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Encyclopedia > Theodore Sturgeon

Theodore Sturgeon (February 26, 1918 Staten Island, New YorkMay 8, 1985) was an American science fiction author. He was born Edward Hamilton Waldo; in 1929, after a divorce, his mother married William Sturgeon, and Edward changed his name to Theodore the better to match his nickname, "Ted". February 26 is the 57th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... For other uses, see Staten Island (disambiguation) Staten Island, shown in an enhanced satellite image Staten Island is one of the five boroughs of New York City, located on an island of the same name on the west side of the Narrows at the entrance of New York Harbor. ... May 8 is the 128th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (129th in leap years). ... 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Divorce or dissolution of marriage is the ending of a marriage before the death of either spouse. ...

Contents

Work

He sold his first story in 1938 to the newspaper McClure's Syndicate which bought much of his early (non-fantastic) work; his first genre appearance was "Ether Breather" in Astounding Science Fiction a year later. At first he wrote mainly short stories, primarily for genre magazines such as Astounding and Unknown, but also for general-interest publications such as Argosy Magazine. He used the pen name "E. Waldo Hunter" when two of his stories ran in the same issue of Astounding. A few of his early stories were signed "Theodore H. Sturgeon". He once ghosted an Ellery Queen novel, The Player on the Other Side (Random House, 1963). 1938 (MCMXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... Astounding Stories was a seminal science fiction magazine founded in 1930. ... Unknown (also known as Unknown Worlds) was a pulp fantasy magazine, edited by John W. Campbell, that was published from 1939 to 1943. ... Argosy Magazine is an American pulp magazine. ... A pen name or nom de plume is a pseudonym adopted by an author. ... Frederic Dannay (left), with James Yaffe (1943) Ellery Queen is both a fictional character and a pseudonym used by two American cousins from Brooklyn, New York: Daniel (David) Nathan, alias Frederic Dannay (October 20, 1905–September 3, 1982) and Manford (Emanuel) Lepofsky, alias Manfred Bennington Lee (January 11, 1905–April...

Fantastic Adventures, August 1951, featuring Sturgeon's story "Excalibur and the Atom" (cover art by Robert Gibson Jones).
Fantastic Adventures, August 1951, featuring Sturgeon's story "Excalibur and the Atom" (cover art by Robert Gibson Jones).

Many of Sturgeon's works have a poetic, even an elegiac, quality. He was known to use a technique known as "rhythmic prose", in which his prose text would drop into a standard meter. This has the effect of creating a subtle shift in mood, usually without alerting the reader to its cause. Fantastic Adventures featuring a Theodore Sturgeon story This is a magazine cover. ... Fantastic Adventures featuring a Theodore Sturgeon story This is a magazine cover. ... The Chinese poem Quatrain on Heavenly Mountain by Emperor Gaozong (Song Dynasty) Poetry (from the Greek , poiesis, making or creating) is a form of art in which language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its ostensible meaning. ... Elegy was originally used for a type of poetic metre (Elegiac metre), but is also used for a poem of mourning, from the Greek elegos, a reflection on the death of someone or on a sorrow generally. ...


His most famous novel More Than Human (1953) won serious academic recognition particularly in Europe, where it was seen as high-quality literature. More Than Human is a novel by Theodore Sturgeon. ...


Sturgeon wrote the screenplays for the Star Trek episodes "Shore Leave" (1966) and "Amok Time" (1967, later published in book form in 1978). The latter is known for his invention of the Pon farr, the Vulcan mating ritual. Sturgeon also wrote several episodes of Star Trek that were never produced. One of these was notable for having first introduced the Prime Directive. He also wrote an episode of the Saturday morning show Land of the Lost, "The Pylon Express", in 1975. Two of Sturgeon's stories were adapted for The New Twilight Zone. One, "A Saucer of Loneliness", was broadcast in 1986 and was dedicated to his memory. His 1944 novel, "Killdozer", was the inspiration for the 1970's made-for-TV movie, Marvel comic book, and alternative rock band of the same name. Star Trek is an American science-fiction franchise spanning six television series, ten feature films, hundreds of novels, computer and video games, and other fan stories. ... Shore Leave is a first season episode of Star Trek: The Original Series. ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ... Amok Time is an episode of Star Trek: The Original Series. ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ... 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday. ... Pon farr is a condition in the fictional Star Trek universe that induces the desire to mate in an adult Vulcan. ... This article or section may need to be cleaned up and rewritten because it describes a work of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. ... Star Trek is an American science-fiction franchise spanning six television series, ten feature films, hundreds of novels, computer and video games, and other fan stories. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Land of the Lost (1974–1976) is one in a variety of popular, uniquely produced childrens television series created and produced by Sid and Marty Krofft. ... 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday. ... Opening for the 1985 Twilight Zone. ...


Although Sturgeon is well known among readers of classic science-fiction anthologies (at the height of his popularity in the 1950s he was the most anthologized author alive) and much respected by critics (John Clute writes in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction: "His influence upon writers like Harlan Ellison and Samuel R. Delany was seminal, and in his life and work he was a powerful and generally liberating influence in post-WWII US sf"), he is not much known among the general public and won comparatively few awards (though it must be noted that his best work was published before the establishment and consolidation of the leading genre awards, while his later production was scarcer and weaker). He was listed as a primary influence of the much more famous Ray Bradbury and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Kurt Vonnegut has stated that his character Kilgore Trout was based on Theodore Sturgeon. The 1950s was the decade spanning the years 1950 to 1959. ... John [Frederick] Clute is a Canadian born author and critic who lives in Britain. ... The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction is a reference work on science-fiction. ... Harlan Jay Ellison (born May 27, 1934) is a prolific American writer of short stories, novellas, essays, and criticism. ... Samuel Ray Chip Delany, Jr. ... Ray Douglas Bradbury (born August 22, 1920) is an American fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer best known for The Martian Chronicles, a 1950 book which has been described both as a short story collection and a novel, and his 1953 dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451. ... Kurt Vonnegut, Junior (born November 11, 1922) is an American novelist, satirist, and most recently, graphic artist. ... Kilgore Trout is a fictional character created by author Kurt Vonnegut. ...


Sturgeon's Law

Main article: Sturgeon's law

Sturgeon's Law is: "Nothing is always absolutely so." Sturgeons Law is an adage derived from a quote by science fiction author Theodore Sturgeon: Nothing is always absolutely so. ...


However this term is more often used for Sturgeon's Revelation: "Ninety percent of SF is crud, but then, ninety percent of everything is crud."


Corollary 1: "The existence of immense quantities of trash in science fiction is admitted and is regrettable; but it is no more unnatural than the existence of trash anywhere."


Corollary 2: "The best science fiction is as good as the best fiction in any field."


Bibliography

Novels

1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... More Than Human is a novel by Theodore Sturgeon. ... 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday. ... A fixup is a novel created from short stories which may or may not have been initially related. ... The International Fantasy Awards were given out in 1951--1955 and in 1957. ... The King and Four Queens (1956), a western movie, involves a middle-aged cowboy adventurer (Clark Gable) who learns that a stolen fortune remains buried on a ranch that serves as home to four gorgeous young widows and their battle-axe mother-in-law: the drifter turns on the charm. ... 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... I, Libertine was the result of a practical joke by late-night radio raconteur Jean Shepherd. ... 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ... Some of Your Blood is a short horror novel in epistolary form by Theodore Sturgeon, first published in 1961. ... 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1961 calendar). ... Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was a science-fiction film directed by Irwin Allen and released in 1961. ... A novelization (or novelisation in British English) is a work of fiction that is written based on some other media story form rather than as an original work. ... 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1961 calendar). ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ... Look up West in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Short works

Sturgeon was better known for his short stories and novellas. Here is a sampling of titles:

  • "Ether Breather" (September, 1939, his first published science-fiction story)
  • "Derm Fool" (March, 1940)
  • "It" (August, 1940)
  • "Microcosmic God" (April, 1941)
  • "Yesterday Was Monday" (1941)
  • "Killdozer" (November, 1944)
  • "Bianca's Hands" (May, 1947)
  • "Thunder and Roses" (November, 1947)
  • "The Perfect Host" (November, 1948)
  • "Minority Report" (June 1949, no connection to the 2002 movie, which was based on a later story by Philip K. Dick)
  • "One Foot and the Grave" (September, 1949)
  • "The World Well Lost" (June, 1953)
  • "Mr. Costello, Hero" (December, 1953)
  • "The Skills of Xanadu" (July, 1956)
  • "The Other Man" (September, 1956)
  • "The Cosmic Rape" (1958)
  • "Need" (1960)
  • "How to Forget Baseball" (Sports Illustrated December 1964)
  • "The Nail and the Oracle" (Playboy October 1964)
  • "Slow Sculpture" (Galaxy February 1970) - winner of a Hugo Award and a Nebula Award
  • "Occam's Scalpel" (August, 1971, with an introduction by Terry Carr)
  • "Vengeance Is" (1980, Dark Forces anthology edited by Kirby McCauley)

North Atlantic Books has been releasing the chronologically assembled The Complete Short Stories of Theodore Sturgeon since 1995; volume 10, with stories from 1957-1960, was published in 2005. [1] 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1940 calendar). ... This article is about the year. ... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1944 calendar). ... 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1947 calendar). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1949 calendar). ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... The Minority Report (The) Minority Report is a science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick first published in 1956. ... Philip Kindred Dick (December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982) was an American science fiction writer. ... The World Well Lost is a science-fiction short story by Theodore Sturgeon, first published in the June 1953 issue of Universe. ... 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday. ... 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ... The first issue of Sports Illustrated, August 16, 1954, showing Milwaukee Braves star Eddie Matthews at bat in Milwaukee County Stadium. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... Playboy is an American adult entertainment magazine, founded in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and his associates, which has grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc. ... The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein in Galaxy, Sept. ... 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1970 calendar). ... The 2005 Hugo Award with base designed by Deb Kosiba. ... The Nebula is an award given each year by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), for the best science fiction/fantasy fiction published in the United States during the two previous years. ... 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1971 calendar). ... Terry Carr (February 19, 1937 - April 7, 1987) was a science fiction author and editor. ... 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday. ...


Trivia

Sturgeon's biological father's surname (his mother remarried William Sturgeon in 1929 [2]) was Waldo.
Waldo was also the title of a well-known short story Waldo by long-term friend and sometime collaborator Robert A. Heinlein [3]. Waldo (1942) is a novella by Robert A. Heinlein originally published in Astounding Magazine in August 1942, using the pseudonym Anson Macdonald. ... This article is becoming very long. ...


The "Waldo" was a device used to manipulate objects remotely with mechanical hands. Other authors honored the term in a number of "Golden Age" short stories.


"Before their application in motion pictures and television, 'Waldos' primarily referred to the mechanical arms, telemetry, and other anthropomorphic gadgetry aboard the NASA spacefleet." [4]


External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Theodore Sturgeon

  Results from FactBites:
 
Theodore Sturgeon (431 words)
Sturgeon's Law is derived from the quote of his - "Sure, 90% of science fiction is crud.
The latter is known for Sturgeon's invention of the Ponn Farr[?], the Vulcan mating ritual.
Although Sturgeon wrote is well known among readers of classic science-fiction anthologies (at the height of his popularity in the 1950s he was the most anthologized author alive), perhaps his most notable acheivement is that he was listed as a primary influence of the much more famous Ray Bradbury and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Theodore Sturgeon Obituary (1181 words)
Theodore Sturgeon, an internationally known science fiction author and recipient of the Hugo Award, the genre's highest honor, died Wednesday at Sacred Heart General Hospital from lung ailments.
Sturgeon, 67, of 3050 Hayden Bridge Road, maintained such a low profile since he and his wife, Jayne Tannehill Sturgeon, moved to Springfield several years ago that few people, aside from devoted science fiction buffs, knew he lived in the area.
Theodore Sturgeon, a leading figure in American science fiction, died Wednesday of lung ailments in Eugene, Ore. He was 67 years old.
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