No one before or since has written like Cordwainer Smith: the strange, soaring stories, with their hints of even further unglimpsed depths and wonders, were one of the delights of my youthful exploration of SF, and are a recurring source of pleasure even now.
Unfortunately Smith was ill-served by his early publishers: his one longish novel (Norstrilia
) was hacked into two parts (The Planet Buyer
and The Underpeople
), and the short stories (which originally appeared in magazines like Fantasy & Science Fiction ) were splattered around different compilations at random.
has been restored and published intact, and all 33 shorts have all been collected into one properly-edited volume: The Rediscovery of Man
(N.B. NOT the abridged Gollancz paperback
of the same title).
This slim volume might reasonably be described as a sampler, and contains the following:
• Mother Hitton's Littul Kittens
• The Dead Lady of Clown Town
• The Ballad of Lost C’mell
The Ace edition apparently also contains "A Planet Named Shayol"; the 1970 Sphere edition does not.
In the Sphere edition at least, there is no Table of Contents. There is, however, a longish and rather touching letter of dedication in memoriam by the author.