Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Thursday, February 23, 2017


X Minus One was NBC radio's revival of its previous program Dimension X (1950-1951) and ran from April 24, 1955 to January 9, 1958 for a total of 126 episodes, including 11 re-broadcasts.  A 127th episode was produced and aired in 1973 in an attempt to spark interest in another revival.  Many of the episodes aired were based on short stories by some of science fiction's most noted contemporary writers -- Ray Bradbury, Clifford D. Simak, Philip K. Dick, Robert A Heinlein, Murray Leinster, Frederik Pohl,  Isaac Asimov, Theodore Sturgeon, among many others.

Robert Sheckley's "Skulking Permit" was first published in Galaxy Science Fiction, December 1954, and has since been reprinted 29 times -- including translations in French, German, Dutch, and Italian.  A far-flung human outpost is due to have a period inspection from the Terran Empire.  The outpost is determined to show it has a sufficiently advanced civilization and it decides that such a civilization must have every type of caste, including criminals.  But the colony does not have any criminals, so it hires one from its population.  How does a man act like a criminal when he has no idea how to do it?

Robert Sheckley (1928-2005) was a versatile and accomplished satirist who had been nominated for both the Hugo and the Nebula Award.  A former fiction editor of OMNI, Sheckley was also named an Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.  Films based on his works include The Tenth Victim, Freejack, and Disney's Condorman.

"Skulking Permit" was first aired on February 2, 1956 and was re-broadcast on July 4, 1957.


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