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Heinlein on Sturgeon

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Vol. 3 of The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon includes an Afterword by Robert A. Heinlein, reprinted from the introduction to Sturgeon's final novel, Godbody. It's a nice tribute, and well worth reading, but there's one unintentionally entertaining line that someone really ought to've told Heinlein to revise. Heinlein's giving examples of the oft-repeated idea that all of Sturgeon's work is about love in one form or another:

"The World Well Lost." (A love story, obviously—one about homosexuals. But please note that the copyright on it is 1953, many years before "gay pride" was even whispered, much less shouted. And Ted was not speaking in defense of himself but out of empathy for others. Ted was not even mildly homosexual. You can check this for yourself if you wish. I have no need to; I knew him intimately for more than forty years.)

Hee hee. And Heinlein goes on to compound that a couple pages later by saying: "My first impression of Sturgeon was that no male had any business being that pretty. He was a golden boy, one that caused comparisons with Michelangelo's David. Or Baldur."

Okay, okay, I know it's terribly puerile or sophomoric or something for me to be so amused by this. Nonetheless, I am inordinately tickled.

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Heinlein isn't the only allegedly straight guy who talks about how pretty Sturgeon was.

Another example: "I met Ted for the first time about a third of a century ago, when he was young and boyish and as pretty as a picture…" —Isaac Asimov, in The Hugo Winners, Volume Three, in his intro to Sturgeon's story "Slow Sculpture."


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