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The Nail and the Oracle

Theodore Sturgeon

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Fiction, Science fiction

This book contains ten major stories by the master of science fiction, fantasy, and horror written during the 1960s. The controversial "If All Men We re Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister " shows the author's technique of "ask the next question" used in a way that shatters social conventions. "When You Care, When You Love" offers a prescient vision of the marriage of deep obsessive love and genetic manipulation, written long before actual cloning techniques existed. "Runesmith" constitutes a rare example of Sturgeon collaborating with a legendary colleague, Harlan Ellison. Included also are two other rarities: two detective stories and a Western that showcase Sturgeon's knack for characterization and action outside his usual genre. "Take Care of Joey" has been read as an allusion to the complex personal relationship between Sturgeon and Ellison, while "It Was Nothing, Really!" hilariously skewers the mores of the military-industrial complex. As always, these stories demonstrate not only Sturgeon's brilliant wordplay but also his timeliness, with "Brown-shoes" and "The Nail and the Oracle" standing out as powerful commentaries on the use and abuse of power that might have been written yesterday.

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Theodore Sturgeon

Theodore Sturgeon (1918 - 1985)
Theodore Sturgeon 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 toAstounding in 1939, he travelled for some years, only returning in earnest in 1946. He produced a great body of acclaimed short fiction (SF's premier short story award is named in his honour) 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.


For more information see www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/sturgeon_theodore

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