Theodore Sturgeon at 99

I’m a day late on this one, but Edward Hamilton Waldo, AKA Theodore Sturgeon, was born on February 26, 1918 on Staten Island, New York.

Sturgeon was best known as a short story writer, although he wrote some well received novels, such as More Than Human, The Dreaming Jewels, and the under-appreciated Some of Your Blood.

He got his start writing for Unknown and Astounding in the late 1930s and early 1940s,  Much of his best work was done in that time period. 

Outside of science fiction and fantasy he’s probably best known for what has come to be called Sturgeon’s Law:  90% of everything is crap.

I really like Sturgeon’s short fiction, especially his early work.  There’s a level of craftsmanship and fun that some of his later works, such as “If All Men Were Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister?” lack.  Skip that story and go to “It” or “Mewhu’s Jet” or “Yesterday Was Monday.

His first collection was entitled Without Sorcery, which was something of a misnomer since much of it was fantasy.  It was reprinted by Ballantine under the title Not Without Sorcery and is an excellent introduction to his work.

There was an attempt in the late 90s and 00s to collect all of Sturgeon’s short fiction between hardcovers.  I think I’m missing the last of that set.  But if you get a chance, read some of his work.  It’s worth seeking out.


2 thoughts on “Theodore Sturgeon at 99

  1. Carrington Dixon

    Generally speaking, Sturgeon was not a novelist. His best novel, and one of the landmarks of mid-century stf, was the ‘fixup’ novel More Than Human. It was an award winner in its day and still hold up well. If you want to try Sturgeon at longer length, this is the place to start.

    1. Keith West Post author

      This is one of his novels I haven’t read. I liked The Dreaming Jewels and Some of Your Blood, but it’s been so long since I read them that the details have faded. I agree with you, though, that he wasn’t a novelist. I started “It” last night and got interrupted before I could finish. I last read the story years ago, but it holds up well.


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