About Theodore Sturgeon
Theodore Sturgeon was considered one of the most influential writers of the so-called "Golden Age" of science fiction fostered by editor John Campbell from 1938 to 1950. Sturgeon was particularly appreciated for his literary style, his attention to character and his treatment of important social issues such as sex, war, and the alienation of those felt to be different from the norm. His depictions of the American working class and his sensitivity to strange and disabled people have been likened to Flannery O'Connor, Sherwood Anderson, and William Faulkner. In his obituary, the New York Times said that "Sturgeon was, in several senses, the conscience of modern science fiction," and Kurt Vonnegut called him "One of the best writers in America…certain to fascinate all sorts of readers, not only science fiction fans." His work is beloved by younger generations of writers as well, including James Tiptree, Jr., Connie Willis, Samuel R. Delany, Michael Chabon, Jonathan Lethem and Nalo Hopkinson.
Read More ->
Ask The Next Question

Copyright Theodore Sturgeon Literary Trust
"It means 'Ask the next question.' It's the symbol of everything humanity has ever created, and is the reason it has been created. This guy is sitting in a cave and he says, 'Why can't man fly?' Well, that's the question. The answer may not help him, but the question now has been asked. The next question is what? How? And so all through the ages, people have been trying to find out the answer to that question. We've found the answer, and we do fly. This is true of every accomplishment, whether it's technology or literature, poetry, political systems or anything else. That's it. Ask the next question. And the one after that." - Theodore Sturgeon

The symbol of the Q with an arrow through it was used by Sturgeon in his signature after the mid-1970s. He also wore it as a necklace. The symbol appears on the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial award for the year's best science ficiton story, given at the Center for Science Fiction.
Theodore Sturgeon, Storyteller - An Essay by Paul Williams
This is an essay written by Paul Williams in 1976. It was published on the Theodore Sturgeon Trust webpage in 1997, and then reprinted as an afterword in "Case and the Dreamer", Vol 13 of The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon (North Atlantic Books 2010) Copyright 1976; 1997 by Paul Williams.
I.
The best short story writer in America lives on a hill on the outskirts of Los Angeles. He works on TV scripts, gives lectures, teaches a class, writes book reviews and does introductions to other people's books. That's all. He's sold four new short stories in the last four years. Of the 23 books he's written in the course of his career, only three are still in print in the United States. His old masterpieces are not being read; and his new ones are not being written. And he has no one to blame for this state of affairs but himself.

Theodore Sturgeon.

I'm 28 years old (or will be when this is published) and the man I'm writing about is more than twice my age. And when I was just half this age, 14, it occurs to me now, I was at a party on the 14th floor of the Pick-Congress Hotel in Chicago at about five in the morning, the last night of my first science fiction convention, and Judith Merril, famed anthologist and author/editor of some of my favorite books, turned to me and asked -- just about everyone but me had consumed a fair quantity of alcohol by this time --"Doesn't it bother you to see that your heroes have feet of clay." And I said, "They couldn't be heroes if they didn't," or some such clever 14-year-old remark. Then the sun came up over Lake Michigan while the drunk science fiction writers told stories and sang folk songs, and I was indeed filled with quiet awe -- not at the great names made flesh around me, but at whatever miracles had brought me, at age 14, to this inner sanctum, this place of dreams.

Theodore Sturgeon was Guest of Honor at that particular science fiction convention (Labor Day Weekend, 1962), and I shook his hand but didn't actually talk with him. He had his wife and his children with him, and was very much the center of attention wherever he went in the convention hall, and anyway I had nothing to say; I loved the man and I loved his stories and there was no way I could tell him that.

Fourteen years later I visit his home, we talk about anything and everything, I enjoy his hospitality and see his feet of clay -- we've been friends of a sort for two or three years now -- and each time I read a story of his he is again my favorite writer, a worker of miracles; but in between times he's just a friend, attractive and annoying and as blind as the rest of us...... To write this story I need a hero, because this is a story of great achievements. But even after months of careful research, the man slips away from me, he's too human -- I know him and his life so well but I still can't understand where his miracles come from.

Read More ->