Happy Holidays! The 12 Days of LT scavenger hunt is going on. Can you solve the clues?
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Dreaming Jewels by Theodore Sturgeon

The Dreaming Jewels (1950)

by Theodore Sturgeon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
830916,014 (3.83)14

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 14 mentions

English (8)  Italian (1)  All languages (9)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Strange little foundling Horty is abused by his adoptive parents, and runs away. He's 'adopted' by a group of midgets and joins a travelling carnival... but the carny hides some deeper secrets and more subtle cruelties than even his previous life.. what is the explanation for Horty's mysterious abilities? And why is he so strangely attached to his childhood toy, a jack-in-the-box with weirdly glittering jewellike eyes? ( )
1 vote AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
A taut magical realism story with solid SF under-pinnings. Horty is a young orphan who, abused by his step-father, runs away and gets picked up by a strange group of carnies. Impersonating a girl midget, he lives for several years on the road with the carnival. But there is something different about Horty - and about the Maneater, the sinister figure who runs the carnival...

Sturgeon weaves a wonderfully realized tale of humans who are enthralled and endowed with super-human talents by the hidden powers of an ancient species - The Dreaming Jewels.

First published in 1950, this is one of the better stories I have read from that era. For character development alone, it stands head & shoulders above much of the 'Golden Age' material of the time. If you happen upon a copy of this out of print gem - grab it before the next person does! ( )
1 vote ScoLgo | Nov 13, 2014 |
Imagine that aliens have been coming to earth forever in the form of crystals ferried in by meteors. The crystals lie dormant in the soil until an impulse of some kind causes them to "clone" a nearby object, be it animal, vegetable or mineral. Sometimes they find themselves in close proximity to a like-"minded" crystal, and crystal nature being what it is, they procreate or invade a living creature and "enhance" it.

Such is the underlying idea behind The Synthetic Man, which was originally published under the title of The Dreaming Jewels. Having this bit of intelligence actually helps to shed light on these alien crystals. They don't think in the way humans do, but they seem to engage in a kind of dreaming that stimulates activity of one sort or another. The crystals and their creations have always been among us but no one has really noticed — until now!

When Horton, or Horty as he was called, was a tiny baby in an orphanage, a toy made its way into his crib, a jack-in-the-box with crystal eyes. The close proximity of these crystals caused baby Horton to be modified to the extent that he had extraordinary powers. For example, when he was eight years old, his menacing stepfather, who was about to lock him in a closet for— to the father at least — the criminally insane activity of eating ants, accidentally shut the hinge-side of the door on three fingers which were all but severed. Horty ran away and was rescued by a troop of little people who belonged to a traveling carnival, the owner of which happened to be a doctor who cut off the damaged tissue and bone, and over a period time the missing fingers regenerated.

When Horty grows up, the same doctor who patched him up and the wicked stepfather join forces to try to destroy him — one having realized his secret and the other having altogether different motives.

Theodore Sturgeon has a wonderful way of telling a preposterous story based on a slightly skewed set of scientific "principles" and making it seem in the end like a plausibly ordinary everyday train of occurrences. The science is more than a bit outdated, but the story's seemingly disparate parts are woven skillfully together so that The Synthetic Man is a fine example of storytelling. It is a page-turner which reminds us of why Sturgeon was among the stars of mid 20th century science fiction writing. ( )
3 vote Poquette | Sep 28, 2014 |
Originally posted at FanLit.

Horty Bluett is only eight years old, but his short life has already been utterly miserable. One day, after suffering at the hands of his classmates and his adoptive parents, he runs off and joins the carnival. The only thing he carries is his sole possession ?? a jack-in-the-box doll named Junky. Junky has hard shiny eyes and Horty gets nervous and sick when Junky isnƒ??t around.

At the carnival, Horty finally finds acceptance among some of societyƒ??s outcasts. For the first time in his life, he feels like heƒ??s part of something ƒ?? that heƒ??s participating in life instead of watching it go by. As Horty gets older, he begins to realize that thereƒ??s something weird about the carnival. The man who runs it, who everyone calls Maneater, has some sort of genetic research going on and he may be a danger to Horty and to the world in general. And it all has something to do with Junkyƒ??s strange ... Read More:
http://www.fantasyliterature.com/reviews/the-dreaming-jewels/ ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sturgeon, TheodoreAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gaffney, EvanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krause, LesterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morrill, RowenaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morrow, GrayCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schoenherr, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sussman, ArtCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
They caught the kid doing something disgusting out under the bleachers at the high-school stadium, and he was sent home from the grammar school across the street.  He was eight years old then.  He'd been doing it for years.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 037570373X, Paperback)

Eight-year-old Horty Bluett is mocked by his classmates and abused by his adoptive parents until the day his father severs three of his fingers. He runs away, taking only a gem-eyed doll he calls Junky, and joins a carnival. Finding acceptance at last, Horty never dreams that Junky is more than a toy, nor does he realize that a threat far greater than his cruel father inhabits the carnival and has been searching for Horty longer than he has been alive.

Though less well-known than Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, or Robert A. Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon (1918-1985) is even more important to the development of literary and humanistic science fiction. He received the Hugo, Nebula, and International Fantasy Awards, and the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award. The Dreaming Jewels (1950) was his first novel. --Cynthia Ward

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:25 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Theodore Sturgeon's stunning debut novel, about a young boy who is drawn into a dangerous conspiracy when he leaves home to join a circus of shadows. Though only eight years old, little Horton "Horty" Bluett has known a lifetime of sadness. Tormented and abused by his adoptive family, he's had enough - and with a beloved broken toy he calls "Junky" as his sole companion, the desperate little boy runs away to join a carnival. There, among the fortune tellers, fire-eaters, sideshow freaks, and assorted "strange people," Horty hopes to find acceptance and, at long last, a real home. But disgraced doctor Pierre "Maneater" Monetre's traveling show is no ordinary entertainment, and its performers are not what they appear to be. The Maneater has sinister plans for the world that go far beyond fleecing unsuspecting rubes and other easy marks - a dark and terrible scheme that requires unleashing the extraterrestrial power of the dreaming jewels, and the unwitting assistance of a young boy who may be far more remarkable than he's ever imagined. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Theodore Sturgeon including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the University of Kansas's Kenneth Spencer Research Library and the author's estate, among other sources.… (more)

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.83)
0.5 1
1 1
2 6
2.5 4
3 26
3.5 19
4 58
4.5 3
5 33

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 130,853,279 books! | Top bar: Always visible