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Sturgeon's Law

Entry updated 20 August 2012. Tagged: Theme.

An aphorism formulated by Theodore Sturgeon in the early 1950s: "Ninety percent of everything is crud." This needs to be placed in context as his response to blanket condemnations of sf which were based on the worst examples of the genre. According to James Gunn, Sturgeon's Law originated in a Sturgeon talk at the 1953 Worldcon, and was phrased approximately as follows: "Ninety percent of science fiction is crud. But then ninety percent of everything is crud, and it's the ten percent that isn't crud that is important. And the ten percent of science fiction that isn't crud is as good as or better than anything being written anywhere." In its early years the maxim was also known as Sturgeon's Revelation; it first appeared in print under this name in Venture Science Fiction, March 1958. [DRL]


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