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More Than Human

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  16,065 ratings  ·  813 reviews
ASIN B005OAHGE4 moved to this edition.
All alone: an idiot boy, a runaway girl, a severely retarded baby, and twin girls with a vocabulary of two words between them. Yet once they are mysteriously drawn together this collection of misfits becomes something very, very different from the rest of humanity.

This intensely written and moving novel is an extraordinary vision of hu

Kindle Edition, 233 pages
Published September 29th 2011 by Gateway (first published October 1953)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  16,065 ratings  ·  813 reviews

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Bill Kerwin
May 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction

If you have ever been lonely and longed for completion, you will be drawn to this book. But if you are one of those rare souls who sense that completion demands more than a wife or a husband, who yearn to find a small group of friends like yourself--but different--who can believe and will the same thing and yet still manage to preserve their distinctive humanity, then this book is the thing for you.

More Than Human is about six people—each with a distinct and extraordinary power—who wander lost a
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the world.
Shelves: sf-top-20, favorites
“We’re not a group of freaks. We’re Homo Gestalt, you understand? We’re a single entity, a new kind of human being. We weren’t invented. We evolved. We’re the next step up. We’re alone; there are no more like us. We don’t live in the kind of world you do, with systems of morals and codes of ethics to guide us. We’re living on a desert island with a herd of goats!”

More Than Human is all about “Homo Gestalt” a group of humans with different psi abilities living together as one unit. It is not abou
Jan 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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. ...more
Jun 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Time to admit that I read this and it made very little impression on me. It's obscure and hard to understand, for no particular reason; all that fancy language covers up some pretty conventional emotions. The story itself is fun - humans with special powers form some sort of gestalt - but I would've liked it more if he'd just told it. Gestalt is a fancy word for Voltron.


There's an optimism at the bottom of this book - the idea that humans are, by nature, resourceful and good. There's no real-wor
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
SF Masterworks 28 - although first published in 1953, this has aged extremely well, and is a from the off, a masterclass in how to make your story timeless. Now the book itself - and what an extraordinary book it is... seven people with different types of evolved power (telekinesis, mind control, teleportation etc.) struggle as outsiders amongst people they can't relate to, but who are aware of their otherness. In a very unpredictable and stunning approach, a lot of this book is about the paths ...more
lark benobi
I have no explanation for my deep love of this novel. It's hokey and ridiculous and overwrought and leaves bushels of interesting themes all over the place, unassembled. It's hopelessly dated. I love it. I connect with these very implausible characters. I revere this author for writing with such careless abandon of form or plot and who still keeps me riveted. This may have been my fourth or fifth reading of this particular novel. It's one of my security-blanket books. ...more
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Paul E. Morph
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This undoubtedly deserves its place as a much-lauded classic of the SF genre and it has spawned countless imitators (not least of which being Lee and Kirby’s X-Men) but, and this is probably unpopular opinion time again, it is not perfect.

Putting aside the fact that the prose gets more than a little purple at times, this novel is an expanded revision of a previously published novella... and it reads like it. Every section of this book is excellent standing alone but when you look at it all as a
May 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jan 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
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
Oleksandr Zholud
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a SF novel won the second ever Hugo Award in 1954. I read it as a part of Monthly reads in Hugo & Nebula Awards: Best Novels

This is interesting story, which had rather revolutionary ideas for its time, but now is a little outdated. It describes the next step in human evolution, Homo gestalt ( “You’re afraid of Homo Gestalt.”
He made a wonderful effort and smiled. “That’s bastard terminology.”
“We’re a bastard breed,”
), a community of people, who are parts of something more than human. One
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A group read with the "Evolution of SF" group. I've read this in paperback a couple of times & enjoyed it, but it's probably been 15 or 20 years. Blackstone's audio version has Rudnicki & Ellison narrating. Rudnicki is always great. Ellison does some voices well & I can think of a couple of good ones for him. Hopefully they'll keep him to that. In any case, it was worth buying.

It was! Ellison read the middle part, "Baby Is Three", the original novella (1952). It is told from Gerry's point of vie
More Than Human: Introducing the “Homo Gestalt”
(Also posted at Fantasy Literature)
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
Megan Baxter
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is the next step in human evolution? Where will we go from here? How will we fundamentally change, as technology continues to emerge. It feels like this is an obsession of a particular time and place. While science fiction has continued to examine how a changing world will alter humans, at their core they seem to remain fundamentally human.

Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

Rachel (Kalanadi)
3.5 stars. I don't care much for the development of psychic powers in older SF but there were hints of something in this story that kept me interested. ...more
Feb 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I end up seldom rereading books, I’m often tempted but then the guilt/panic kicks in of the reality of all the great books I haven’t even read once and I won’t even get to all those in one lifetime, so..…I almost always end up choosing a book I’ve never read. But occasionally the other voice in my head will insist, and (though not often) prevail. So here’s a reread of one of my formative science fiction novels, which blew my mind back in the day. And while I’m adjusting my rating to four stars ( ...more
Mar 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 17, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
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
Dec 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Classic 50s scifi that I hadn’t read before. What comes after Homo sapiens? Will it be an amalgamation of psychic and other abilities in a combined form? This book written in an unusual style(the story jumps around a bit explaining the various characters so can be confusing) is about a coming together of outsiders, freaks, and loners, I guess is an attempt to answer this. I was wondering where it was going but the final section brings it to a satisfying ending.
Jun 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Feb 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lena by: Science Fiction Aficionados BOM

The first Gestalt character I had ever read was in Daniel O'Malley's The Rook. I was completely blown away by this odd and frightful concept, the sheer alienness in human form. O'Malley's Gestalt was born quadruplets (three male, one female), all mentally one organism. It (them?) was an amazing fighter as it could coordinate four separate bodies as easily you coordinate four separate limbs.

Part of the joy of reading Classics is learning where your favorite contemporary authors got their ideas.
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Hmmmm, I'm torn between 3 or 4 stars. I liked how imaginative the book was for its time, I liked the characters' abilities and how everything kept coming back around to them. I liked their creative use of their powers to create their own reality and bend things to suit themselves. That was pretty intense what Gerry did to Hip, messed up, but really creative. But what I felt made the story drag a bit was how a new point in the story begins with new characters and you don't see the tie-in back to ...more
Shira and Ari Evergreen
"More Than Human" is well-intentioned, but out-dated. Sturgeon fancies that the next step in human evolution will be multicultural, 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 black 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, this didn't ...more
Jan 13, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Y'know, More Than Human is a decent piece of writing - but it's a very awkward read, and unfortunately dated. I like Sturgeon's stuff - I think he was on the cusp of being something truly different and revolutionary. More Than Human, in fact, probably was pretty revolutionary at the time of its publication... but, how many bizarre comic books and pulp novels have we seen on the same topic since then? Let's just say it's no longer the same groundbreaking material.

So, clearly, I don't blame Sturg
Apr 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I liked it but I thought there would be more to this story than there was.

Written back in the 50's, so it's a bit dated but not so much you can't enjoy it, this is the story of the evolution of the human race. We've just begun to move away from being a solitary creature to one where a group comes together to act as one. Each has powers that add to the whole, one is incredibly brilliant, twins who can transport themselves, a boy who can influence your thought and make you do things or forget thin
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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.”
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