The Dreaming Jewels by Theodore Sturgeon

(discussed August 15, 2002)

On a ten-point scale (1=bad, 10=good), the people who read the book gave the following ratings: 7 (Ignacio), 7 (Julie), 8 (Chris), 9, 9, 9, 9, 9 (Abe), 9 (Peter), 9 (Raja)
Average: 8.5

Gregory, after making sure that everyone had recorded their vote, noted that he loved the book when he was young, but was disappointed to reread it now. He said he saw too much manipulation; too much of the puppet and the strings.

Judy said that while she agreed that Gregory's objections were legitimate, she really liked the book a lot. A number of others said much the same.

Raja loved the book, mostly on the strength of the style, and rated it a 9 (taking away 1 point for Zena's death scene, which seemed overlong). Raja noted that he does not keep a list of favorite authors ... but if he did, Sturgeon would certainly be in the top three. He wanted to read the book as close to meeting time as possible, because he suspected that once he started, he'd find it very hard to stop. (And that was the way it worked out; he started one night and finished before work the next morning.) Finally, Raja read the first half of Damon Knight's "The Vorpal Pen: Theodore Sturgeon" to the meeting, ending with Knight's description of More Than Human:

... My God, it's all like that, violins and stained glass and velvet and little needles in your throat. Even after the first reading, you can dip into this book anywhere and have to haul yourself out by the scruff.

(More Than Human is one of Raja's Top 5 SF books [since he does keep a list of favorite books] and everyone who'd read the book strongly recommended it, including Gregory and Dedaimia and Raja.)

Peter, who couldn't make it to the meeting, rated The Dreaming Jewels a 9. He was expecting to rate it a 10, but perhaps he wasn't in the mood for such a sentimental piece. (Not that the sentiment is false, he said; it's all earned.)