Robert Sheckley, a premier writer of science fiction died on 12/09/05, in Poughkeepsie, from complications of a brain aneurysm.
Author of more than 40 science fiction, fantasy and "adventure/action" novels, over 400 stories/novelettes and screenplays (including 15 episodes of the early 1950's television series "Captain Video" ) - the exact count of short stories is a problem -- he was often published under a pseudonym so that his byline would not appear multiple times in the same issue of a magazine.
Adaptations of Sheckley's stories to movie form have included the 10th Victim (based on "The Seventh Victim"),Freejack (based on "Immortality, Inc"), Le Prix du Danger (based on "The Prize of Peril"), Condorman (based on "The Game of X"), The Utilizer (based on "Something for Nothing")and Escape from Hell Island.
Sheckley's work was known for his biting humor and all-too-jaundiced view of the human condition, and is considered by many to be a trailblazer for the acceptance of humor in SF, as shown in the works of authors such as Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, as well as being a master of the short form in the SF/F genre.
I never met him, except through his writings, but I am told he was a much gentler soul than his works would lead. Reportedly his health has been frail for some time.
The NY Times obit is here:
"Robert Sheckley, 77, Writer of Satirical Science Fiction, Is Dead".
The Bob Sheckley web site is at www.sheckley.com