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More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon

More Than Human (1953)

by Theodore Sturgeon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,352493,986 (3.88)87
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    The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham (Michael.Rimmer)
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    Triggers by Robert J. Sawyer (ShelfMonkey)
  4. 01
    The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (alaskayo)
    alaskayo: Well, More Than Human is the sci-fi Sound+Fury, so get to it, fans!
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    The Sandman: Endless Nights by Neil Gaiman (MyriadBooks)
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    A Small and Remarkable Life by Nick DiChario (ShelfMonkey)
    ShelfMonkey: DiChario is the only writer I've found who echoes Theodore Sturgeon will still remaining vigorous and fresh.
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    This Alien Shore by C. S. Friedman (MyriadBooks)

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» See also 87 mentions

English (47)  French (2)  All languages (49)
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Love love love it ( )
  Vulco1 | Oct 12, 2018 |
Another in the SF Masterworks series, this one was published in 1953. It consists of three interlinked stories and knowing this before reading will help with an understanding of the novel. The connection between the stories is the development of a gestalt consciousness. In the first story Lone, who professes to be a sort of village idiot gathers around him children with extraordinary gifts: telekinesis, telepathy, computer type brains who live in a cave in the woods and are pretty much sociopaths. They exist by meshing their gifts into one enhanced being. In the second story we meet Gerry who is seeking help from a psychiatrist. He had become part of Lone’s group and when Lone was accidentally killed had become the groups focal point. The third story introduces Hip Barrows who after serving in the war as an engineer ended up in an asylum with severe amnesia; with help from one of the gestalt groups previous members he pieces together his memory and his confrontation with Gerry.

Sturgeon writes in a style that is at times similar to a stream of consciousness, while introducing some arresting imagery. This serves to make the gestalt group appear strange and out of the ordinary, he links these passages with more regular story telling and so gives his readers some solid groundwork for the development of the novel. While admiring Sturgeons personal writing style and enjoying some of the imagery I was not always convinced that the novel held together. This maybe because the first story which introduces the reader to the gestalt group is written in the third person, while the second story is written in the first person by somebody who is a new character and his connection to the group is not immediately apparent. This literary style lifts the novel out of the run of the mill story telling of much of the nineteen fifties science fiction writing and I can understand why it is considered a ‘masterwork’ in the genre.

The jury is out on this one for me, perhaps it needs re-reading, because I am not sure that I grasped all of where Sturgeon was taking me. I felt that his attempt to wrap up the novel became a little pedestrian, which again was not in keeping with what had been written previously. A strange mixture and one that in my opinion is a little too ambitious and so three stars. ( )
1 vote baswood | Oct 8, 2018 |
I know this is meant to be a SF masterwork, but I just didn't really like it or enjoy it. I found it difficult to figure out what was going on a lot of the time, and it was not an easy read. The concept is interesting, but as soon as things started to make sense, another part of the book would start and you're back at square one. I also found my attention drifting at times, when the text started to waffle. ( )
  AngelaJMaher | Jun 18, 2018 |
Probably just not in the mood for this. Muddled, not interesting, endless for the number of words. May try again another time. Make up your own mind. ( )
  abycats | May 11, 2018 |
More Than Human is a sci-fi AND fantasy book for the reader who wants more than a space opera and less than a soap opera. This book breaks all the standard rules of storytelling - and it does it so well. Imagine a writers' show similar to the cooking show Chopped and writers were given the following basket of required ingredients when crafting their novel: 1) must contain three - and only three! - chapters, 2) chapter 1 must be told from the POV of an idiot, 3) chapter 2 must be told from the POV of a psychopath, 4) chapter 3 must be told from the POV of an amnesiac, 5) use lots of flashbacks, 6) create a monster and terrify the reader, 7) and make it cerebral and enjoyable and enlightening. Out of all the sf&f novels out there, this book would win. ( )
1 vote ReneEldaBard | May 10, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sturgeon, TheodoreAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bacon, C.W.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ellison, HarlanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goodfellow, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pepper, BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, Richard M.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rudnicki, StefanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Viskupic, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To His Gestaltitude Nicholas Samstag
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The idiot lived in a black and gray world, punctuated by the white lightning of hunger and the flickering of fear.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
The Fabulous Idiot - Baby is Three - Morality
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375703713, Paperback)

First published in 1953, this most celebrated of Sturgeon's works won the International Fantasy Award.

In this genre-bending novel, among the first to have launched science fiction into literature, a group of remarkable social outcasts band together for survival and discover that their combined powers render them superhuman. There's Lone, the simpleton who can hear other people's thoughts; Janie, who moves things without touching them; and the teleporting twins, who can travel ten feet or ten miles. There's Baby, who invented an antigravity engine while still in the cradle, and Gerry, who has everything it takes to run the world except for a conscience. Separately, they are talented freaks. Together, they may represent the next step in evolution -- or the final chapter in the history of the human race. As they struggle to find whether they are meant to help humanity or destroy it, Sturgeon explores questions of power and morality, individuality and belonging, with suspense, pathos, and a lyricism rarely seen in science fiction.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:15 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Lone, Janie, Baby, and Gerry, each possessed of an unusual talent, discover that together they are superhuman and must decide whether to use their powers for good or evil.

» see all 4 descriptions

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