A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
Stretched across the sky is old mourning-cloth, with starlight burning holes in it, and between the holes the black is absolute…
Sure, when he wanted Theodore Sturgeon could write straight-ahead adventures so awesome they needed exclamation points in the title—like “Killdozer!” But there’s also never been anyone better at taking typically action-oriented plots and making them turn inwards. Even his vampire book, Some of Your Blood, is really just a psychological novel.
“The Man Who Lost the Sea” is one of my favorite examples. It’s a tale of space exploration gone awry in which we don’t see much actual space travel, exploration, or cosmic calamity. Instead, we get a fragmented, at times dream-like, examination of our astronaut’s brain as he slowly realizes he is about to die.
It’s thoughtful, complex writing that rewards repeated readings but never feels like an English Lit assignment. Give it a try next time your in the mood for something a little different. If you like it try the story that follows it in this anthology “Slow Sculpture” or maybe Sturgeon’s masterpiece, the novel More Than Human.
Review by Matthew