Case and the Dreamer: Volume XIII: The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon
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James Blish called him the “finest conscious artist science fiction ever produced.” Kurt Vonnegut based the famous character Kilgore Trout on him. And such luminaries as Harlan Ellison, Stephen King, and Octavia Butler have hailed him as a mentor. Theodore Sturgeon was both a popular favorite and a writer’s writer, carving out a singular place in the literary landscape based on his masterful wordplay, conceptual daring, and narrative drive. Sturgeon’s sardonic sensibility and his skill at interweaving important social issues such as sex—including gay themes—and war into his stories are evident in all of his work, regardless of genre.
Case and the Dreamer displays Sturgeon’s gifts at their peak. The book brings together his last stories, written between 1972 and 1983. They include “The Country of Afterward,” a sexually explicit story Sturgeon had been unable to write earlier in his career, and the title story, about an encounter with a transpatial being that is also a meditation on love. Several previously unpublished stories are included, as well as his final one, “Grizzly,” a poignant take on the lung disease that killed him two years later. Noted critic and anthologist Paul Williams contextualizes Sturgeon as both man and artist in an illuminating afterword, and the book includes an index to the stories in all thirteen volumes.
over to the promotion department of Time International), and enjoying his central role in the active social life of the science-fiction world in New York City. His current stories were unimpressive, but he was lionized for his past achievements and his ever-present charm. But Marion had had this dream, for a long time, of living in the country with a writer, and she prevailed on Ted to make it come true for her. He dragged his feet, but … “She wasn’t happy with me working for a big, patronizing
Her console was constantly active—soft lights and whispers, little flashings and murmurings, to each of which she responded according to its demand. At times she seemed to sink into a species of meditation—hands clasped on her knee, eyes downcast—and during those times it would take a practiced eye as sharp as Merrihew’s to divine that she was speaking and that this was no mantric interval—any more than the occasional rhythmic manipulation of the simply designed, glittering little ornament at her
cure constipation. It cured my—” “Well don’t stop there.” “Piles,” said Perk with difficulty. “Cured my stomach ulcer, too. Sunburn. Scalds, burns, it leaves no blisters. Grows anyplace, indoors or out, likes to be neglected. Pups out in three, four months, stick the pup in another jug an’ you got two. In six months, a dozen. In a year, one hundred. Too bad, but progress always costs.” “You don’t mean … but—there’s nothing illegal about it!” “Yet.” The old Chief rocked slowly back and
boarded, entrained, and emplaned, for there was no waving from the rail, no message from over a horizon, no captain’s table, flight attendant—none of that. There were seventeen days of psychological and biological preparation, and then immersion in the bioenergetic phase—inversion field—all this planetside. Subjectively, the Trip was instantaneous; objectively, a half-century or so. Between these extremes of time, Occam, the projective computer, drank information until the well ran dry, soaked up
the recorder. He closed the panel, slipped in the locking pin, and gestured to Dom Felix to turn on the communicator. Dazed, Dom Felix did. (It was not until weeks later that he learned that such controls would respond only to the human hand, so designed that no falling object or carelessly placed cargo could activate it by accident; and that the Medean hand would not affect this type of switch. Just how much Terran technology did this creature understand?) He sat there staring at his companion