Sheckley has a reputation in science fiction as a humorous writer. There's plenty to amuse in this 1971 collection, but many of the stories also center around issues of perception: What's real? What is truth? Can we change our perception or character? There's the hugely entertaining "Cordle To Onion To Carrot," in which a milquetoast turns aggressive and rude on overseas trips, to "The Mnemone," a bittersweet tale set in a repressive near-future with little culture or history, and a man who remembers snatches of literature and ideas can sell them to people on the street while avoiding the law. A restaurateur, waiter, and their single regular client take turns telling their story of the relationship's growth and collapse. In the title story, a mechanical appliance strives to meet ALL a human female's needs. A human explorer tries every way he can to outwit a simple robot who is barring him from re-entry to a base camp because he doesn't know the new password. A marvelous collection of stories.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus