3 Aug 2009
Review: More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon
Theodore Sturgeon's 1953 SF Masterwork More than Human tells the story of the next stage of human evolution, the homo gestalt. A group of people with unusual super-human abilities come together to act as one being. By coincidence, a similar theme was also raised in the last SF Masterworks book I reviewed Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon (but in a very different way).
Theodore Sturgeon delivers the slightly perplexing concept of the homo gestalt via engaging and emotive stories about the characters. This is not a book full of science-fiction jargon or large amounts of clarification.
The book is made up of three parts, which were originally separate novellas. Each part has its own unique angle and quality. Effectively, the first part covers the initial creation of the homo gestalt when a 25 year old telepathic simpleton called Lone meets telekinetic Janie, a pair of twins who have the ability to teleport and a baby with the mind of a computer. In the second part, the homo gestalt develops and suffers setbacks. Lone dies, and is replaced by Gerry. This part of the book is written from Gerry's perspective. In the final part of the book, the homo gestalt is completed via the addition of Hip Barrows, who acts as the being's conscience.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading More than Human. Some original ideas were raised and the story was captivating. Actually it made me feel like I would like to evolve into a homo gestalt. Shame I've got no super-human abilities to speak of. But I suppose it's never to late to learn.