16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
More than sci-fi,
This review is from: More Than Human (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
I've only just come across Sturgeon and 'More than Human' is a real eye-opener. At times it reads like X-Men rewritten by Mark Twain and Rilke, but all such equations are inadequate. Sturgeon's style is poetic in the best sense of the word — not flowery or overwrought, but fresh and always connected to real sensory experience of the world rather than literary cliché.
This is science fiction without robots, computers or space travel, that could be set any time since the early 20th century. But as an imagining of humanity's future it is superior to most 'futuristic' SF.
It's a speculation on human evolution that manages to be philosophically intriguing on a number of levels — on one hand an inquiry into the function and origins of morality, on the other a plea for liberty and 'experiments in living' that John Stuart Mill would have been proud of. The conflicting human urges towards both independence and society are sensitively portrayed, and there are startling moments of both horror and compassion. Between the lines there is also the sad recognition that we often hamper our own development, on whatever level, because of fear and ignorance.
'More than Human' is a brief but dense read. I imagine it will well repay repeated visits and should outlast most genre fiction.