The Rediscovery of Man: The Complete Short Science Fiction of Cordwainer Smith

The Rediscovery of Man: The Complete Short Science Fiction of Cordwainer Smith

ISBN: 0915368560

ISBN 13: 9780915368563

Publication Date: June, 1993

Authors: Cordwainer Smith, James A. Mann, John J. Pierce

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The third story in this volume takes place 16,000 years in the future. When you realize that the 33 stories are ordered chronologically, you begin to grasp the scale of Cordwainer Smith's creation. Regimes, technologies, planets, moralities, religions, histories all rise and fall through his millennia.

These are futuristic tales told as myth, as legend, as a history of a distant and decayed past. Written in an unadorned voice reminiscent of James Tiptree Jr., Smith's visions are dark and pessimistic, clearly a contrast from the mood of SF in his time; in the 1940s, '50s, and '60s it was still thought that science would cure the ills of humanity. In Smith's tales, space travel takes a horrendous toll on those who pilot the ships through the void. After reaching perfection, the lack of strife stifles humanity to a point of decay and stagnation; the Instrumentality of Mankind arises in order to stir things up. Many stories describe moral dilemmas involving the humanity of the Underpeople, beings evolved from animals into humanlike forms.

Stories not to be missed in this collection include "Scanners Live in Vain," "The Dead Lady of Clown Town," "Under Old Earth," "The Crime and the Glory of Commander Suzdal," "Mother Hitton's Littul Kittons," and the truly disturbing "A Planet Called Shayol." Serious SF fans should not pass up the chance to experience Cordwainer Smith's complex, distinctive vision of the far future.
--Bonnie Bouman

Contents:

vii · Introduction · John J. Pierce
xv · Editor’s Introduction · James A. Mann
3 · No, No, Not Rogov! · ss If Feb ’59
19 · War No. 81-Q · ss *; revised from The Adjutant Jun ’28, as by Karolman Junghar
29 · Mark Elf [“Mark XI”; Vom Acht sisters] · ss Saturn May ’57
41 · The Queen of the Afternoon [Vom Acht sisters] · nv Galaxy Apr ’78
65 · Scanners Live in Vain · nv Fantasy Book #6 ’50
97 · The Lady Who Sailed The Soul · nv Galaxy Apr ’60
119 · When the People Fell · ss Galaxy Apr ’59
129 · Think Blue, Count Two · na Galaxy Feb ’63
155 · The Colonel Came Back from Nothing-at-All · ss
163 · The Game of Rat and Dragon · ss Galaxy Oct ’55
177 · The Burning of the Brain · ss If Oct ’58
187 · From Gustible’s Planet · ss If Jul ’62
193 · Himself in Anachron · ss *
201 · The Crime and the Glory of Commander Suzdal · ss Amazing May ’64
215 · Golden the Ship Was— Oh! Oh! Oh! · ss Amazing Apr ’59
223 · The Dead Lady of Clown Town · na Galaxy Aug ’64
289 · Under Old Earth · nv Galaxy Feb ’66
327 · Drunkboat · nv Amazing Oct ’63
355 · Mother Hitton’s Littul Kittons · nv Galaxy Jun ’61
375 · Alpha Ralpha Boulevard · nv F&SF Jun ’61
401 · The Ballad of Lost C’Mell · nv Galaxy Oct ’62
419 · A Planet Named Shayol · nv Galaxy Oct ’61
451 · On the Gem Planet [Casher O’Neill] · nv Galaxy Oct ’63
475 · On the Storm Planet [Casher O’Neill] · na Galaxy Feb ’65
541 · On the Sand Planet [Casher O’Neill] · nv Amazing Dec ’65
567 · Three to a Given Star [Casher O’Neill] · nv Galaxy Oct ’65
587 · Down to a Sunless Sea · nv F&SF Oct ’75
613 · War No. 81-Q [as by Karolman Junghar] · ss The Adjutant Jun ’28; original version
617 · Western Science Is So Wonderful · ss If Dec ’58
629 · Nancy [“The Nancy Routine”] · ss Satellite Mar ’59
641 · The Fife of Bodidharma · ss Fantastic Jun ’59
649 · Angerhelm · nv Star Science Fiction Stories #6, ed. Frederik Pohl, Ballantine, 1959
667 · The Good Friends · ss Worlds of Tomorrow Oct ’63

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