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

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