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Re: the comments of an earlier reviewer. Harlan Ellison's introduction is packed with revealing (even surprising) insights and stories about Sturgeon the writer and the man. Ellison came by this knowledge honestly, as they were close friends for decades, and even lived together for a time. If he talks about himself in the process, it's because he's trying to show how Sturgeon affected him. It's abundantly clear how much Harlan loved and respected the older writer. A lot of people hate Ellison. If you aren't one of them, you'll be moved by what he wrote. Sturgeon made Ellison promise to write his eulogy. And that is what this Ellison introduction is. So if you choose to skip it, the Sturgeon you imagine and love is yours-- but it isn't the real one. If you want to learn about the real one, don't skip.
This is the 11th volume of Ted Sturgeon's collected works and it contains, among other things, some of his lesser stories. The main entertainment here, at least at first, appears to be Harlan Ellison.
Yeah, that Harlan Ellison. Only now, apparently, Harlan is a Registered Trademark, because we get the little circled (r) every time his name is mentioned. Right. Well... yeah, he's Harlan Ellison and the introduction is worth the price of admission. It is, by turns, the "usual" Ellison bit of reportage, which is to say: by turns funny, poignant, informative, and provoking. He dishes from eight directions and it's good stuff.
However... Sturgeon gets the best of Ellison (a hard trick to turn when you're dead), or at least his editor does, with a single letter so totally hilarious that it, alone, is worth the price of the volume.
Oh, yes, there are also stories. And there are some quite fine ones in this volume. If you've been collecting these, you've no reason to stop before the XIth book. If this is your first foray, well, *do* stop and go back to volume I. This one will be here. It's not his best work nor his most indispensable work. But it's Sturgeon.
A good collection of stories highlighted by a slightly whiney Harlan Ellison introduction that ham handedly serves no introductory purpose except to introduce you to Harlan Ellison, the Harlan Ellison. Harlan Ellison includes a review he wrote of STURGEON IS ALIVE AND WELL, which reviews a handful of the stories in this volume and disses TO HERE AND THE EASEL.
Read the stories, ignore the introduction. Or read the introduction knowing that Harlan Ellison is in love with Harlan Ellison and sweats guilt for having known anyone who is not Harlan Ellison and is a better man than he.
Theodore Sturgeon is the greatest writer of the "SF ghetto", and this collection gathers all his works, regardless of genre or even publication. I think there is 1 more volume to go. You should instantly put it on your Must Have list. Everyone who loves good literature should purchase the entire series -- I know I have, and I'm on limited income.