The World Well Lost

June 1953's issue of Universe.

"The World Well Lost" is a science fiction short story by American writer Theodore Sturgeon, first published in the June 1953 issue of Universe.[1] It has been reprinted several times, for instance in Sturgeon's collections E Pluribus Unicorn, Starshine, and A Saucer of Loneliness. The story takes its title from the subtitle of John Dryden's verse drama All for Love.

Reception

The tagline for the Universe cover was "[His] most daring story".[2] Its sensitive treatment of homosexuality was unusual for science fiction published at that time, and it is now regarded as a milestone in science fiction's portrayal of homosexuality.[3] According to an anecdote related by Samuel R. Delany, when Sturgeon first submitted the story, his editor not only rejected it but phoned every other editor he knew and urged them to reject it as well.[4]

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