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Theodore Sturgeon - Writer

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Theodore Sturgeon (26 February, 1918 to 8 May, 1985) is considered to be one of the best writers to come out of the 'Golden Age' of science fiction, along with other such greats as Asimov, Bradbury, and Heinlein.

His writing deals with the human condition, more specifically with the many different forms that love takes and the ways in which these are expressed, or not expressed. Considered to be iconoclastic and controversial at the time they were written, Sturgeon's stories illustrated the failings of many of societies' more established views on religion, sexuality, and ethics.

He is also known for formulating Sturgeon's Law:

Ninety percent of everything is crud1.

Sturgeon was originally named EH Waldo, but this name was changed in early adolescence when his mother re-married. Although many libraries list 'Theodore Sturgeon' as a pen name for EH Waldo, Sturgeon is his legal name.

Noted Works

Short Stories

  • Mr Costello
  • Hero
  • Slow Sculpture2
  • ... And My Fear is Great
  • The Clinic
  • The Skills of Xanadu


  • Godsbody
  • The Golden Helix
  • More Than Human
  • Killdozer
  • The Dreaming Jewels - later renamed The Synthetic Man

Sturgeon wrote scripts for several television shows, including two for the well-known science fiction programme Star Trek - 'Amok Time' and 'Shore Leave'. He is also given credit for creating the concept of the 'Prime Directive' in Star Trek. 'Prime Directive' is the principle of non-interference in which advanced cultures are forbidden to alter the natural development of less developed civilisations.

1Various other terms, including some colourful Anglo-Saxon ones, are often substituted in the place of the word 'crud', depending on the intended audience.2Slow Sculpture won the 'Hugo' - a science fiction achievement award - and the 'Nebula' - another prestigious science fiction prize.

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