More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon

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51XEHFTNSPL__SS500_.jpgTheodore Sturgeon's classic 1953 novel More Than Human follows the plight of six amazingly gifted people and how their individually advanced abilities allow them to work as one organism to form a "Homo Gestalt", the next step in human evolution.

 

The novel is divided into three parts detailing how the gestalt comes together:  "The Fabulous Idiot"; "Baby is Three" (originally published as a stand-alone short story); and "Morality".  There's "simple" Lone, a telepath; telekinetic Janie, who can move objects with her mind; the twins Bonnie and Beanie, who can teleport themselves anywhere and back; "Baby", a seemingly mentally handicapped infant "computer"; and Gerry, an emotionally disturbed and amoral homeless kid who inherits Lone's telepathic abilities and winds up running the gestalt. 

Along the way, they encounter various situations that threaten their collective dynamic, while giving Sturgeon a chance to slyly comment on various conditions of society (racism, homelessness, attitudes towards the mentally impaired, the distinction between morality and ethics, and two then-popular subjects in the 1950s:  psychoanalysis and juvenile delinquency).  There's geniune suspense and sly wit (Baby's thrown-together antigravity machine; Gerry's visit to a psychiatrist) to augment the social comment, concluding with a slightly optimistic final scene (humanity will survive, no matter what form it takes or what adversity it encounters).  

You can reserve More Than Human from our online catalog here.  I've always enjoyed Sturgeon's short stories (especially "It" and the oft-reprinted "Killdozer") and novels, and I'm glad to note that Greenwich Library offers a more-than-fair sampling of his work available on our online catalogMore Than Human makes a terrific introduction to his body of work. 

Related linksThe Theodore Sturgeon Page ; plus online video downloads of his two Star Trek episodes:  "Shore Leave" and "Amok Time" .

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This page contains a single entry by Ed published on September 10, 2009 4:20 PM.

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