 pages. No dust jacket. This is an ex-Library book. Red boards with yellow dust jacket. Front hinge is cracked exposing the binding netting but text block still firm. Cream pages with moderate tanning and foxing to text block edge and endpapers. Ex Library book with usual stamps and slips on the pastedown and endpapers. Dust jacket is taped to boards, but boards appear bright with light edge wear beneath it. Light lean to the spine. Dust jacket is lightly tanned with light edge wear underneath its protective plastic cover. The dust jacket is unclipped. Check our feedback, all books quality controlled and dispatched within 24 hours of order.
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Dimension of Miracles ([Gollancz SF]) Hardcover – February, 1969

4.1 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Robert Sheckley:

''Sheckley has long been considered one of the genre's leading humorists.'' --New York Times Book Review

''Mr. Sheckley--as might be expected of a writer who can wring praise from as diverse a group of peers as Kingsley Amis, Harlan Ellison, John le Carre, and J. G. Ballard--has an engagingly madcap manner all his own.'' --Wall Street Journal --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

ROBERT SHECKLEY (1928-2005) was a Hugo-and Nebula-nominated American author. First published in the science fiction magazines of the 1950s, his numerous, quick-witted stories and novels were famously unpredictable, absurdist, and broadly comical. In 2001 he was given the Author Emeritus honor by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: [Gollancz SF]
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Littlehampton Book Services Ltd (February 1969)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575001992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575001992
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,800,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Martin Olson on May 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the wittiest, craziest, most profound books I have ever read. It's a cosmic mind-youknowwhat with a strange bittersweet ending. I have had hilarious times hearing friends discuss Sheckley's concepts in DIMENSION, in his other two brilliant books MINDSWAP and JOURNEY OF JONES, and in his lean-and-mean short stories. Rudy Rucker (before he wrote his weirdly mean-spirited Saucer book), told me Mindswap was one of the books that inspired him to write sf. Dimension was the one that inspired me. If you like James Branch Cabell, Vonnegut, Bradbury at his tightest, Ambrose Bierce at his loopiest, and Chesterton at his craziest and most profound, if any of this means anything to you, you will LOVE this brilliant satire about the creation of earth, the alternative world of dinosaurs, the most hellish city ever built, why God's incompetence is his greatest quality, and why, ultimately, You Can't Go Home Again. This, my friends, is one of the great satirical fantasies of science fiction.
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Format: Hardcover
Carmody is an ordinary, unremarkable Earthman. One day he discovers that there is a galaxy wide civilisation, unknown to humans and he has won a prize in the galactic lottery. He is taken away from the Earth and given his prize which turns out to be a taking but opinionated source of advice. Armed only with his prize, he sets out on a hilarious journey across the galaxy. On the way, he meets many strange people including the man responsible for building the planet Earth in the first place.
The prize's advice is not always much use. When Carmody is confronted by a Tyrannosaurus Rex, the prize can only suggest turning into a plant or singing hymns!
The book races along at a frantic pace. Every couple of pages brings a new situation and a lot of humour. Sheckley certainly knows how to keep his readers interested.
If you think that this sounds a lot like "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams, you are right but this book was written a decade earlier and it is funnier.
Sheckley has written many other novels and short stories and they are all very funny indeed so, if you enjoy this book, you will find a lot more to enjoy there.
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Format: Hardcover
Mr. Carmody is just your average working American who finds one afernoon that he's won the Galactic Sweepstakes by an Alien who escorts him to Galactic Central to collect his prize. Once there he is faced with the task of finding his own way back to Earth. Where earth is, isn't the only problem there is also "when" and "which" in a universe that contains an infinite variety. Enroute, Carmody must deal with beings ranging from the omnipotent to the incompetent with hilarious yet thought provoking results. Sheckley's subject matter is somewhere between "Alice in Wonderland" and "The HitchHicker's Guide to the Galaxy". His writing is not quite as good as Carol but better than Adams. Both Lewis Carol and Robert Sheckly try to say something important (even if it is obscure) while Douglas Adams is mostly irreverent comments on the absurdities of life. Both light and deep, and certainly funny, "Dimension of Miracles" is a very good read.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book. I first read it in 1968, and it presaged brand labels on the outside of clothing, a media culture, and a number of other things. And it's really funny. My copy is falling apart, I've loaned it out so many times. Thus far, each person who has read it has loved it. I'm happy to be able to obtain another copy.
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Format: Hardcover
As can be expected from a silly science fiction book, there aren't laughs from cover to cover. More realistically, the first quarter is pretty good producing a good amount of laughs and head shaking. The half has some giggles but nothing more. At the end, it's an odd smile and an occasional shrug. Needless to say, the steam of hilarity is quickly dissipated in the steep chimney of story telling... but it was still easy enough and stomachable enough to finish off in one morning.

Like other silly science fiction books (Norstilia, Arrive at Easterwine, etc.), a major crutch the author uses is spontaneity, which sometimes manifests as just ridiculous randomness. Sheckley, however, keeps a close tab on his randomness and the silliness doesn't stray too far into juvenile absurdity. Puns are another unfortunate staple of what some authors consider to be funny novels. Again, Sheckley is self-disciplined only allowing one glaring pun on the words `cards' and `way'.

Aside from being a silly novel, it feels like Sheckley put lot of his personal credo in the pages. It's really quite an impressive list, however blatant some of it is: free will/human error, creation/death, conceptions/reality and touches on religious hypocrisy, law of diminishing returns and law of predation. Further, Sheckley has some interesting and thoughtful ideas about the differentiating between sanity and insanity, the boredom an omniscient being would experience and how waste could be a memorial to our needs.

Far from being one of the worst humorous science fiction stories out there (I think the short story `E van S' by Piers Anthony takes THAT prize), Dimension of Miracles is a thoughtful exposé of an intelligent man's personal philosophy, a comical feature of a witty man's humor and a keen unfolding done by the hand of one man's literary experience. Four stars is a little high for this but I'll round it up from 3.5.
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