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More Than Human

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  13,703 ratings  ·  679 reviews
There's Lone, the simpleton who can hear other people's thoughts and make a man blow his brains out just by looking at him. There's Janie, who moves things without touching them, and there are the teleporting twins, who can travel ten feet or ten miles. There's Baby, who invented an antigravity engine while still in the cradle, and Gerry, who has everything it takes to run ...more
Paperback, First Vintage Books Edition, 186 pages
Published January 1999 by Vintage (first published October 1953)
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3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,703 ratings  ·  679 reviews


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Bill  Kerwin
May 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Lyn
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Apatt
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: the world.
Shelves: favorites, sf-top-20
“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
...more
Felicia
Jan 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
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.
Palmyrah
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
...more
Whitaker
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
...more
Amanda
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
...more
Kathryn
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
...more
Jim
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
...more
Stephen
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
Stuart
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
...more
Megan Baxter
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.

In
...more
Oleksandr Zholud
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
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.
...more
Simon
Apr 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-masterworks, sf
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
...more
Terence
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
...more
Jeff
Jun 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Williwaw
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
...more
Nancy
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Lena
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.
...more
Rose
Apr 11, 2017 rated it liked it
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
...more
Addie
Jan 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.

Origin
...more
Chris
Jan 13, 2016 rated it liked it
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
...more
Shira and Ari Evergreen
Aug 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi
"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
Spencer
Mar 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Weathervane
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.
oguz kaan
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
*Bayıldım bu kitaba. Harika fikirler var. Üstelik karakterler evren ile aşırı uyumlu. Yazarın kullandığı yöntemi de sevdim. Başta karışık gibi geliyor ama her şey bir anda oturdu ve acayip bir doyum hissi ile kapattım kitabı.

** Sturgeon bekle beni geliyorum.
spikeINflorida
Apr 27, 2017 rated it liked it
PART ONE: The Fabulous Idiot ☆☆☆☆
PART TWO: Baby Is Three ☆☆
PART THREE: Morality ☆☆
Amy
May 24, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a great science fiction novel and I feel bad only giving it three stars, but the story just wasn't my cup of tea. Classic case of "it's not you, it's me."
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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
“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.”
21 likes
“He slept like an animal, well and lightly, faced in the opposite direction from that of a man; for a man going to sleep is about to escape into it while animals are prepared to escape out of it.” 16 likes
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