The Ultimate Egoist is the first volume of The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, and contains the late author’s earliest work, written between 1937 and 1940. An acknowledged master of the short form – SF’s premier award for short fiction is named in his honour – Sturgeon’s influence was strongly felt by even the most original science fiction stylists, including Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, and Gene Wolfe, each of whom contributes a laudatory foreword. The more than 40 stories in this volume showcase Sturgeon’s masterful knack with clever plot twists, sparkling character development and almost archetypal ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ story ideas. Early Sturgeon masterpieces include ‘It’, about the violence done by a creature spontaneously born from garbage and mud, and ‘Helix the Cat’, about an inventor’s bizarre encounter with a disembodied soul and the cat that saves it.
We are delighted to be publishing The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon and hope the availability of these books will please dedicated Sturgeon fans as well as gaining new readers for one of the undisputed masters of the genre.
Theodore Sturgeon (1918 – 1985) was born Edward Hamilton Waldo in New York City in 1918. Sturgeon was not a pseudonym; his name was legally changed after his parents’ divorce. After selling his first SF story to Astounding in 1939, he travelled for some years, only returning in earnest in 1946. He produced a great body of acclaimed short fiction as well as a number of novels, including More Than Human, which was awarded the 1954 retro-Hugo in 2004. In addition to coining Sturgeon’s Law – ‘90% of everything is crud’ – he wrote the screenplays for seminal Star Trek episodes ‘Shore Leave’ and ‘Amok Time’, inventing the famous Vulcan mating ritual, the pon farr.