Denver Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club

More than Human new cover

More Than Human (1953)
Winner of the 1954 International Fantasy Award

Current Vintage trade edition - 186 pages
cover design by Evan Gaffney, cover photograph by Kevin Irby (left)

Book club edition - 186 page
cover art by Gary Viskupic (right)

More than Human book club cover

From the back cover of the trade edition:
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 the world except for a conscience. Separately, they are talented freaks. Together they compose a single organism that may represent the next step in evolution, and the final chapter in the history of the human race.

From the Farrar, Straus & Young edition:
Somewhere in this world there are six people who -- together -- can do anything. Some day, perhaps tomorrow, they will put their power to work and the world will be transformed. In the meantime they are waiting quietly. They look -- and often behave -- like people you know. But with a difference: they think of themselves as "I" -- not "we" -- because in a curious way they are One. That is the source of their strength. This is the story of how they met, and what they became...and what they intend to do.

Read for group discussion on March 8, 2000

More than Human Farrar Straus Young

More book covers for More Than Human:

Farrar, Straus & Young cover
1950s (35c cover price) 233 pages (left)

Ballantine paperback
1960s (75c cover price) 188 pages (right)

More than Human Ballantine cover

How we each rated this book
Dan 6 Amy 7 stack of books 10   Wow! Don't miss it
8-9  Highly recommended
7    Recommended
5-6  Mild recommendation
3-4  Take your chances
1-2  Below average; skip it
0    Get out the flamethrower!
Cheri 8 Barb 7
Aaron 8 Cynthia 8
Lindsey - Jackie 7
Kerry 7

Aaron's Commentary  Theodore Sturgeon - More Than Human

       Sturgeon combines strong writing with interesting ideas throughout this book. The second section of the book was originally considered a classic as a stand-alone novelette, but I found the first section even stronger. I liked the symmetry of the idea that we all have telepathic powers at birth, but lose them as we learn to communicate verbally with others. Thus, such abilities are never exposed, since those who retain their psi abilities are necessarily the persons who cannot relate to the rest of society.
       For the most part Sturgeon did an effective job of weaving a complete novel out of three distinct novelettes, but there were times when the book did seem somewhat disjointed. I found the switch from first person to third at the beginning of part two a bit jarring, and I thought the beginning of the third part was paced too slowly in comparison to the preceding sections. However, Sturgeon pulled the third section together nicely with a look at ethics and morality in the modern world that remains fascinating even after nearly fifty years.

What do you think? Your comments are welcome. Please send them to

Theodore Sturgeon (1918-1985) was a US writer. He was born Edward Hamilton Waldo in New York City.

His novels are The Dreaming Jewels (1950, also called The Synthetic Man (1957)), More Than Human (fixup, 1953), The Cosmic Rape (1958), Venus Plus X (1960), and Godbody (1986).

Sturgeon's short fiction collections are Without Sorcery (1948, also called Not Without Sorcery (1961)), E Pluribus Unicorn (1953), A Way Home (1955), Caviar (1955), A Touch of Strange (1958), Aliens 4 (1959), Beyond (1960), Sturgeon in Orbit (1964), Baby is Three &...And My Fear is Great (1965), The Joyous Invasions (1965), Starshine (1966), Sturgeon is Alive and Well... (1971), The Worlds of Theodore Sturgeon (1972), Case and the Dreamer (1974), The Stars are the Styx (1979), The Golden Helix (1979), Alien Cargo (1984), To Marry Medusa (1987), and A Touch of Sturgeon (1987).

The current Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon series:
-- The Ultimate Egoist - Volume I
-- The Microcosmic God - Volume II
-- Killdozer! - Volume III
-- Thunder and Roses - Volume IV
-- The Perfect Host - Volume V
-- Baby is Three - Volume VI
-- A Saucer of Loneliness - Volume VII
-- Bright Segment - Volume VIII
-- And Now the News... - Volume IX
-- The Man Who Lost the Sea - Volume X
-- The Nail and the Oracle - Volume XI

Other works include westerns The Rare Breed (1966) and the collection Sturgeon's West (1973); I, Libertine (1956) a historical novel as by Frederick R. Ewing; detective novel The King and Four Queens (1956); and Ellery Queen detective novel The Player on the Other Side (1963). Some of Your Blood (1961) is a non-SF study of a blood drinking psychotic.

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
(1961) is a novelization.

Theodore Sturgeon - Wikipedia
The SF Site Featured Review: More Than Human
Classic Science Fiction Reviews: More Than Human

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