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The Ultimate Egoist (The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon #1)

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4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  315 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
The Ultimate Egoist, the first volume of The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, contains the late author's earliest work, written from 1937 to 1940. Although Sturgeon's reach was limited to the lengths of the short story and novelette, his influence was strongly felt by even the most original science fiction stylists, including Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, and Gene ...more
ebook, 408 pages
Published April 9th 2013 by North Atlantic Books (first published February 1995)
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(showing 1-30)
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Paul Bryant
Nov 02, 2015 Paul Bryant marked it as sf-anthologies-to-finish  ·  review of another edition
This is what happens is you don't read the small print. I read the first nine stories here and only one of them wasn't a turkey. And I thought - why are these stories so bad? This is Theodore Sturgeon, whom I love dearly. But of course it's because this is VOLUME ONE of a PROJECTED TEN VOLUMES - he wrote like a maniac - so here we have the 46 stories he wrote BETWEEN THE AGES OF 19 AND 22 - so there's my explanation. Out of the 46 only 6 were ones I already knew and I'm betting that's because th ...more
Stephen
3.5 to 4.0 stars. I have not read all of the stories in this volume so this review is for the stories listed below (I will update the review periodically as I read more stories):

Heavy Insurance - Sturgeon's first published story about an attempted insurance scam that has unintended consequences. 2.5 stars.
Heart - Early short story about a lovers wish having disastrous consequences. 3.5 stars.
Bianca's Hands - One of Sturgeon's best horror stories ever. Chilling, original and haunting. 4.5 to 5.
...more
Erik Graff
Aug 05, 2010 Erik Graff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sturgeon fans
Recommended to Erik by: Larry Santoro
Shelves: sf
This book was given me as a gift by the writer, Lawrence P. Santoro, probably on the occasion of Christmas of 2003. The first volume of Sturgeon's collected works, it is a fine, well-constructed book. Larry was also considerate in presenting the hardcover edition of this volume, knowing that I generally eschew paperbacks.

Sadly, despite my general love for Sturgeon and his works, these earliest short stories were, as might be expected, not his best writing.
Kalin
Jul 29, 2013 Kalin rated it liked it
I have a dream.

That one day--when we have sold out the tenth reprint of the Bulgarian translation of The Innkeeper's Song and the thirtieth of The Last Unicorn (the electronic one too), and we have exposed a million Bulgarian readers to A Requiem for Homo Sapiens--I shall sit down and sublimate my impressions and compile a collection called The Ultimate Sturgeon. Or some such.

In reading this volume, I've taken another step to that dream.

Interestingly, I don't think that any of the stories co
...more
Tye
Aug 04, 2007 Tye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want to know what pulp writers could do when pulps were pulps, read this.
Бранимир Събев
Брилянтен сборник с разкази от брилянтен писател, преведени на български от брилянтен преводач! Това е Върховният Егоист, Том първи от събрани разкази на Eдуард Хамилтън Уолдо, известен с творческия си псевдоним Теодор Стърджън. Кой е последният ли? Ами, това не просто е авторът на Бленуващите Кристали, Повече от Човешки и От Кръвчицата Ти. Той е Бащата, оригиналът, творецът, пред който се прекланят титани като Кинг, Бредбъри, Кларк, Хайнлайн, Дилейни, Андерсън, Улф и кой ли още не.

По същината с
...more
Tracey
Sep 05, 2007 Tracey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of shorts stories & not necessarily spec-fic
I received The Ultimate Egoist: The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon - Volume 1 for Christmas last year & finally dug it out of the TBR pile.

Even though I consider Sturgeon to be an SF writer, the majority of the short stories in this collection don't really fit that category. He was writing for several mainstream sources early in his career, and they often gave him topics upon which to write. There are quite a few romantically themed stories (probably written for the female market) and
...more
Kolya Matteo
Included stories:

Heavy Insurance
The Heart
Cellmate
Fluffy
Alter Ego
Mailed through a Porthole
A Noose of Light
Strangers on a Train
Accidentally on Purpose
The Right Line
Golden Day
Permit Me My Gesture
Watch My Smoke
The Other Cheek
Extraordinary Seaman
One Sick Kid
His Good Angel
Some People Forget
A God in a Garden
Fit for a King
Ex-Bachelor Extract
East is East
Three People
Eyes of Blue
Ether Breather
Her Choice
Cajun Providence
Strike Three
Contact!
The Call
Helix the Cat
To Shorten Sail
Thanksgiving Again
Bianca's Hands
D
...more
Tom Tabasco
Some interesting stuff, raw material, but being the earliest of Sturgeon's published work, this is definitely not his best. Probably his worst.
Glen Engel-Cox
I've been excited by the prospect of this book for quite some time. Imagine all the Sturgeon short stories collected in a series of volumes, and not just the ones that were published or previously collected, but all of them. Edited and with notes, to top it off, by that most meticulous of literary executors, Paul Williams (the man behind the Collected Philip K. Dick). Unfortunately, Sturgeon never attracted the same fanaticism that Dick did, and this project was on shaky ground for some time. Th ...more
Jeff
Dec 20, 2016 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating collection of Theodore Sturgeon's earliest published stories, from 1938-1940, when he was in his early 20s. Although he is remembered as an author of science fiction and fantasy stories, many of the works in this volume are short-short stories that are not science fiction or fantasy. These are stories that he sold mostly to the McClure syndicate and, while they are not his greatest works, they are interesting examples of a young, very talented writer honing his craft. Of co ...more
Mike Singer
Feb 15, 2015 Mike Singer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The stories are in chronological order, starting with the first story that Sturgeon ever published. So, naturally, his writing and storytelling seem to improve as you get towards the end of the book.

I thought the last 1/4 of the book was really good. There were some pretty good stories early on, but nothing that really stood out. There were a lot of stories set on a ship that were hard to get through because of all the jargon. A lot of those stories were super short (2-3 pages) and could barely
...more
Benjamin Kahn
I wasn't that impressed with this book. Although some of the stories were good, a lot were corny and repetitive. Also, once you catch on to the fact that Sturgeon likes the twist ending, you start looking for it and anticipating it.

I had read More than Human and really enjoyed it, so I thought I'd give Sturgeon's short story collection a chance and was disappointed, especially after reading the three introductions singing his praises by Ray Bradbury, Gene Wolfe and Arthur C. Clarke. Now, I real
...more
Anne
May 12, 2010 Anne marked it as library  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Included stories:

Heavy Insurance
The Heart
Cellmate
Fluffy
Alter Ego
Mailed through a Porthole
A Noose of Light
Strangers on a Train
Accidentally on Purpose
The Right Line
Golden Day
Permit Me My Gesture
Watch My Smoke
The Other Cheek
Extraordinary Seaman
One Sick Kid
His Good Angel
Some People Forget
A God in a Garden
Fit for a King
Ex-Bachelor Extract
East is East
Three People
Eyes of Blue
Ether Breather
Her Choice
Cajun Providence
Strike Three
Contact!
The Call
Helix the Cat
To Shorten Sail
Thanksgiving Again
Bianca's Hands
D
...more
Derek
Nov 14, 2014 Derek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading the chronological complete short stories of a writer tends to be a little tiresome, especially in the early volumes. Most writers take awhile to "warm up," and really find their voices. Theodore Sturgeon is no exception, and there are several stories here that I'm sure he'd be more than a little embarrassed have been preserved for posterity. Still, Sturgeon shows glimpses of brilliance, even this early in his career, and there are several short stories here that are stronger than ANYTHIN ...more
Andrew
Oct 20, 2011 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
TS was way a head of his time, the stories in this volume cover the years 1937-42 when he was just 19-24 yrs old and the substance of this stuff is truly admirable in its imaginative vein....Sturgeon had said he didn't want to be a scifi writer, but that was what the publishing house(McClure's) wanted ..... but he did read Astounding Fiction, Weird Tales regularly so this makes sense that he would write such far out stories, IT, Ether Breather, and Derm Fool are standouts,,,,,there are 13 volume ...more
Ben
Jul 22, 2009 Ben rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've heard such good things about Theodore Sturgeon. But man, these stories--many of them commissioned pieces--don't date well at all, what with their casual sexism, jingoist flag waving, etc. This isn't a reflection on Sturgeon as a person or as a writer--a guy's gotta eat, after all. But it doesn't make for pleasurable reading. I'd say this one's for completists only.
carmen!
Sep 10, 2015 carmen! rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
does anyone know why i read this book? i think i read this because of this guy's reputation?? but i had to stop for several months in the middle because i just got bored! the internet says that he's still awesome and i just should have chosen something better curated than this book. we'll see, internet.

anyway a few of the stories were really good.
Scottaggart
Aug 21, 2016 Scottaggart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some real gems of short fiction mixed with not so great fiction. Sturgeon was a working writer and he had to write what publishers and editors wanted or he didn't eat. You can tell which stories he wanted to write and which he had to write.
Leslie
I haven't read every single story in this collection, but most of them. A very interesting read. I especially appreciated the short story "Niobe." I would like to read more of Sturgeon's stuff.
Pamela
Feb 10, 2015 Pamela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At times, this collection is a bit uneven, but that may be my fault as I'm just not that keen on sea/sailing stories. That aside, there are some stunners--it is Sturgeon afterall.
Marissa
Obviously his very early work. A lot of "one liner" very short stories. Some show the author he will grow into, though. They only get better after this.
Michael Duane  Robbins
It's a bit overwhelming, and not all of these stories can be considered classics. Some of the best are worth the read, especially the title selection.
Raja99
Raja99 rated it really liked it
Sep 09, 2007
Khoragos
Khoragos rated it really liked it
Apr 17, 2013
Larry
Larry rated it liked it
Jul 05, 2015
Patrick Ijima-washburn
Patrick Ijima-washburn rated it really liked it
Jun 14, 2015
Saša Tomislav
Saša Tomislav rated it it was amazing
Sep 25, 2009
Katalili
Katalili rated it really liked it
Aug 16, 2010
Christopher E
Christopher E rated it it was amazing
Jan 22, 2014
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Theodore Sturgeon (1918–1985) is considered one of the godfathers of contemporary science fiction and dark fantasy. The author of numerous acclaimed short stories and novels, among them the classics More Than Human, Venus Plus X, and To Marry Medusa, Sturgeon also wrote for television and holds among his credits two episodes of the original 1960s Star Trek series, for which he created the Vulcan m ...more
More about Theodore Sturgeon...

Other Books in the Series

The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, Volume II: Microcosmic God
  • The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, Volume III: Killdozer!
  • The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, Volume 4: Thunder and Roses
  • The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, Volume 5: The Perfect Host
  • The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, Volume VI: Baby Is Three
  • The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, Volume 7: A Saucer of Loneliness
  • The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, Volume VIII: Bright Segment
  • The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, Volume IX: And Now the News...
  • The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, Voume X: The Man Who Lost the Sea
  • The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, Volume XI: The Nail and the Oracle

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