Best 1952 Adventures (5)

By: Joshua Glenn
June 27, 2017

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1952 adventure novels. Happy 65th anniversary!

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sturgeon hardcover

Theodore Sturgeon’s Golden Age sic-fi adventure More Than Human (1952; as a book, 1953).

In this far-out updating of Olaf Stapledon’s Odd John, a Radium Age-era Argonaut Folly, tortured mutants with amazing talents — Lone (“the Idiot”) can read and control thoughts; eight-year-old Janie can move objects with her mind; Bonnie and Beanie can teleport; Baby is a super-genius; Gerry is a sociopathic urchin able to bind the others into a unified “gestalt” — threaten the prolonged existence of humankind as we know it. In the final section of the book, Lt. Barrows, a gifted engineer who worked for the US Air Force until he apparently went insane, discovers that he was a victim of the gestalt — who wanted to prevent him from discovering the secret of their antigrav device, not to mention their very existence. Will Hip fight back against the mutants… or join them?

Fun fact: More Than Human is a “fix-up” of Sturgeon’s previously published novella Baby is Three; two new sections were written for this version.

sturgeon softcover

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Let me know if I’ve missed any 1952 adventures that you particularly admire. Also, please check out these additional lists. The 200 Greatest Adventure Novels of All Time. THE OUGHTS (1904–13): 1905 | 1906 | 1907 | 1910 | 1911 | 1912. THE TEENS (1914–23): 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1920 | 1921 | 1922. THE TWENTIES (1924–33): 1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1930 | 1931 | 1932. THE THIRTIES (1934–43): 1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1940 | 1941 | 1942. THE FORTIES (1944–53): 1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1950 | 1951 | 1952. THE FIFTIES (1954–63): 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1960 | 1961 | 1962. THE SIXTIES (1964–73): 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972. THE SEVENTIES (1974–83): 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982. The goal, eventually, is to publish a Top 10 Adventures list for every year of the 20th century.

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Categories

Adventure, Lit Lists