Anthology Presents Theodore Sturgeon

Saturday, 07 June 2014 16:00 Dave Truesdale

Anthology aired its first episode on February 28, 1954 and titled it simply "Theodore Sturgeon," for he was the show's first live guest. As the host explains, Anthology was devoted to poetry for each of what would become its 60+ shows, each in a half-hour format.

In the show's debut, we first hear a few seconds of Carl Sandburg, then the introduction and explanation of the show's purpose and who its patrons are. Following three short poetry readings (the last pair by Sandburg again, and then Sir Lawrence Olivier reading from Hamlet), we are about at the 15 minute mark. This is where the host introduces Theodore Sturgeon (1918-1985) and they chat for the next 12-14 minutes. Sturgeon talks about his hot rod panel truck that he works on himself, and most amazingly his 22 gallon tropical fish tank he has as his covered coffeetable. On the near side of the fish tank is an entire panel of knobs and such, for this is where Sturgeon controls the lighting in the fish tank--and his TV!

The host then gently steers Sturgeon to speak of his own writing, and how poetry intersects with science fiction. Sturgeon then reads poetry from two of his stories, "Bianca's Hands," first published in the May 1947 issue of the UK edition of Argosy (cover below), and then from "Thunder and Roses," first published in the November 1947 issue of Astounding SF (cover below). He also mentions the 1st edition paperback of his new novel More Than Human (cover above right).

While this rare recording is acknowledged with a link to this "interview" at a Theodore Sturgeon website (which is a quite good, virtually complete site), the brief explanatory notes concerning the interview are sketchy. Here we have filled in the details as to the name of the radio show and the specific date of its airing. I hope you enjoy hearing the voice of Theodore Sturgeon from early 1954--and as the specially chosen first guest to launch a radio show devoted to poetry!

Play Time: 29:23

{Left: Argosy (UK), May 1947 - Center: Astounding SF, Nov. 1947 - Right: 1977 Pocket Books edition of the 1953 Abelard 1st edition of E Pluribus Unicorn.)