Theodore Sturgeon was a model for his friend Kurt Vonnegut's legendary character Kilgore Trout, and his work was an acknowledged influence on important younger writers from Harlan Ellison and Robert Silverberg to Stephen King and Octavia Butler. His work has long been deeply appreciated for its sardonic sensibility, dazzling wordplay, conceptual brilliance, memorable characters, and unsparing treatment of social issues such as sex, war, and marginalized members of society. Sturgeon also authored several episodes of the original Star Trek TV series and originated the Vulcan phrase &quote;Live long and prosper.&quote;This twelfth volume of his complete short stories includes classic works such as the award-winning title story, which won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards in 1971, as well as &quote;Case and the Dreamer,&quote; a well-crafted tale of an encounter with a trans-spatial being that is also a meditation on love, and &quote;The [Widget], the [Wadget], and Boff,&quote; a creative exploration of the human ability to achieve self-realization in response to crisis.

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