The Ultimate Egoist, the first volume of The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, contains the late author's earliest work, written from 1937 to 1940. Although Sturgeon's reach was limited to the lengths of the short story and novelette, his influence was strongly felt by even the most original science fiction stylists, including Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, and Gene Wolfe, all contributors of laudatory forewords. The more than forty stories here showcase Sturgeon's masterful knack with clever, O. Henry-ish plot twists, sparkling character development, and archetypal “why didn't I think of that?” story ideas. Early Sturgeon masterpieces include “It,” about the violence done by a creature spontaneously born from garbage and mud, and “Helix the Cat,” about an inventor's bizarre encounter with a disembodied soul and the cat that saves it. Sturgeon's unique genius is timelessly entertaining.
“Historically, the Complete Sturgeon is one of the most important reissues in years. In terms of reading, this is a gold mine both for those already familiar with Sturgeon's work and for a new generation of readers ready for something real.” —Strange Worlds Magazine
“Theodore Sturgeon has become a kind of patron saint of SF short story writers. His fiction demonstrated a love of humanity and an understanding of human emotion unparalleled in the field. At the time of his death in 1985, no short story writer was held in such high regard.” —David Brin, author of Heaven's Reach