Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Theodore Sturgeon

Ray Bradbury is the focus of my academic research into the relationships between literary text and screenwriting. I've also done a bit of study of the literature and screen works of Harlan Ellison. There are a few other writers whose literary and screen careers I have tracked, although I haven't gone so far as to write or publish anything about them. In this latter category is the late Theodore Sturgeon.

Sturgeon was born a mere two years before Bradbury, and yet he so rapidly established himself as a fantasy and SF writer of quality that he was a significant influence on Bradbury's own early efforts. Like Bradbury, Sturgeon developed a reputation as a stylist. Like Bradbury, Sturgeon wrote short stories, novels and screenplays. His best known screen works were Star Trek episodes, including "Amok Time", the episode that not only took us to the planet Vulcan but showed us the curious mating rituals the Vulcan race must endure. Actually, sex and sexuality were something of a thematic preoccupation of Sturgeon's, showing up in several short stories and his novel Venus Plus X (and elsewhere).

Sturgeon was in the news recently, because his personal papers are finally being brought together into a single collection, which will be housed at Kansas University. This is excellent news for anyone researching into Sturgeon's work.

The most detailed report I have seen on this is here.

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