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More Than Human

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  8,894 ratings  ·  332 reviews
More Than Human is a 1953 science fiction novel by Theodore Sturgeon. It is a fix-up of his previously published novella Baby is Three with two parts (The Fabulous Idiot and Morality) written especially for the novel. It won the 1954 International Fantasy Award, which was also given to works in science fiction. It was additionally nominated in 2004 for a "Retro Hugo" award ...more
Leather Bound, 233 pages
Published 1994 by Easton Press (first published 1953)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sturgeon's law: "ninety percent of everything is crap."
That's as may be but More Than Human is definitely in the 10% non-crap segment.

I love good short novels, more than good long ones (nobody likes bad novels at any length). The way I see it the reader gets so much more from each percentage of the book. For the amount of time put into reading the book it just seems more profitable to me. YMMV of course, long books have their own advantages.

I first read "More Than Human" decades ago, I clearly
You pick up the book, turn to the back cover and are confronted with the man. So this was Kurt Vonnegut’s model for Kilgore Trout. Staring back at you is a gaunt image: a scraggly, bearded man who but for the pipe and the contented look might offer the same aspect from a homeless person or from a Jethro Tull album jacket.

Turn to the first page and read - “The idiot lived in a black and grey world, punctuated by the white lightning of hunger and the flickering of fear. His clothes were old and ma
I think the only meaningful ratings on GR are *, **, and *****. Those are pretty clear: “I disliked it”, “it was okay”, and “it was amazing”. *** and **** exist in that intermediate stage between “meh” (**) and “wow” (*****). “I liked it” and “I really liked it”. WTF? How exactly do I differentiate between “liking” something and “really liking” it?

A lot of how we respond to stories is so personal to what we enjoy and what we’ve read before. One thing that I usually like in books is when it thro
Were I to take an in-depth Sci-Fi course I would definitely want to explore the deeper meanings of this book, lots of layered psychological here. I'm already reserving it for a re-read. It is disturbing and fascinating, the story of an...evolved group of creatures, the only way I can describe it. Just try it, it's short but packed with wonderment.
This is my first novel by Theodore Sturgeon and it most certainly will not be the last. I read the book in one sitting. I'm not sure now if that was a good idea but I was entranced, could not sleep, and it is rather short. I was certain the book would be listed on my favorites shelf but the ending, or certain characterisitcs of the ending, forced me to withdraw from the book and look at it from the outside, not from within as I had the majority of the story.

I knew before beginning that Sturgeon
4.0 stars. Ground-breaking science fiction novel that first explored the concept of the "gestalt" consciousness while dealing with emotional issues of identity and fitting in to society. This is on my list to re-read as it has been some time since I read this.

Nominee: Hugo (Retro) Award for Best Science Fiction Novel
OK- what to even say about this masterpiece- which it undoubtably is! For all u fools out there who do not think science fiction can be literature of the highest degree, u obviously haven't read a book like More Than Human- because if this book doesn't blow that dense, dull-witted notion out of your mind, nothing will and u should be publicly shunned forevermore.
Written in the 50's and it still didn't seem dated at all! That alone is an astounding feat. Anyway, i don't even think i can begin to
One I missed back in the early Eighties when I was going through the classics of science fiction like a hot knife through butter. Maybe I'd have liked it better if I'd read it back then. Probably not.

It's an act of charity to call this SF at all. It's supposed to be about the emergence of a new species, but from an evolutionary point of view the emergence described could not possibly take place – the whole concept is ridiculously unscientific. The story does contain one authentic science-fiction
Not an easy read for me. Extremely well-written with incredibly brilliant concepts, but difficult to wrap my brain around completely. There were many passages that I had to reread three or four times. A fair bit of the narrative seemed to go over my head, and I have to admit that there were a few times that I thought maybe I was not smart enough to fully appreciate this book. But then, inevitably, everything would come to light and I came out of my confusion right alongside the characters.

This book must have been quite an eye-opener back in 1953 in the Golden Age of Asimov, Heinlein and Clarke, where robots, rocket ships, future societies and aliens ruled the roost. For one thing, it hardly features any credible science at all, and in tone and atmosphere owes more to magic realism and adult fantasy. In fact, the writing reminds me most of Ray Bradbury, full of poetry and powerful images. Try reading just the opening paragraph for instance:

“THE IDIOT LIVED IN a black and gray worl
I thought I had already reviewed this!

Perhaps not.

It's difficult to decide if this book (a "fix-up" novel) deserves 4 or 5 stars. Sometimes, Sturgeon's style reminds me of passages in Faulkner's Sound and Fury, when Faulkner is writing from a child's perspective. Other times, it's like he's channeling J.D. Salinger.

Initially, Sturgeon wrote a story called "Baby is Three," published in Galaxy Science Fiction in the early 1950s. That story is the heart of the novel, and the most engaging part of
Incredible book in a number of ways.

From the first paragraph you will notice that the language sets this apart from most writing in the genre.

In addition, the premise and development of the story are so imaginative--this book is often categorized as science fiction, but that label is both too limiting and not quite on the mark. If it is science fiction, it is much more Ray Bradbury than Isaac Asimov--the imaginative explorations are all on the human side of the equation, rather than the techno
More Than Human is not an easy read. Theodore Sturgeon was never shy about pushing boundaries and trying to shake up a reader's comfortable little world.

The theme of the novel is certainly fascinating -- the emergence of a new human species - homo gestalt (though the ending and hints earlier in the book suggest we've always been it). But Sturgeon left me wanting more - it ended too soon and too patly.

I enjoyed it well enough and am interested in reading more of his work but I don't think I can r
Shirari Industries
"More Than Human" is well-intentioned, but out-dated. Sturgeon fancies that the next step in human evolution will be multi-culti, but unfortunately he also envisions it as hierarchical, run by smart white men. The only two people of color are a set of identical twin African American girls who can only speak one or two words and who are always (for sci fi reasons of course) naked. When the white guy finishes using their (admittedly awesome) skills he says "beat it." I'm sure that at the time, thi ...more
"So it was that Lone came to know himself; and like the handful of people who have done so before him he found, at this pinnacle, the rugged foot of a mountain."

The main "plot" is about humanity, and what makes us human (or in this case, more than human - see what I did there, that's the title of the book.) The author's ideas about this topic are described in the context of a fairly complex plot, weaving in characters and events to create what eventually becomes a fairly impressive tapestry. But
Jun 20, 2010 Jeff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tom, Jeff, Camille.
Recommended to Jeff by: James Gunn's Summer 2010 CSSF Intensive
Shelves: science-fiction
I'd heard that Sturgeon was a man of words, and a self-educated man, at that. More Than Human is the first book I've ever read by him. At first it was surprising and startling and odd, but his style and pace are easy enough to learn and then it became a book that couldn't be put down.

Sturgeon writes like a poet, thinks like a psychiatrist, and understands like a philosopher. "His clothes were many-windowed" (p.1). "he lived inside somewhere, apart, and the little link between word and significan
I'm beginning to notice a pattern; I'm giving five stars to every Sturgeon book I read, it's becomming a habit. But what else can I do but acknowledge his genius?

This is a book of three parts, each part a process of discovery for the reader and at least one of the characters involved who are each trying to find something out about themselves, come into themselves in some way.

I've also said before that he seems so far ahead of his time and it once again becomes apparent in this book. It is a mill
Erik Graff
Mar 25, 2012 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sturgeon fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
Don't recall where exactly I picked up this old paperback edition of Sturgeon's novel, but remember the cover clearly.

Although the outcast protagonists of the book perform despicable acts such as murder, the author manages to maintain the reader's sympathy for them. As a kid, of course, I was fascinated by their various powers such as telekinesis, teleportation and esp, having long hoped to find in myself some special ability--at least the ability to communicate with animals.
If only the characters were relatable; if only emotion were not splattered across the page in the form of adverbs; if only the plot were interesting and thought-provoking instead of self-indulgent and overly-descriptive; then, and only then, might the book have been something other than boring.

The second part, along with the last few pages of the final chapter, are the sections worth reading. Everything else is dull filler.
Erik Angle

I read fiction for narrative first, style second or third. I want a story, not a tradeshow. Theodore Sturgeon’s More Than Human is, in my opinion, style over story.

What story there is focuses on a group of young individuals who are the next jump in human development, and how they interact (and don’t interact) with the rest of the world. Are they human, or something more? If more, what is their relationship with humanity? These questions play
MORE THAN HUMAN. (1953). Theodore Sturgeon. ****.
This early novel of science fiction was included in the Library of America’s recent publication of “American Science Fiction 1953-1956.” It contained no rocket ships or interplanetary travel, but focused on the future of mankind as it might be influenced by a strange combination of a unique set of forces represented by a collection of what we might call damaged individuals. The main characters in this tale include “a girl, two tongue-tied Negroes
Leo Walsh
I am always amazed when I read authors from the Golden Age of science fiction. They write with economy. And tend to say more in 250 pages than many contemporary series say over a trilogy weighing in at 1,000 pages. I am thinking of masters like Bester, Le Guin, PKD, Heinlein and Clarke.

And now, I can add Theodore Sturgeon to that mix.

More that Human is a very interesting read. I really enjoyed the way Sturgeon tells the story. Especially in the last two parts, where the story is uncovered bit
This has some really good ideas about how humans might evolve and what a large evolutionary step might be that would mean something very different for humans. It's more "literature" than lots of science fiction, which as far as I can tell means that parts are boring and hard to tell what is going on. In this case, it's because the writer is drawing out the big idea (a couple of times), which obviously could be done better since I noticed and got impatient. It's better done than Brandon Sanderson ...more
Owain Lewis
A beaut from the 'Golden Age' of sci-fi and the man who invented the vulcan mating ritual 'Pon farr' and Star Fleet's 'Prime Directive' - there's more geek facts about this guy but I'll stop there. At times dense and lyrical this is a slow mover that eschews plot in favour of psychological itegrity. There's a real sense of dislocation, both societal and temporal, to the lives of the protagonists and you can clearly see the theories of the day, in this case geshtalt and analytical psychology, fee ...more
Kevin Kuenkler
How this book was even considered Science Fiction, I will never know. It had no point to the story, in my opinion. But I started it... I finished it, that's it.
L.M. Cooke
I’d been looking forward to re-reading this book for a long time. When I opened, it, though, I realised it wasn’t the book I’d thought it was. Somewhere in my mind I’d conflated it with another vintage sci-fi work, author and title apparently unknown, featuring a character called Grand Guignol, or Guig for short (if you remember this book, please tell me what it is called!).

It took only a few pages before I remembered what ‘More Than Human’ was, though, and only a few more before I understood wh
Kitaba tek kelime ile BA-YIL-DIM. Son zamanlarda okuduğum en sürükleyici kitaplardandı. Aslında kütüphaneye Sırça Fanus'u almaya gitmiştim ama merdivenleri çıkıp raflara yürür yürümez gözüme bu kitap çarptı. Bir kere adı İnsandan Öte'ydi ve kapağında ucubik bir insan çizimi vardı(Bu tarz şeyleri severim de :)...). Hemen Goodreads puanına ve Ekşisözlük'teki yorumlara baktım,iyi not aldığını görünce alıverdim.

Yazarın anlatımı mükemmel: akıcı, çok yormayan ve sizi kitabın atmosferine sokan bir an
Ce roman nous raconte, à travers divers récits, l'émergence de ces plus qu'humains. Difficile dans dire plus sans déflorer un récit assez
poignant, relativement bien écrit et ne faisant, c'est jeureux, appel à aucune des grosses ficelles de la sf que peuvent être une invasion d'ET ou une exposition à la radioactivité. Pourtant, ce roman pose la question de ce que pourrait-être un mutant, dans un sens assez moderne. Et la réponse qui y est faite est assez intéressante.
Toutefois, la réalisation, c'
Characters, premise, pacing, plot--very close to perfection. Quite ahead of it's time and still as fresh as the day it was written.

I've had to go back and change my rating from 4 to 5 stars as I just cannot get this out of my mind.
Aug 04, 2007 Kyle rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
This book by far is one of my favorites. I read the middle chapter in a literature class and admired it. Once i found it was part of a whole book I picked it up and just fed right in on it. It has such a character of words and descriptors. And all along you get to read into the idea of being human, what our humanity means, and what people mean to each other. This book discusses the next step in human evolution. It takes these few characters each with their own minds, abilities, and curses and bi ...more
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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
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“Just think about it," he said softly. "You can do practically anything. You can have practically everything. And none of it will keep you from being alone."
"Shut up shut up...Everybody's alone."
He nodded. "But some people learn how to live with it.”
“Ask Baby can you be truly part of someone you love."
"He says only if you love yourself.”
More quotes…