Theodore Sturgeon's A Way Home manuscript collection
This collection comprises materials related to Theodore Sturgeon's third collection of short stories and novelettes, A Way Home, edited by Groff Conklin and published in 1955 by Funk & Wagnalls. Materials in the collection include corrected texts of stories and novelettes, uncorrected galley proofs, and a first edition copy of the publication.
- Creation: 1946 - 1955
Conditions Governing Access
No access restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.
Biography of Theodore Sturgeon
Theodore Hamilton Sturgeon was born Edward Hamilton Waldo February 26, 1918 on Staten Island to Edward Waldo and Christine Hamilton Dicker. His parents divorced in 1927. His mother married William Dicky "Argyll" Sturgeon. At age 11, the author was formally adopted by his step-father and his name changed legally to Theodore Hamilton Sturgeon.
In his teen years, Sturgeon excelled at gymnastics and aspired to be an aerialist in the circus. However, at the age of fifteen he was stricken with rheumatic fever, which prevented him from partaking in intense physical activity. In the late 1930s he joined the Merchant Marine, spending three years at sea. It was during this time that he began to write poetry and fiction.
Sturgeon sold his first story in 1938 to newspaper McClure's Syndicate. He sold his first Science Fiction story, "Ether Breather," to Astounding Science Fiction a year later. Sturgeon primarily published short stories in genre magazines, but did publish some general-interest stories as well. He published The Dreaming Jewels, his first novel, in 1950. Sturgeon continued to publish short stories, book reviews, and novels, establishing his work as an innovator in the Science Fiction genre. He was known to use a technique referred to as "rhythmic prose," in which his prose text would drop into a standard poetic meter. This has the effect of creating a subtle shift in mood, usually without alerting the reader to its cause.
Sturgeon is credited with six novels, four novelizations, two pseudonymous novels, numerous short stories, short story collections, and reviews. During the 1960s, Sturgeon worked as a screen writer for television shows such as The Invaders, The Land of the Lost, The Wild, Wild West, and the original Star Trek series (for which he wrote the episodes "Shore Leave" and "Amok Time"). Two of Sturgeon's stories were adapted for The New Twilight Zone. His 1944 novella, KillDozer, was the inspiration for the 1970s made-for-TV movie, Marvel comic book, and alternative rock band of the same name.
In 1940, Sturgeon married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Fillingame, who changed her first name to "Dorothé" so that it reflected "Theodore." They had two daughters, Patricia and Cynthia, before divorcing in the late 1940s. He married Mary Mair, a singer and poet, in 1949. The marriage was annulled in 1951. In 1953, Sturgeon married Marion McGahan and remained married to her for the remainder of his life, despite their separation in the mid-1960s. The marriage produced four children, sons Robin and Timothy and daughters Tandy and Noël. Sturgeon met and began to live with journalist Wina Golden in 1967. She took his last name and continued to use it professionally. They had one son, Andros. Wina and Sturgeon's relationship ended in 1974, and in 1976, he met Jayne Tannehill Englehart (now Williams). The two lived together until his death. Sturgeon died of lung fibrosis May 8, 1985 in Eugene, Oregon.
Sturgeon's writing was a strong influence on the sixties counterculture, including The Grateful Dead and Crosby, Stills and Nash. His lyrical and varied style represented a turn from the "hard" science fiction of the 1940s to the socially conscious topics more common in contemporary science fiction, including sexuality, gender, pacifism, and the individual cost of social conventions. His short stories ranged from science fiction and fantasy to comedy and horror.
During his lifetime, Sturgeon won several awards. He won the International Fantasy Award for his novel More Than Human; the Hugo and Nebula awards for his short story "Slow Sculpture;" the Outstanding Achievement Award from the International Society of Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy for the Star Trek screenplay, "Amok Time"; and the Gaylactica/Spectrum Award for his ground-breaking story about homosexuality, "The World Well Lost."
Biography of Groff Conklin
Groff Conklin (1904-1968) was an American science fiction anthologist, having edited 40 anthologies of science fiction in his lifetime. From 1950 to 1955, he was the book critic for Galaxy Science Fiction, a leading science fiction magazine at the time. Conklin was the editor of Sturgeon's A Way Home and also wrote the introduction to the collection.
0.5 Linear Feet (1 box + 1 galley proof)
Language of Materials
Scope and Contents
In addition to the first edition text, this collection includes corrected texts of each story and novelette, with holograph annotations and emendations by both Sturgeon and Conklin. The galley proofs also include emendations by Sturgeon, as well as his initials at the bottom of each page.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchase, Carpe Librum, 2018.
- Guide to the Theodore Sturgeon Manuscript Collection
- Theodore Sturgeon's A Way Home manuscript collection
- Finding aid prepared by vej. Finding aid encoded by vej.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Finding aid written in English.
- Finding aid permalink
- Preferred citation
Theodore Sturgeon's <emph render="italic">A Way Home</emph> manuscript collection, MS 351, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas