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 the shorts have all been collected into one properly-edited volume: this one.
There are 33 stories altogether. If you've been reading SF for any length of time, you may well have one or more of the early anthologies already, and will want to know if this complete opus will give you enough extra stories to justify the expense. I therefore provide the complete list below.
01) No, No, Not Rogov!
02) War Nº 81-Q (Rewritten version)
03) Mark Elf
04) The Queen of the Afternoon
05) Scanners Live in Vain
06) The Lady Who Sailed The Soul
07) When the People Fell
08) Think Blue, Count Two
09) The Colonel Came Back from Nothing-at-All
10) The Game of Rat and Dragon
11) The Burning of the Brain
12) From Gustible’s Planet
13) Himself in Anachron
14) The Crime and the Glory of Commander Suzdal
15) Golden the Ship Was — Oh! Oh! Oh!
16) The Dead Lady of Clown Town
17) Under Old Earth
19) Mother Hitton’s Littul Kittens
20) Alpha Ralpha Boulevard
21) The Ballad of Lost C’mell
22) A Planet Named Shayol
23) On the Gem Planet
24) On the Storm Planet
25) On the Sand Planet
26) Three to a Given Star
27) Down to a Sunless Sea
28) War Nº 81-Q (Original version)
29) Western Science is So Wonderful
31) The Fife of Bodidharma
33) The Good Friends
N.B. The Gollancz paperback
with the identical title is NOT the same as this edition, since it contains only twelve (12) stories. Suggestio falsi?