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The Ultimate Egoist

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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 Wolfe, each of whom contributes a laudatory foreword. The more than 40 stories here showcase Sturgeon's masterful knack with clever, O. Henry-ish plot twists, sparkling character development, and almost archetypal, why didn't I think of that? story ideas. Early Sturgeon masterpieces include "It," about the violence done by a creature spontaneously born from garbage and mud, and "Helix the Cat," about an inventor's bizarre encounter with a disembodied soul and the cat that saves it. Sturgeon's unique genius is timelessly entertaining.

From Publishers Weekly

30 August 2010 – Samuel R. Delany notes in his excellent foreword here that Theodore Sturgeon (1918-1985) is the master of near-future science fiction-a contention backed by the stories in this second volume (following The Ultimate Egoist) of a projected 10-volume series presenting all of Sturgeon's short fiction. There are some dated references in these tales, written in 1940 and 1941-a ``twelve-dollar French meal,'' ``an automobile mechanic $23 a week''-but only a few of the stories (such as ``Two Percent Inspiration'' in which the planet Mercury has a breathable atmosphere) seem merely quaint. The title tale, which reveals the symbiosis between an inventor and the community of microscopic beings he creates, is perhaps Sturgeon's best remembered. But it is stories such as ``The Golden Egg,'' ``The Anonymous'' and ``Shottle Bop'' that reveal the author's attention to the finer nuances of being human. Even the weakest entries here display Sturgeon's curiosity and refusal to write stock entertainment. The range of this volume-which ends at Sturgeon's first major writing block-is prodigious, and that the author produced such epiphaniac work as ``The Golden Egg'' and the title tale before his 24th birthday is cause for amazement. Everyone interested in SF's potential as abiding literature should cherish this volume.
The Ultimate Egoist
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  • £2.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
  • Published: 02 October 2013
  • Publisher: Orion
  • Print Length: 387 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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