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More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon
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More Than Human (1953)

by Theodore Sturgeon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,225452,898 (3.9)84
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» See also 84 mentions

English (42)  French (2)  Japanese (1)  All (45)
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
SF
  stevholt | Nov 19, 2017 |
Theodore Sturgeon's "More Than Human" is one of the strangest and, at the same time, most fascinating novels (or group of three connected novellas) that you will read. It is written in beautiful, otherworldly prose that sets it apart in time and space and begins as if it were a narration of an ancient legend. It jumps a bit between plot lines and the reader may have to read some parts, especially in the beginning, more than once. What is amazing about it is that it was written in 1953 and it explored concepts well ahead of its time such as gestalt or group consciousness, communal living, outcasts banding together, people feeling alone because they were different even when the differences were things ordinary people could not do. It is a story of power and absolute power and of loneliness and disconnectedness. Its about adolescent rebellion.

Sturgeon wrote science fiction, but I am not sure if you could consider this to be of that genre. Despite the telekinesis, the mind reading, the hypnotic trances, the body asportations, the flying car, and the baby with a mind like a giant computer, it is not a future world or a parallel universe story, but one of unusual people with unusual abilities. It is about the geniuses who seem odd and don't fit in. It is about people who appear to be monsters because they can't understand human morality.

This book is not an adventure book. It is not a mystery. It is not a life event novel. It is a concept piece, pure and simple, and it is filled with all kinds of concepts and ideas. It is a rich tapestry about a possible leap in human evolution. Murder, assault, suicide, and the like all appear in here, but are merely side notes in the great symphony that Sturgeon conducts.

There are some that may find this hard to read as it is very untraditional in structure and lacks a normal plot development. It simply may not be for everyone. ( )
  DaveWilde | Sep 22, 2017 |
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. ( )
  ReneEldaBard | Aug 13, 2017 |
NIETZSCHEAN PERSPECTIVES IN SF: ETHICS, LONELINESS & HUMILITY

Theodore Sturgeon is one of SF’s greatest short fiction writers, and so it is apt that More Than Human stems from a novella, Baby Is Three. Sturgeon added a part before and a part after. Each part is quite distinct, 3 novellas if you will, but taken as a whole, they are yet another, different thing. Readers familiar with this book’s content will not find that surprising: More Than Human is roughly speaking about a mind-reading idiot, teleporting twin girls, a retarded baby with a supermind and a telekinetic girl, together forming something new: the “Homo Gestalt” – something more than human indeed.

I’ll make a few general remarks on content and writing first, and elaborate a bit about the philosophical foundations of this book in the second part of my review – Friedrich Nietzsche, oh yes!

Obviously, the fifties were a different time, and parapsychology and the likes still held great promise. I started my reviews of Childhood’s End and The Demolished Man in the same fashion. So yes, this is science fiction, even though it might read as psychic fantasy at times. Sturgeon even gives a kind of hard SF explanation for his premisses, should his reader have trouble with suspension of disbelief.

“It would lead to the addition of one more item to the Unified Field – what we now call psychic energy, or ‘psionics.'” “Matter, energy, space, time and psyche,” he breathed, awed. “Yup,” Janie said casually, “all the same thing (…).”

But I have no interesting in pointing out where More Than Human feels a bit dated, as it remains an outstanding novel. Approach this simply as you would approach a contemporary novel like Susanna Clarke’s: a supernatural tale.

The first part of the book focuses on the early life of the idiot, living in the woods, being one with nature. Certain parts felt like something Ralph Waldo Emerson or Henry Thoreau could have written. Imagine my delight when I read on Sturgeon’s Wikipedia page he was a distant relative of Emerson. Sturgeon’s prose is a delight. At times it has a bit of formal ring to it, but there’s great lines throughout.

(...)

Please continue reading this review on Weighing A Pig ( )
1 vote bormgans | Nov 1, 2016 |
This is, hands down, one of the best books I have ever read! The very end is a tad too philosophical for my taste, but the rest of the book is so amazing that it makes no difference. I can't put my finger on what makes this such a wonderful and special book. It's just…magical, somehow. Really fantastic!!!!!! ( )
1 vote ilovekittens | Mar 7, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (39 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Theodore Sturgeonprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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Dedication
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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