Theodore Sturgeon (1918-1985) was a master short story writer. Here we have a very representative collection, originally published by Ballantine in 1955, collected from stories published in sci-fi, fantasy and mystery magazines, still it is a pity that this book is out of print; yet do not dismay all his stories has been recently published in a wonderful ten volume series!
Sturgeon's stories deals not only with classic sci-fi themes but he also thrives into fantasy and horror.
The present selection is mainly sci-fi with touches of the other genres.
First we'll take a look to sci-fi group.
"Microcosmic God" is a very smart tale, combining Sturgeon's keen imagination with a parable about investigators and administrators. Very interesting is the "content" of the lab, which I will not disclose.
"Medusa" is a classic deep space search carried out by a weird crew. The plot is intriguing and solved by the author with sure hand.
"Prodigy" is situated in post-holocaust scenery with humankind struggling to avoid mutant deviation (a similar basic premise is used by John Wyndham in "The Chrysalides") with odd results.
"Twink" follows the anguish and guilt felt by a father that has put his daughter life in jeopardy.
Now let's see the miscellaneous group.
"Shadow, shadow, on the wall" enters a mixture of fantasy and horror with family vignettes.
"Blabbermouth" describes a strange case of possession with typical Sturgeon's humor touches and a critical view of social relations.
"Ghost of a Chance" (aka "The Green-Eyed Monster") is a delicious tale about a couple- to-be and a nasty ghost.
Finally from an indescribable genre a dark account full of psychological enquires, diving deeply into a character that has many traits in common with Lone from "More Than Human".
I wholeheartedly recommend this collection to sci-fi lovers and general public!
Reviewed by Max Yofre.