“Specialist,” Robert Sheckley, 1953

Specialist,” Robert Sheckley, 1953 – Aliens are specialized components of a ship (the Talker, the Eye, the Walls) in constant rapport through Cooperation.  When their Pusher (a squishy bi-ped) is killed in a photon storm, they go in search of a new Pusher.  On Earth, they discover a race of primitive Pushers who have never discovered their talent (and need) to push.  They’re also surprised to find that Cooperation is not the basis of Earth society and that the primitive Pushers there utilize tools made of metal. They bring a Pusher (a human male) onboard and try to introduce him to the pleasures of Cooperation.

Comments: See the introduction by Robert Conquest in The Mirror of Infinity: A Critics’ Anthology of Science FictionA more detailed review.

Author: Wikipedia: “Robert Sheckley (July 16, 1928 – December 9, 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.”


About jennre

Lifelong sf fan, first-time blogger
This entry was posted in 1946-1959, class/labor/"work", communication, function/utility/skeumorphs, the body. Bookmark the permalink.

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