Theodore Sturgeon Collection

Identity elements

Reference code

US TxAM-C C000235

Level of description



Theodore Sturgeon Collection


  • 1954 (Creation)


2 folders

Name of creator


Biographical history

Theodore Sturgeon is one of the legends of 20th-century science fiction. Born on Staten Island in New York City under the name of Edward Hamilton Waldo (his name was changed legally in 1930), Sturgeon produced over the course of some five decades an immense and important corpus of science fiction stories and novels.

Sturgeon's first professional work was the story "Ether Breather", which was published in September 1939 by Astounding Science Fiction. This was the first of several hundred stories that Sturgeon would produce over the course of his life, including such notable works as "Microcosmic God" (1941), "Baby Is Three" (1952, later expanded to become the novel More Than Human in 1953), "A Saucer of Loneliness" (1953), and "The World Well Lost" (1953). The last of these is famous as one of the first depictions of homosexuality in science fiction. Sturgeon was exceptionally well-regarded in his field, and at the height of his prolific career was the most anthologized English-language author in the world.

Sturgeon wrote only a few novels, most notably More Than Human in 1953, the tale of six people born with extraordinary abilities who eventually come together in shared consciousness. In addition, he also wrote screenplays for several episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series, including "Amok Time" and "Shore Leave".

Sturgeon was nominated for a number of literary honors during his lifetime. His novel More Than Human won the 1954 International Fantasy Award. His story " Slow Sculpture" received the 1971 Hugo Award for Best Short Story and the 1971 Nebula for Best Novelette. In 1985 Sturgeon was awarded the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, and he was posthumously inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2000.

Theodore Sturgeon died in Eugene, Oregon, on May 8, 1985.

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Scope and content

This collection consists of an advance copy (bound unpaged galley proofs) of the first edition, first state; and an advance copy (bound unpaged galley proofs) of the first edition, second state, of Sturgeon's 1953 novel More Than Human.

The proofs represent the first state of the text without Sturgeon's extensive last-minute changes made at the publisher's office. A handwritten signed note by Sturgeon dated August 1954 on the inside front cover reads: "A few hours before 'More Than Human' went to press, the author felt a profound dissatisfaction with the last section. Working in the corner of a busy office at his publisher's, he rewrote the final portion. This is, as far as he knows, the only copy extant of the book before these changes were made. It is donated, with the author's warmest good wishes, to the World Science Fiction Convention of 1954, at San Francisco."

The revisions to the galleys were made on leaves 16, 120, 136, 139, and 144-145 and consisted mostly of insertions of new copy, ranging from about 150 words in one case to about 1500 in another (at the story's conclusion).

The proofs are accompanied by a signed letter, dated August 25, 1954, from Sturgeon (signed "Ted") to "Les" (probably Lester Cole, co-chairman of the convention) on Sturgeon's stationery, with an autograph postscript. This is the cover letter sent with the proof, in which Sturgeon explains why he will not be able to attend the 1954 convention due to a death in the family. He expresses sincere regret and names those to whom he would like to have his greetings conveyed, including "the six (at least) X's. These last are the handful, among all the wonderful people there, whom [sic] I haven't met yet but would discover and have for lifelong friends if only I could be there."

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Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Languages of the material

  • English

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Notes element

General note

These materials are housed in a box with multiple collections, Box 2 / Folder 1-2.

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Archivist's note

© Copyright 2019 Cushing Library. All rights reserved.

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