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A classic Science Fiction novel written by Theodore Sturgeon in 1953. It is structured as a series of three short novelettes, none of which are very impressive on their own. However, when taken together, the three stories combine to become more than the sum of their parts. This structure echoes the novel's main themes. A group of misfits (mostly children) band together for survival; none of them can survive on their own, but together they may comprise the next step in human evolution. Sturgeon approaches his story with a literary style, both poetic and lyrical, exploring the questions of power, responsibility, morality, individuality and belonging. Also evident are Sturgeon's interest in psychiatry, humanism, and his belief in the transformative power of love. Sturgeon was decades ahead of his time in terms of cultural and racial tolerance and human relations, which removes the dated feel that permeates much of science fiction (especially of Sturgeon's era). This sort of depth and style is rarely seen in science fiction, and Sturgeon masterfully keeps his book accessable and readable.

Quotes*:
  • Page 94 - "We don't believe anything we don't want to believe."
  • Page 97 - "Logic and truth are very different things, but they often look the same to the mind that's performing the logic."
  • Page 186 - "He saw himself as an atom and his gestalt as a molecule. He saw these others as a cell among cells, and he saw the whole design of what, with joy, humanity would become."
* Page numbers relative to my particular edition.

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