- Has anyone read any of Cordwainer Smith's books? I've just finished his
short story "Scanners Live in Vain" - now that is one very strange story.
Wildly original. I love his idea of the Great Pain of Space.
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Al Griffith" <
> Has anyone read any of Cordwainer Smith's books? I've just finished his"One very strange story" is a pretty good description of most of
> short story "Scanners Live in Vain" - now that is one very strange story.
> Wildly original. I love his idea of the Great Pain of Space.
Cordwainer Smith's work. He was a unique writer and one of my
favorites. He mainly wrote short-stories, most of them set in The
Instrumentality of Mankind, the same future history that "Scanners" is
part of. He wrote one SF novel, "Norstrilia", which is very good, but
it's better to start with the short stories. I don't know if "The Best
of Cordwainer Smith" is still available, if so, that's a great one. And
NESFA Press has published a one-volume edition, "The Rediscovery of
Man", containing all of his stories.
There are more stories dealing with the Great Pain of Space, most
notably "Drunkboat" and "The Game of Rat and Dragon". Some of my other
favorites are 'Alpha-Ralpha Boulevard", "The Lady Who Sailed the Soul",
and "The Ballad of Lost C'Mell".
He was also a really interesting guy, his real name was Paul Myron
Anthony Linebarger. Born in China, he was the god-son of Sun Yat-Sen, a
political science professor, and wrote the standard text on
Hope you can find his books. If you're looking for more
information, his daughter has a good website devoted to his work,
- I believe there was some drug influence that may have affected his stories.
"A Planet Named Shayol" is by far the strangest story I've ever read. It's also somewhat prophetic, being written before organ banks and transplants were possible.