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Starshine by Theodore Sturgeon

Starshine (edition 1972)

by Theodore Sturgeon, Starman cover art (Illustrator)

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245467,019 (3.88)4
Authors:Theodore Sturgeon
Other authors:Starman cover art (Illustrator)
Info:Pyramid Books pub 12658 (1972), Unknown Binding
Collections:Your library

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Starshine by Theodore Sturgeon



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Showing 4 of 4
A small but mostly enjoyable collection of short stories. Sure, they are a product of their time. Most aggravating is the hard-boiled sexism that today comes across as just plain clunky. But if the reader can look past that annoyance, there are a couple of pretty good stories here. I enjoyed 'The Pod and the Barrier' and 'How To Kill Aunty' the most. What elevated these two stories were the (predictably) twisty endings.

If written today, I'd probably give this 2 stars. Allowing for the mid-1960s publishing date, I am able to be more forgiving. ( )
  ScoLgo | Apr 7, 2017 |
This collection includes "The World Well Lost," a classic exploration of prejudicial attitudes about homosexuality from a "Golden Age" science fiction writer. I love Sturgeon. Even his minor stories which initially leave you asking "so what was that about?" often result later in you asking, "what WAS that about?" "The Pod and the Barrier" is another good one here. ( )
  bibleblaster | Jan 23, 2016 |
A nice little collection of Sturgeon short stories. It's a mixed bag - some feel particularly dated - but Sturgeon's writing makes them all worthwhile, and the final story, 'How to Kill Aunty,' is a great finisher, though not SF. ( )
  wjohnston | Jan 5, 2014 |
"Starshine" presents six of the best short stories from science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon, ranging from ghosts and mysterious creatures to flights through space and explorations of distant planets.

"Derm Fool": Dr. David Worth spends his days trying to find a cure the effects of a snake bite and winds up with a novel money making scheme. (At first, you think "ew", then it dawns on you how funny it actually is.)

"The Haunt": Bill is in love with Miriam Jensen, a haughty, matter-of-fact woman who won't stand for artifice. Plus, she treats Bill more like a lovesick puppy which convinces him to take her down a notch by tricking her into visiting a "haunted" house (which he and his friend Tommy rigged to scare the wits out of her). But something doesn't quite go as planned once they step inside the house. (Probably one of the best haunted house stories around.)

"Artnan Process": Two Earthman -- Slimmy Cob and Bell Bellew -- venture to the planet Artnan with the hope of discovering how the Artnans convert Uranium-238 into the more powerful Uranium-235 before the Martians do. The Martians, already on Artnan, decide to let Cob and Bellew do all the work and plan to steal the secret should they figure it out. Little do those Martians know what they're in for with cob and Bellew....

"The World Well Lost": The Lovebirds, as the alien pair came to be known, arrived on Earth from Dirbanu and wanted nothing more than to be with each other. The government of Dirbanu, however, deems the Lovebirds as criminals and wants them returned immediately. Hoping that the act of returning them will be seen as a way to begin friendly relations with Dirbanu, Earth sends the couple back with a team of Earthmen specially chosen to escort them because of their hardiness when it comes to long space travel: Rootes, the unflappable captain, and Grunty, so named because he hardly speaks. During the trip Grunty finds out he has surprisingly more in common with the Lovebirds than anyone suspects....

"The Pod and the Barrier": the Luanae have many resources to offer the Earth and would give them gladly if it weren't for the barrier they created hundreds of years ago to shield them from marauders and which now keeps them prisoners of their own planet. The Earthmen hurtling toward the barrier believe they have the answer to destroy the barrier once and for all, but could they be wrong? Does their unemployed and disagreeable Crew Girl (a.k.a. prostitute), who's along for the ride, have a better idea?

"How To Kill Aunty": Hubert's aunt takes much delight in watching him fail at everything. Even trying to kill her with one of those newer TV sets. She catches on almost immediately and decides to have some fun, helping him along, then rubbing his nose in it like the stupid man he is. But in the end, is Hubert really as dumb as she thinks?

I'm a fan of the short story, and these are some of the best. From darkly comic to scaring the pants of me to unique twists to the sci-fi genre (the Lovebirds in The World Well Lost turn out to be a same-sex couple, and the story mimics current views on homosexuality), Sturgeon's stories show what can be done in a small amount of words. ( )
1 vote ocgreg34 | Sep 23, 2009 |
Showing 4 of 4
From a 2010 perspective this is not vintage stuff. Things have moved on since these stories were written. They come from an era when the idea was all in SF and show no indication that the New Wave would ever happen (despite Wikipedia citing Sturgeon as a precursor.) I doubt they’d be published today. The stories are for the large part told, not revealed, and there are prodigious info dumps or lumps of exposition. The characterisation is crude, too.

Only the last in the collection, How To Kill Aunty, survives this treatment. That story is not SF but rather a mainstream tale of repression and revenge.

Starshine is a historical curiosity only, not one to be recommended as an introduction; either to the SF field or to Sturgeon’s work overall.
added by jackdeighton | editA Son Of The Rock, Jack Deighton

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Theodore Sturgeonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Elson, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaughan, JackCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
James, TerryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Willock, HarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Louis Feinberg and his lovely Anne in gratitude for his friendship and trust
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I am not generally a fussy man.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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