Sturgeon, Theodore

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1918-02-26
Death 1985-05-08
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

Theodore Sturgeon was born Edward Hamilton Waldo on February 26, 1918 in Staten Island, New York. After his parents' divorced, his mother married Scot William Dicky ("Argylle") Sturgeon, and at the age of eleven, Edward took his step-father's last name and changed his first name to Theodore to better match his childhood nickname of "Teddy."

Sturgeon sold his first story in 1938 to newspaper McClure's Syndicate. He sold his first Science Fiction story, "Ether Breather," to Astounding Science Fiction a year later. Sturgeon primarily published short stories in genre magazines, but did publish some general-interest stories as well. He published The Dreaming Jewels, his first novel, in 1950. Sturgeon continued to publish short stories, book reviews, and novels, establishing his work as an innovative in the Science Fiction genre. He was known to use a technique known as "rhythmic prose," in which his prose text would drop into a standard poetic meter. This has the effect of creating a subtle shift in mood, usually without alerting the reader to its cause.

Sturgeon is credited with six novels, four novelisations, two pseudonymous novels, and numerous short stories and reviews. During the 1960s, Sturgeon worked as a screen writer for television shows such as The Invaders, The Land of the Lost, and The Wild, Wild West, and the original Star Trek series. Two of Sturgeon's stories were adapted for The New Twilight Zone . His 1944 novella, "KillDozer," was the inspiration for the 1970s made-for-TV movie, Marvel comic book, and alternative rock band of the same name.

Sturgeon won Hugo and nebula awards in 1970 for his short story "Slow Sculpture."

Sturgeon died of pneumonia May 8, 1985 in Eugene, Oregon.

From the guide to the Personal Papers of Theodore Sturgeon, 1930-1987, (University of Kansas Kenneth Spencer Research Library Department of Special Collections)

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