THE GOLDEN HELIX by Theodore Sturgeon


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A substantial collection of ten tales, 1941-73, previously available only in a special book-club printing (1979). The title piece, written before the structure of DNA was elucidated, is a somewhat over-sentimental tale of hapless human colonists trapped by benevolent aliens (their symbol is a double helix) intent on capturing and preserving their human genes. In other noteworthy tales, an alien loses his telepathic powers and is dumped on non-telepathic Earth to sink or swim; an advanced human culture defeats potential aggressors by offering them total freedom; and a creature feeds on poignant emotions, haunting a party. There's also an amusing early yarn featuring God as the producer of a play wherein people are unwitting actors. And the thinner material here touches on paranormal powers, family jokes, a madman, and a crash on Mars. Warmly involving if patchy and sometimes immature: not quite top-drawer Sturgeon, but stronger than the agreeable Alien Cargo (p. 431).

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1984
Publisher: Bluejay--dist. by St. Martin's