Sturgeon books I didn’t know about

I thought that I had read all of Sturgeon’s fiction except for one novel. But it turns out that he wrote five other books that I hadn’t heard of.

Three of them are novelizations of movies:

  • The King and Four Queens (1956)
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961)
  • The Rare Breed (1966)

But the others appear to be original novels:

  • Some of Your Blood (horror) (1961)
  • The Player on the Other Side (under the Ellery Queen byline) (mystery) (1963)

I found out about all this because Stephen King (in his book On Writing) quoted a line of Sturgeon’s that King said came from Sturgeon‘s Some of Your Blood:

“They caught the kid doing something nasty under the bleachers.”

…which I recognized as the opening line of Sturgeon’s novel The Dreaming Jewels (1950). Went and checked the latter, and found that it’s very close to but not quite identical to what King quoted:

“They caught the kid doing something disgusting out under the bleachers at the high-school stadium, and he was sent home from the grammar school across the street. He was eight years old then. He’d been doing it for years.”

(…I should note that the “something disgusting” turns out to be something very different from what most people would assume/guess. In fact, it‘s something that’s considered perfectly normal for everyone to do, in public, in some places.)

I’m guessing that King misremembered what book the line was from, and slightly misremembered the line, and nobody fact-checked it. But now I’m curious whether Sturgeon reused a variation on that line in Some of Your Blood.

Anyway, the mention of a Sturgeon title I hadn’t heard of led me to look it up in isfdb, which showed me that there were four others that I also hadn’t heard of.

(Originally posted on Facebook.)

One Response to “Sturgeon books I didn’t know about”

  1. Rosa

    Thank you for clearing this mystery up for me! I read Some of Your Blood, this line did not appear, and I was baffled. I can’t believe that however many editions On Writing has gone through, no one caught this error. Someone should really write to King or his publishers.


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