THE LIFE EXPECTANCY OF A NEW ARRIVAL ON OMEGA AVERAGED THREE EARTH YEARS Will Barrent could choose--exile on a nightmare planet, or life under the tyranny that had taken over Earth! Barrent had been tried, convicted, and memory-washed on Earth - an Earth strangely altered and stratified by fear of the radical and non-conformist. Now he was serving his sentence on Omega - a prison planet walled by a ring of hovering guard-ships from which there was no escape. Omega was a world of horror, a savage, ruthless way of life. But it was only a momentary ordeal, a prelude to a return to Earth and the subtle terrors of its own status civilization. The Status Civilization first appeared under the title Omega in Amazing Science Fiction Stories. Robert Sheckley was a Hugo- and Nebula-nominated author. His stories first appeared in science fiction magazines of the 1950s.His quick-witted stories and novels were famously unpredictable, absurdist and broadly comical. Sheckley was given the Author Emeritus honor by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 2001.