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More Than Human Paperback – December 29, 1998
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A masterpiece of provocative storytelling. --New York Herald Tribune
The corpus of science fiction written by Theodore Sturgeon is the single most important body of science fiction written by an American to date. -- Samuel R. Delany
He (Sturgeon) brought things to science fiction that had never been there before: eloquence, passion, a love of life, and a fiery poetry that found its natural expression in prose. --Robert Silverberg --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
More Than Human is such a unique novel that some individuals may not consider it science fiction at all; the science wrapped into these pages is of the most abstract and philosophical sort, centering on the question of the future evolution of the human race. The novel is broken up into three very distinct sections, each division marked by a shift in both emphasis and viewpoint. Initially, it can be a little difficult to get your bearings after one of these jumps, but all of the pieces of this giant puzzle come together in the end; I would qualify this by saying that the ultimate resolution happens in the reader's mind and is not necessarily spelled out by the author on the final page. The novel features some rather surprising plot twists along the way, and sometimes the reader may think Sturgeon has wandered far off the beaten track.Read more ›
Sturgeon was a thinker with a tremendous imagination. I caught myself grinning often at several of his lines, at how he avoided clichés and gave fresh ideas to simple scenes and concepts. In the first section, "The Idiot," I was reminded of the opening of Faulkner's `The Sound and the Fury.' (Yes, comparing Sturgeon to Faulkner is NOT a stretch!) The way Sturgeon gets inside Lone's head and lives there is amazing. Wonderful writing that still reads with freshness 50 years later.
Six misfit outcasts, each with a unique gift, form a new step in man's evolution, a gestalt of unbelievable power. I won't go into the social, political, and moral implications of such an idea (Read the book), but the concept by itself is interesting. What Sturgeon does with it is fascinating.
I have not researched Sturgeon very much, but from what I have gathered, he was somewhat of a rogue who loved to examine the dark side of the human psyche. This and his inability to be confined to a nice neat label come across in the writing to present a story that is exciting, awe-inspiring, and most important, honest.
If you've only read a few sf writers from the 50's (such as Asimov, Clarke, Bradbury, Bester, Simak, etc.), expand your horizons with Sturgeon. You won't be sorry.
We are first introduced to Lone, an intellectually incapacitated young man with the ability to hypnotize telepathically. After witnessing a murder and escaping death himself, he lives untamed in the forest, gathering other social outcasts who gravitate toward his cave. There's Janie, with a seemingly unlimited faculty for telekinesis; Bonnie and Beanie, two toddlers who have learned how to teleport themselves; and Baby, a mute whose body is stunted but whose brain is structured like computer. (Sturgeon's insistence on incorporating different races and both sexes as equal partners living together as a new evolutionary species was, in 1953, years ahead of its time.)
This history of this team--the newly evolved Gestalt species--is recounted in three extraordinarily different stories. Even the prose style varies: the opening section has the feel of a Gothic horror story combined with a Jack London tale; the middle is written entirely as teasing banter between a new member of the Gestalt squad and his shrink; and the final chapter could be a Depression-era tale by Steinbeck (or, more precisely, an episode of HBO's "Carnivale").
The book's shortcoming--and it's not insignificant--is Sturgeon's tendency to hammer home the import of his stories. Each of the three endings abandons subtleness and representation for bluntness and pontification; it sometimes seems that the author presents each resolution in the same manner he would reveal a mathematical proof.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very different style of writing. Kept my interest all the way through.Published 23 hours ago by Dreamer
A sci-fi classic, this story gathers society "misfits" and creates new methods of relating to/with others. Read morePublished 9 days ago by ALC
Just as timeless as Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land with interesting characters, a well developed plot and numerous twists and turns that will keep you reading.Published 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
I read this as a young man in the early 50s and again now as I approach 80 . . . and tears streamed down my cheeks--I don't know exactly why--at the scene in which Gerry is... Read morePublished 18 days ago by Minot Tillson
Science fiction regarding the evolution on the human. The next possible step of the psyche of man. Interesting and challenging.Published 19 days ago by Janice Lundeen
I have always been a science fiction reader. In the 60's, Sturgeon, Heinlein, Asimov, Bradbury were avidly read by me.
It is great to be reading all them and others again. Read more
Yesterday, I read "More Than Human". Published in 1953, and always a staple of Sturgeon fans, it is about six misfit humans who discover that they are more together and... Read morePublished 20 days ago by Nancy Lorieau
Difficult to write a review that doesn't have unforgivable spoilers. Not as straightforward as Heinlein, more adult than Asimov (in the sense that Mad Magazine was more adult than... Read morePublished 21 days ago by Raczek's Roughnecks