I know there is good 60s SF out there, but the good thing about working through my backlog of old SF I’ve been lugging around is the relief that I can throw this out and never read it again. Shards of Space is a short story collection by Robert Sheckley with some bad stories, some hack work, two decent stories, and a bunch of terrible opinions about eugenics and women. I should probably only give it one star, but there are two okay stories in here and it was readable overall, so I gave it a bonus star. It’s really astonishing and depressing how rote and obvious these guys were with their gross and sexist portrayals of women. The only women in these stories are: an evil wife who deserves to be killed; a lesbian stereotype who is going to be killed because she’s keeping women from a man, and some women who are going to be raped. That’s it. The men are always the sympathetic point of view characters who the world revolves around. And he doesn’t even do anything interesting or have an appealing prose style, he’s a competent writer churning out hack work.
Also, he has two stories in here that are basically pro-eugenics and I hated those. In one of them, the main character inserts the souls of everyone on earth into the bodies of “defectives” on another planet as if that’s a good thing to do. It really disgusted me how he didn’t even consider the worth and souls of those people. And this was clearly a pattern in his work, along with all the women being objects either to rape or kill. All in all, not recommended. I don’t want to read his work again.