Robert Sheckley burst onto the SF publishing scene with the short story "Final Examination" in the May 1952 issue of Imagination. He followed that story with a torrent of inventive and carefully crafted short stories that cemented his early career. Though some of his novels and stories work were not as cohesive as his early work had promised, Sheckley remained an important and readable author to the end.
One early story was "Skulking Permit," appearing in Galaxy Science Fiction for December 1954. It describes a world in which some form of criminal element was deemed necessary, leading a man reluctantly employed to be the criminal. It was adapted for NBC Radio's X Minus 1 program on February 15, 1956. Directed by Daniel Sutter from a script by Earnest Kilnoy, it featured Dick Hamilton, Wendell Holmes, Joe DeSantis, Joseph Boland, Alan Hewitt, Bill Quinn, Mandel Kamer, and a 29-year-old Ruby Dee. Jack Costello was the announcer.