Saturday, December 27, 2008

More Than Human By Theodore Sturgeon

As previously mentioned here's one of several brand new reviews of classic science fiction novels that are either up on - or going up on - the always-great Dark Roasted Blend:

More Than Human (1953)
By Theodore Sturgeon

A true, and very well deserved, science fiction classic, More Than Human is brilliantly original and, as with pretty much everything Theodore Sturgeon did, astoundingly well-written.

To detail what I mean by "brilliantly original," More Than Human is a series of novellas exploring the birth, and growth, of the next stage in human evolution. In the first novella we’re introduced to Lone, “the idiot” who is actually an incredible genius; Baby, whose mind functions like a computer; Bonnie and Beanie, who can teleport; and a young telekinetic girl named Janie. That’s great and all, but the brilliance and originality of Sturgeon’s masterpiece is that each of these people are not the single next step but all parts of one super-entity, a gestalt. There’s a problem with this new, emergent, being, however: it needs a conscience.

Sturgeon’s genius is throughout More than Human: the characters are engaging, never heavy-handed or simplistic; the science fiction elements are experiential and totally real-feeling, never embarrassingly melodramatic; and the story has a real impact because Sturgeon embraces a true understanding of humanity with all it’s glory as well as flaws, and so the book is never feels cheap or lazy.

More Than Human is one of those books that should be read by everyone, science fiction fan or not: it’s a true work of art.

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