A short, but thoughtful - and unusual - story of alien invasion. The 'Medusa' is a hive mind which has taken over galaxies - and now one of its spores is here on Earth. However, the being it infects is Gurlick - a man that pretty much anyone would consider a waste of life - a stupid, drunken, violent loser. The Medusa, a sophisticated intelligence, is nonetheless unable to understand humanity, because the concept of intelligence that does not function communally, but is confined to isolated individuals, is incomprehensible to it. Humanity is saved!?!? But the book encourages us to think about values and the definition of civilization - the Medusa is indeed a frightening concept - but its spread is not a malicious act.
First published in 1958, this novel goes against the popular concepts of the limitations of science fiction from this time period. It may not be Sturgeon's best work, but it is definitely worthwhile.
Gurlick was merely a sorry specimen of Homo sapiens. But now this craven, seething, barely literate drunk has ingested a spore that traveled light years before touching down on our planet. A spore that has in turn ingested Gurlick -- turned him into a host for the Medusa, a hive mind so vast that it encompasses the life forms of billions of planets.
(Description was provided from the cover of another by the same author "The Dreaming Jewels").