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by Theodore Sturgeon

Charlie Johns has been snatched from his home on 61 North 34th Street and delivered to the strange future world of Ledom. Here, violence is a vague and improbable notion. Technology has triumphed over hunger, overpopulation, pollution, even time and space. But there is a change Charlie finds even more shocking: gender is a thing of the past. Venus Plus X is Theodore Sturgeon's brilliant evocation of a civilization for whom tensions between male and female and the human preoccupation with sex no longer exist. As Charlie Johns explores Ledom and its people, he finds that the human precepts he holds dear are profane in this new world. But has Charlie learned all there is to know about this advanced society? And why are the Ledom so intent on gaining Charlie's approval? Unsettling, compelling, and no less than visionary, here is science fiction at its boldest: a novel whose wisdom and lyricism make it one of the most original and insightful speculations on gender ever produced.
Download Venus Plus X epub
ISBN: 0375703748
ISBN13: 978-0375703744
Category: Fantasy
Subcategory: Science Fiction
Author: Theodore Sturgeon
Language: English
Publisher: Vintage; 1st Vintage Books ed edition (October 5, 1999)
Pages: 224 pages
ePUB size: 1144 kb
FB2 size: 1257 kb
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 997
Other Formats: doc txt mobi lit

Venus Plus X by Theodore Sturgeon is a fanciful tale of a present day human transported to a distant future where traditional homo sapiens are extinct and supplanted by a hermaphroditic humanoid species. This future race lives a rather Utopian lifestyle. The normal human, Charlie is asked to pass some sort of judgment on their lifestyle (for unknown reasons). As he learns more of this idyllic, peaceful society, his suspicions grow that something is amiss.

Sturgeon never attempts to explain time travel, but focuses on two technological achievements: a matter manipulator that uses almost no energy as well as a device for instantaneous learning. Much of the story concerns the psychological response to a genderless society that appears to presage the coming changes as a result of both birth control and the development of more white collar type jobs in society at the time of the writing (1960). Sturgeon also intersperses vignettes of a typical suburban set of couples, but with gender mashing. While a surprise plot twist at the end was totally unexpected, Sturgeon does a nice job of exploring gender roles from a nature versus nurture perspective.
I never thought I would read a poor story by Theodore Sturgeon. He seems to have saved his poorest ideas for this story. Good that they are all piled up in one place.

Long, long disquisitions on utopia. Nothing happens for a very large section of the book. The when something actually happens, we are tricked rather badly about what it is. A bit like, "Oh, the whole last season was a dream."

Not reccomended. Re-read "More Than Human". We did.
Loved it, love Theodore Sturgeon. An interesting look at Religion, Sex and Gender. All the more impressive considering it was published in 1960 - I’m surprised Sturgeon wasn’t chased out of the country or burned at the stake for this one. Good Science Fiction.
Elastic Skunk
Published in 1960, Venus Plus X is a towering vision of a human destiny that is very close to the truth. That vision is the conscious decision of the human race to utilize medical technology to redefine human sexuality to an androgynous norm. Today, this is one of the emerging concepts of the Transhuman movement. Although Sturgeon wrote this only a few years after the discovery of DNA and long before its role in human heredity was understood, he anticipates and describes how such change can give birth to a vastly improved human society of love, truth, goodness, and beauty.

In time, Venus Plus X will take its well-earned position alongside Martine Rothblatt's Apartheid of Sex (second ed. now titled Transgender to Transhuman) as one of a handful of books showing us the way to a new age of sex and gender freedom for all humanity and the enormous social benefits to be realized. (Apartheid of Sex: A Manifesto on the Freedom of Gender)
I first read this amazing book 49 years ago and decided to revisit it now. WOW - from a more mature perspective it really blew me away this time! While some aspects (as slowly revealed throughout the story) may seem revolting, Sturgeon is using that to make a point. He actually acknowledges his debt to Philip Wylie's "The Disappearance", both by having a character mention it and including a reference to it in his Afterword. Humanity has focused too much on the differences between men and women instead of the vastly more numerous similarities and commonalities.

The world of the Ledom created by Theodore Sturgeon is breathtaking, and his description is once again a glorious thing to behold. Highly recommended!
This is a good book. It is very unlike any other book I've read. It is very interesting. Though the only bad thing about it was that it was a little slow in parts. I also bought other books from Amazon and enjoyed them too. I've only read it once but will read it again. It's a bit of a gender bender, which I thought was good. I would recommend this book to science fiction fans.
An early, but interesting exploration of gender roles and the role of genetics in how we view each other and ourselves.