His most compassionate endings Its a nice way to end this collection and further proof that e was moving from strength to strength during this time period Again there s a wide variety ere and people looking for only the good SF stuff are probably going to want to pick up the older non complete collections but no matter
the genre each story feels like im and that s as good as any writer can for this genre each story feels like im and that s as as any writer can ask for this of classic sci fi is so rich I wanted to read just one short story at a time free as an e book from my library I ad to rush to finish before it expired a great variety of space tech and psychological plots with thought provoking plots rivals Dragonfrigate Wizard Halcyon Blithe (Halcyon Blithe, heinlin asimov or Bradbury collections My delight with this collection was spoiled by a couple of grimmer unpleasant pieces The Deadly Innocent And Now the News The Girl Had Guts The Other Celia Interestingly according to Paul Williams s notes some of theseave been Satria dari Negeri Tayli 1-28 hailed by critics as Sturgeon s major stories And Now the News may well offer one of the earliest warnings about the neurotic effects of media Probably something to do with people s perennial fascination with their darker sidesOn a brighter note one great asset of Sturgeon s writing that Iaven t mentioned so far is its sheer diversity Here we Goethean Science have a letter to a newspaper complaining about the author s inability to provide a story and thereby telling the story a Western with psychologically warped characters a police procedural a first contact story a space opera with a twist a cosmic clash between opposing modes of government and thinking a psychological profile of those fittest to explore space a psychological profile of those trying to compartmentalize space into Earth grown boxesand so onMy notes as I read areere And Now the News is absolutely my favorite sci fi short story of all time NOT for the ending which I refuse to spoil for you but because of the protagonist s attempt to free Out of the Shadows, Into the Streets! himself from the modern world armed with little but a couple sacks of rice flour perhaps some bacon some paints and a flugelhorn like instrument Out there in the boonies these dayse d drop Digital Crossroads his internet servicee gets really really into imself after spending an entire life as a newspaper junkie Does this sound familiar to any of you As I said I would not dare spoil the ending but there s plenty like im always popping up in the news every day it would seem Kurt Vonnegut was greatly influenced by Theodore Sturgeon whose stories exhibit a grandiose range of styles You can read is compiled works in And Now the News Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon edited by Paul Williams. AlFear Is a BusinessThe Other ManThe Waiting Thing Inside with Don WardThe Deadly Innocent with Don WardAnd Now the NewsThe Girl Had GutsThe Other CeliaAffair With a Green MonkeyThe Pod and the Barrier. A lot of times with this series the implication seems to be that the title story is either
The Most Well Known Or most well known or the best story out of the set with most of the time the former often definitely true and the latter mostly true As you can imagine from anyone who warrants a series of volumes that number into the double digits Sturgeon wrote a lot of stories and the collections ave pretty much a fair scattering of gems along with decent readable fareThis time though the title story ranks so How to Negotiate Your First Job high over everything else that it really isn t fair Mostere is above average good but And Now the News
Was Only Story That the only story that it me suare in the gut and felt like a story that could ave still been written today Basically a gift from Robert Heinlein apparently the tale goes that during a period where the writer s block was really Perfect Justice (Ben Kencaid, having its way withim The Literary Relationship of Lord Byron and Thomas Moore he wrote to Heinlein asking for advice to which the man responded by givingim a few pages of ideas some merely sketches and some a bit fleshed out Two of those stories make it into this collection and apparently Heinlein s synopsis for this story was so detailed that Suggestions for Marketing Small Timber he couldave almost snagged a co writer credit if New Exploration head done anything besides the general plotting But its an amazing effort probably the first time for me where it felt like one of Sturgeon s characters really pays the price for trying to live in this world and be a part of it It focuses on a man named Maclyle who follows the news so religiously that it becomes a bit of an obsession and eventually the grand parade of bad news starts to drain the life out of The Shaping of Western Civilization him untile finds imself unable to communicate properly any Its a grim depiction of a media saturated culture and what a constant barrage of it might do to us that probably felt chilling when it was written in the fifties and comes across as eerily prescient nowadays where our increased ability to be connected to information instantly only seems to drive us further apart from each other It proceeds like any other Sturgeon story but what sets it apart for me is the final reaction to all this and ow strangely bitter it all feels like its accepting that this is the only proper way to act in a world like ours and that the only options are to let this world gradually disintegrate you so you The Ecology, Exploitation and Conservation of River Turtles have no choice but to withdraw entirely or stay a part of it but be driven to drastic measures Its uietly shocking and like nothing else I ve read fromim so farThat said there are other stories in the book and if you ve been following the series then you know we re still in Medicine and Religion his peak period as a writer and well Written between 1955 and 1957 the 15 stories in And Now the News include five previously uncollected stories along with five well known works two cowritten with genre legend Robert Heinlein Spanningi. .
E s still peaking That means pretty much every story as something to offer although the tried and true SF seems to be in the minority this time out A number of them are actually straight mystery stories some in collaboration and only prove that e could Valentino have been a crackling mystery writer ife ad decided to focus on that instead of all the stuff with aliens The Half Way Tree Murder and Dead Dames Don t Dial ave their moments with the former reading like an attempt at a Graeme Greene story Meanwhile The Waiting Thing Inside is another off kilter Western not as good as the one
the last I thought and The Deadly Innocent is a strange tale told mostly through letters of another writer going out of er mind Thatin the last
One Is Confusing But Has A Senseis confusing but as a sense wanting to tinker with form that I appreciated Sometimes the most interesting Sturgeon moments can be found in these little side alleys where Craving (Willow Creek, he tries a trick that doesn t work aundred percent but lifts the story out of something that could Oba, the Last Samurai have been mundaneIn other placese uses SF as a backdrop for probing at relationships either between two people The Claustrophile or between a person and the truth Fear is a Business one that would probably go down as the Yonen Buzz, Volume 1 (Yonen Buzz, hardestitting story in the collection if not for And Now the News showcasing is knack for grounding even the most outlandish stuff in the sense that we re dealing with real people Even the totally wacky stuff as its moments like the truly bizarre The Girl Had Guts which again feels like something Cordwainer Smith would The Wood Demon have gone somewhere unbearably dark with or The Other Celia The latter is one ofis most effective stories dealing with a deeply strange incident between two people who never meet where the strangeness is never really explained and the reaction to it says as much about the characters despite them never conversingWe close out with two other straight SF tales Affair With a Green Monkey seems to deal with both aliens with a sly First Shapes hint at touching upon transgender issues but mostly throws a spanner in a stable relationship between two people just to see what wouldappen and its that interplay that makes the story stand out green monkey metaphor and everything Its also another one that seems to end on a weird downbeat note although Dispatches from Dystopia here it seems right The final story The Pod in the Barrier is another tale where it seems like Sturgeon is settingis characters on a stage and letting them improvise their roles as e depicts attempts to get through a barrier with increasingly failed efforts He leaves room for both science and misfits and wraps it up with one of. S most creative period these tales show why Sturgeon won every science fiction award givenWon't You WalkNew York VignetteThe Half Way Tree MurderThe Skills of XanaduThe ClaustrophileDead Dames Don't Di.