Literary Catching-Up

1 comment July 16th, 2005at 04:09pm Posted by Eli

I’ll get to my current book in a later post, but I wanted to cover the one I finished recently first. It’s an anthology of Theodore Sturgeon short stories called Beyond. I’m sure I’ve read Sturgeon before, especially in my voracious youth, but I don’t associate him with anything. I think that’s changed now.

We have:

A story called “Need”, where one of the characters can sense the needs of others, uncomfortably so. So he roams around as sort of a freelance fixer, working to satisfy everyone’s needs (except junkies, who he runs out of town). The thing is, he’s not a very nice or compassionate guy – he’s kind of a shady jerk, really – but he acts like a humanitarian just to make the Need go away.

Another one where a tinkerer working on a special radio transmitter jerry-rigs a mutton-bone in tinfoil as a makeshift condenser, and discovers that anyone hooked up to the radio experiences the entire life of the bone’s original owner.

Another one where the human race, dying off at the height of its powers, decides to designate a successor and hand off all its vast wealth of knowledge to… the otters.

But I think my personal favorite is the one about this broken-down drunken sailor, who has permanent DTs (“the horrors”), gets washed up on a desert island inhabited by intelligent, telepathic worms (well, more like twined pairs of tentacles with an underground body), who offer to obey his every whim if he agrees to kill the giant cannibalistic worm that lives in the middle of the island, and which will eventually grow large enough to reach anywhere on the island.

Strange, strange stuff. Will need to get my hands on some more Sturgeon, I think…

Entry Filed under: Books,Coolness,Weirdness

1 Comment

  • 1. oldwhitelady  |  July 16th, 2005 at 11:17 pm

    Eli – that sounds like something I would enjoy. Thanks for telling me about this author. I’m going go find the book you read, and read it, too.


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