Sunday, July 02, 2017

Five top books about psi powers

Daryl Gregory's new novel is Spoonbenders.

One of his five favorite books about psi powers—telepathy, telekinesis, precognition, and other parapsychological activity—as shared at
The Next Step in Psi: More than Human by Theodore Sturgeon

Just to prove that there’s no ultimate psi novel, no master text that this subgenre will evolve into, here’s what I consider a timeless classic in the field. Written over fifty years ago, More than Human is about a group of damaged yet powerful people who gradually find each other. There’s a troubled young man with telepathic powers, a telekinetic girl, two mute twins with the ability to teleport, and Baby, a toddler super-genius. They become more than a family; they’re a new kind of organism: homo gestalt. The organism becomes whole only when it’s joined by a normal man, who serves as their conscience. This new race won’t dominate humans, but work with them.

More than Human is still finding readers, partly because the creation of homo gestalt—like Butler’s Patternists and the improvised family in Simmons’s novel—captures the way the world feels when we’ve finally found our family. And that’s why psi novels, though they may never again be as popular as they were in the 50’s, will continue to be written. They’re excellent vehicles for showing that mysterious process by which we come together, each of us with an array of abilities and dysfunctions that are mostly invisible to the outside world, and become a little stronger than we were alone. Also? Psionics is just plain cool.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue