BooksOfTheMoon

The Dreaming Jewels

By Theodore Sturgeon

Rating: 3 stars

Horty is a little boy who runs away from his abusive adoptive parents and joins the carnival. There he finds friendship and company but never realises that his companion Zena is protecting him from the carnival’s leader, the Maneater. It’s not until many years later that he discovers the truth about himself and the jack-in-the-box with the jewelled eyes that he couldn’t bear to have apart from him.

The central notion of the crystal jewels in this book is fascinating. A strange, mostly unexplained, form of life that can create duplicates of objects, plants and even people. The Maneater is fascinated by these crystals and dedicates his life to finding them and making them do his bidding. He’s a good villain, obviously deranged but never pantomime and a real presence throughout the book.

Although the book doesn’t deal with Sturgeon’s favourite theme of transhumanism, there are still recurring ideas from other books present, including that of the weird and the strange becoming something other than human. This was definitely a book that I very much enjoyed.

Book details

ISBN: 9780552097499
Publisher: Corgi Books
Year of publication: 1950

Starshine

By Theodore Sturgeon

Rating: 4 stars

This is a collection of six short stories by the master of post-Humanism, although none of these stories really touch on that subject. The stories include comedy (Derm Fool), ghost stories (The Haunt) and SF as well as a non-genre story (How to Kill Aunty) which is mostly whimsical, with a twist at the end. The best stories are probably the most touching – The World Well Lost about a spacer crew taking two lovers back to their homeworld to stand trial and The Pod and the Barrier about the cranks who try to break through a barrier in space that has foiled the best minds of Humanity. Both are touching and beautifully written, and the former is somewhat heartbreaking as well. An enjoyable collection.

Book details

ISBN: 9780722182161
Publisher: Corgi Books
Year of publication: 1966

To Here and the Easel

By Theodore Sturgeon

Rating: 5 stars

This is an amazing collection. It consists of one longer piece (the title piece) and five shorter stories. Sturgeon’s writing is simply fabulous, ranging from swashbuckling to almost prose poetry with incredibly vivid imagery. Sturgeon was one of the first people to bring literature to SF in an unashamed way, and this collection just shows how good a writer he was.

Some of his recurring themes turn up again in this collection — post-humanism and co-operation as cornerstones of survival — and it’s interesting to see how they’ve developed through his work. It’s never more than subtle though, and never gets in the way of the story. Highly, highly recommended.

Book details

ISBN: 9780586041277
Publisher: Panther Science Fiction
Year of publication: 1973

To Marry Medusa

By Theodore Sturgeon

Rating: 4 stars

A spore drops from space and eventually finds itself being eaten by Dan Gurlick who becomes part of the galaxy-wide hive mind that is the Medusa, which then uses him to try and conquer humanity.

This book shares themes with Sturgeon’s more famous More Than Human, in that it’s about group minds and the future evolution of humanity, and I quite enjoyed it, although it’s odd format of one chapter on Gurlick and one on a seemingly random character for much of its length was confusing.

My volume also contained Sturgeon’s novella Killdozer!, a fairly entertaining story about a murderous bulldozer.

Book details

ISBN: 9780375703720
Publisher: Vintage
Year of publication: 1958

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