Books »More Than Human

by Theodore Sturgeon (1953)

I thought I knew what to expect from Theodore Sturgeon‘s More Than Human based on the cheap (modern) cover and back jacket description: some sort of X Men meets Enders Game, but what I found was more mysterious and at times down right literary. Divided into three segments, the groundbreaking novel explores the coming together of several outsiders with extraordinary talents. They are a village idiot that can control minds, twin girls who can teleport, an overly protected girl with telekinetic skills, an ingenious baby and an angry multi skilled young man. Apart they are often beat down and freakish, together they may just be the future of human evolution. It sounds a movie-ready tale with a comic book vibe, but the first part, The Fabulous Idiot, in particular is darker, stranger and more complex than that.

Unfortunately, the two latter parts are told through a lot of exposition – a character talking to his psychiatrist in one, and a man trying to regain his memory in another – which is a far less exciting way to unfold a story of sometimes complex ideas. Still, it holds as a unique piece of science fiction with memorable characters that one can imagine in other adventures.

This is the most famous novel by the nearly unknown but undeniably influential author who inspired Delany, Bradbury and Ellison as well as the character Kilgore Trout of Vonnegut’s novels.

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Posted on September 18, 2010

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