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Cordwainer Smith, pseudonym of the late Paul Linebarger, a professor and part-time spy, wrote only one SF novel, but it is in keeping with the picture of a future world he built in his other fiction. This novel, originally conceived and published in two parts in 1964 and '68, and later issued in paperback by Ballantine in 1975, begins like a more traditional SF tale. Protagonist Rod McBan's Norstrilian peers consider him inferior because he lacks their telepathic abilities. Nearly "culled" as part of the strictly regulated society's population control, McBan uses a computer to arbitrage the galactic financial markets, enabling him, literally, to buy Earth. While the first half would merely have made an interesting novel, the second, more lyrical part displays Smith's superior writing abilities as he describes both the Underpeople (genetically designed combinations of humans and other species-and the Instrumentality (an organization for keeping humanity from becoming stagnant). The result: a novel that transcends its time. Though not a scholarly edition (the variorum is incomplete and the introduction leaves much to be desired), this composite text, ably edited by James A. Mann, is a fine companion to the author's complete short fiction, The Rediscovery of Man.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
This is a volume in the NESFA's Choice series. The objective of this series is to publish the "classic" works of neglected sf authors, and to keep these works in print. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
The book is full of great ideas and interesting characters. This is doubly impressive given its age; a lot of old science fiction just doesn't seem original, interesting, or... Read morePublished on Oct. 2 2001 by Justus Pendleton
Cordwainer Smith belongs to a rare group of truly original voices in the world of speculative fiction. Read morePublished on June 7 2001 by Matthew Clark
As another reviewer noted, it is too bad that the complete works of this great man are not fully available. Read morePublished on April 14 2001 by R. Swanson
Cordwainer Smith deserves the widest possible recognition. Perhaps the most highly literary of all science fiction writers before the New Wave of the sixties (and still, for my... Read morePublished on July 17 2000 by Robert James
Harlan Ellison (one of my other favorite authors) brought Cordwainer Smith to my attention sometime in the 70s. Read morePublished on Oct. 22 1999 by Lance Reid Totten (firstname.lastname@example.org)
As well as agreeing with the other reviews, I would like to comment on the 'feel' of the universe created by the author. Read morePublished on May 6 1999
I encountered Cordwainer Smith when I was very young, in Galaxy magazine (the Game of Rat and Dragon). Read morePublished on Feb. 25 1999 by Moderan
All the world created by C.S. is full of human feeling, something not much found un the world of SF. Every story is the expresion of your mental state, independly of the time. Read morePublished on Oct. 16 1998