E Pluribus Unicorn

by Theodore Sturgeon
Reviewed date: 2009 May 1
211 pages
cover art

I don't know if these stories really count as science fiction, they they're certainly vintage Sturgeon.

  • The Silken-Swift: A temptress who taunts men tries to prove her virginity by capturing the unicorn, but the unicorn looks for purity of the heart, not the body.
  • The Professor's Teddy-Bear: A four-year-old boy's teddy bear gives him violent visions of the future.
  • Bianca's Hands: A young man courts an imbecile's hands, which have a life of their own.
  • Saucer of Loneliness: A tiny flying saucer gives a message to a young woman, and she resists the efforts of the police and FBI to force her to reveal what she heard.
  • The World Well Lost: Two birdlike aliens arrive on Earth; the planet Dirbanu demands they be extradited, so Rootes and Grunty are hired to deliver them to Dirbanu. On the way, Grunty discovers the telepathic Dirbanu couple is gay, so he lets them go.
  • It Wasn't Syzygy: A man is the living illusion conjured up by a woman's fantasy.
  • The Music: A mental patient stalks a nurse as a cat stalks a mouse.
  • Scars: Cowboys riding the line talk about their deepest scars, and Kellet shares how he is a true gentleman.
  • Fluffy: A talking cat frames a man for murder.
  • The Sex Opposite: A brutal murder of Siamese twins turns out to be much more exotic: the victims aren't Siamese twins after all, but parthenogenetic humanoids undergoing syzygy.
  • Die, Maestro, Die!: A band member with a case of extreme facial ugliness murders Lutch, the band leader, but discovers that the essence of Lutch is still in the band. He must isolate the destroy the essential element of Lutch's musical style.
  • Cellmate: A man sitting out a sixty-day sentence meets his new cellmate: a deformed, spindly-legged, barrellchested weakling who manipulates everyone around him into serving his every whim.
  • A Way of Thinking: Prick the voodoo doll, the victim breaks a leg. What happens to the doll if you break the victim's leg?

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