RARA-AVIS: Re: Sturgeon

From: Racerick75@aol.com
Date: 10 Jun 2008

MRT wrote:

<<They teach Bradbury but they don't teach Sturgeon -- an injustice to Sturgeon.>>

No kidding. Sturgeon has really gotten the short end of the fame stick over the years.

The very first adult book I received as a child was Groff Conklin's Big Book of Science Fiction, which included a Sturgeon story entitled 'Mewhu's Jet'. That was almost fifty years ago, and that book is still one of my most prized possessions. There was a Ray Bradbury story in it, too, entitled "Forever And The Earth".

About thirty years ago, Sturgeon appeared at UNC-Greensboro, when I was working there in the University News Bureau. I had the opportunity to have dinner with him and his companion at the time, Jayne Tannehill, whom he referred to as 'Lady Jayne'. We discussed at length his concept of 'ask the next question', which became a major part of my psychological practice over the years.

I had brought my already dog-eared copy of Groff Conklin's Big Book of Science Fiction to the dinner, and I asked him to sign the first page of 'Mewju's Jet'. He did, and included the symbol for 'ask the next question'. He thumbed through the book, and said, "Boy, this book has been loved, hasn't it?"

Then, I brought up 'Sturgeon's Law'.

For those not familiar with Sturgeon's law, it basically says that "Ninety percent of everything is crap."? Sturgeon usually just said 'crud' to avoid the censors of the day.

When I brought up Sturgeon's Law, he nodded, took a drink, and said, "When I said that, I think I was drunk."

Then he waited a moment, and added, "...And charitable."

They don't make 'em like that anymore... R

Richard Helms http://www.richardhelms.net

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