Book Review: Immortality, Inc. (variant title: Time Killer), Robert Sheckley (1958)

Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations

(Uncredited cover for the 1959 edition)

3.75/5 (Good)

Nominated for the 1959 Hugo Award for Best Novel

Robert Sheckley’s first novel Immortality, Inc. (variant title: Time Killer) (1958) has a somewhat checkered publication history.  It was originally published by Avalon books under the title Immortality Delivered (1958) where it was abridged against Sheckley’s wishes.  Unless you are a collector of the Avalon publication series I recommend procuring the complete 1959 Bantam Book edition with its gorgeous (and alas, uncredited) cover.  Later editions were decked with rather unfortunate covers linking the book to the atrocious film Freejack (1992) (replete with Mick Jagger) which was supposedly influenced by Sheckley’s novel.

Thematically, Immortality, Inc concerns the societal ramifications of the important discovery that death is not the end of existence and nor does the Christian conception of the afterlife

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