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I can't even begin to tell you how this man's stories changed my life, they just did. My second girlfriend used to read read to me, one thing I will allways miss, and we had similar taste in stories. She had been introduced to Cordwainer Smith some years earlier but I had never heard of him. So when she offered to read a few of his short stories to me I was interested. In a two week period she read almost everything he wrote and I was in amazement of this Cordwainer Smith guy. This guy can tell a story and I cannot recomend him more highlly, READ Cordwainer Smith.
|"The Rediscovery of Man"
A collection of short stories describing how the Instrumentality tries to revitalize an almost totally unified and goal-less humanity. A collection of pearls such as: "The Dead Lady of Clown Town", "The game of Rat and Dragon", "Scanners Live in Vain" and "A Planet Named Shayol". A hitherto unprinted short story is "Himself in Anachron".
By a stroke of fortune an 18 year old farm boy becomes the richest person in the universe. And he even survives the experience. Cronologically this story belongs in the first half of "The Rediscovery of Man", but still I suggest that you read it last.
See The Universe of Cordwainer Smith
This guy was the king of the short SF story.
Ph.D. professor of asiatic studies at John Hopkins University, School of advanced International Studies. Closely linked with the U.S. Intelligence Community with special interest in propaganda techniques and psychological warfare. Born in Milwakee, Wis in July, died in Baltimore, Maryland. Grew up and was educated in China and other countries, his father was a legal advisor to the Chinese Republic (Dr. Paul Myron Wentworth L.) attended school in germany, visited Russia in his teens, married in 1936, divorced in 1949, remarried 1950 to Genevieve Collins. 1966 most of his SF was published for the first time. University teacher in 1947. Recalled for Korean War. Travelled alot in the 50's and 60's with his wife in spite of his being very ill. very impressed with Australia, hoped to retire there but died of a heart attack at age 53. All but 5 stories are of the Instrumentality of mankind. First of these was "War #81-Q"(1928) Apparently he did not bother alot with making the different facts and dates match. Also wrote as Felix C. Forrest, a pun in reference to his chinese name Lin Bah Loh (Forest of Incandescent Bliss)
Cordwainer Smith wrote wonderful (if idosyncratic) short stories. Unfortunately there are far too few of them. His stories have a romantic, folk-tale quality that I can occasionaly find in the very best juvenile fantsy, but I've never seen matched in science fiction. "The Ballad of Lost C'Mell", "The Lady Who Sailed _The Soul_", "Scanners Live In Vain", "The Game of Rat and Dragon", "A Planet Named Shayol", among others, are all stories to conjure by. Really, really, *really* recommended. One of my all time favorites.
Is one of the Classic SF authors. He wrote his books back in the forties and fifties and has definitely been one of the 'idea-generators' for the hippie movement of the sixties.
He wrote beautiful, poetic and human Science Fiction at at time when most SF was written to a recipe of ever larger, faster and more destructive spaceships. Cordwainer Smith has even commented on that development in his short story "Golden the ship was. Oh. Oh.".
His future universe is centered around "The Instrumentality", a fairly dictatorial group that steers humanity through manipulation and propaganda. And does it pretty well!
| © Ragnar Torfason|
2012 September 16