Theodore Sturgeon was a model for his friend Kurt Vonnegut's legendary character Kilgore Trout, and his work was an acknowledged influence on important younger writers from Harlan Ellison and Robert Silverberg to Stephen King and Octavia Butler. His work has long been deeply appreciated for its sardonic sensibility, dazzling wordplay, conceptual brilliance, memorable characters, and unsparing treatment of social issues such as sex, war, and marginalized members of society. Sturgeon also authored several episodes of the original "Star Trek "TV series and originated the Vulcan phrase "Live long and prosper."
This twelfth volume of North Atlantic's ambitious series reprinting his complete short stories includes classic works such as the award-winning title story, which won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards in 1971, as well as "Case and the Dreamer," a well-crafted tale of an encounter with a trans-spatial being that is also a meditation on love, and "The Widget], the Wadget], and Boff," a creative exploration of the human ability to achieve self-realization in response to crisis. The book includes a new Foreword, an illuminating section of Story Notes, and a comprehensive index for the entire series.
About the Author
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 mating ritual and the expression "Live long and prosper." He is also credited as the inspiration for Kurt Vonnegut's recurring fictional character Kilgore Trout. Sturgeon is the recipient of the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, and the International Fantasy Award. In 2000, he was posthumously honored with a World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement.
Spider Robinson, winner of three Hugos and a Nebula, was born in the Bronx and raised on Long Island, and has been a Canadian resident for 30 years. Holder of a bachelor's degree in English from the State University of New York, he worked as a folksinger and journalist before publishing his first story in "Analog "in 1973. He now lives with his wife Jeanne Robinson (co-author of the Hugo- and Nebula-winning Stardance trilogy) on an island outside Vancouver, B.C., where they raise and exhibit hopes.
Eleven of his 31 books are set in Callahan's Place, a fabulous tavern founded by a time traveler, where puns flow as freely as beer, and smell far worse. The most recent is" Callahan's Con" [Tor July 2003]. He has contributed a regular editorial column, "Future Tense," to Canada's national newspaper, " The Globe & Mail", since 1995. In 2000, he released""Belaboring the Obvious", "a CD of original music with the legendary Amos Garrett ("Midnight at the Oasis") on lead guitar, and in 2001 he was a celebrity judge at the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam.
“A consummate storyteller and someone whose stories had not only heart, but brains and depth.”
—Connie Willis, from the foreword
“One of the all-time masters of the sci-fi short story. This multivolume project to bring many of his classic tales back into print is long overdue.”
“Sturgeon’s often tender explorations of alien minds were as carefully worked out as Faulkner’s exploration of the mind of the idiot in The Sound and the Fury. His emphasis on psychology instead of blasters prepared the way for most modern masters of the science fiction genre.”
“Sturgeon was, in several senses, the conscience of modern science fiction.”
—The New York Times
“Sturgeon’s stories have an emotional impact unmatched by almost any other writer.”
—Arthur C. Clarke
“One of the best writers in America … Sturgeon is a master storyteller certain to fascinate all sorts of readers, not only science fiction fans.”
“Intelligent, humane, tantalizing stories, every one of which evokes the sense of wonder. Sturgeon’s stories are treasures from Elfland.”
“A terrific writer; I enjoyed every word he published.”
“Sturgeon wrote miraculous short stories.… He found his urgency directed in becoming the John Dos Passos, the William Faulkner, the Ring Lardner, the James Thurber, the Virginia Woolf of science fiction.”
“The most literate and lyrical writer science fiction ever had.”
—Spider Robinson, from the afterword