by Theodore Sturgeon
“No one knows what’s really wrong with you but you; no one can find a cure for it but you; no one but you can identify it as a cure; and once you find it, no one but you can do anything about it.”
The twin sisters can teleport. The baby holds the mechanics of the universe in its head. The man controls objects. The young read minds. It’s not the X-Men. Told in three parts, each separated by years, More Than Human is the story of the next stage of human evolution.
What it’s not…it’s not an ordered structure with a clear path to the next stage. It’s not a book about how such a change might affect the world. It’s not cautionary.
What it is is a study of the next evolutionary stage from that next stage’s point of view. Not the, ‘I have super-powers, hear me roar!’ statement that makes up the majority of modern filmic storytelling, but the ‘OMG I’m all alone in a world that cares nothing for me’ sentiment that lends the book its power.
We never see stories unfold this way. More often it’s a) you’re wronged, b) you strengthen your power, c) you set the world right with your power and then live your life. But out in the world we’re all wronged, and nothing ever really gets set right. We keep living our lives, anyway, and sometimes we come across artifacts that inspire us to be better, such as superheroes were originally intended to do.
This is a superhero story bearing no resemblance whatsoever to the modern superhero story. You don’t need titanic super-villains for an epic, ethical tale of right and wrong, good and evil, to make a great superhero story—you need a fantastic writer with a brilliant idea, and then you need to pay attention.
I was a monster and I found this ethos. You are a monster. It’s up to you.