The Best of Cordwainer Smith
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This compilation of tales is a great introduction to the people (both real, and animal derived), politicial systems and worlds of Cordwainer Smith. Lyrical prose and haunting poetry are the hallmarks of this great writer, and the cast of characters while often changing from one short story to another have a historical, if not familial continuity - witness the Vomacts who held their name for over 10,000 years.
pain without haberman protection. He stared at Martel. His look was puzzled, perhaps a little annoyed, but not hostile. Martel came to the point. “You do not know me. I lied. My name is Martel, and I mean you no harm. But I lied. I beg the honorable gift of your hospitality. Remain armed. Direct your weapon against me—” Stone smiled: “I am doing so,” and Mantel noticed the small wire-point in Stone’s capable, plump hand. “Good. Keep on guard against me. It will give you confidence in what I
sure, since they transmitted directly into the receiver computers, that they spoke an Earth language. Perhaps they did it with some sort of direct telepathy. But the crime was, Suzdal had succeeded. By throwing the cats back two million years, by coding them to survive, coding them to develop civilization, coding them to come to his rescue, he had created a whole new world in less than one second of objective time. His chronopathic device had flung the little life-bombs back to the wet Earth
and bodice. She had a matching cloak of dark, faded gold, embroidered in blue with the same pattern of squares. Her hair was upswept and set with jeweled combs. It seemed perfectly natural, but there was dust on one side of it. The robot smiled, “I’m out of date. It’s been a long time since I was me. But I thought, my dear, that you would find this old body easier to talk to than the window over there … “ Elaine nodded mutely. “You know this is not me?” said the body, sharply. Elaine shook
human. “You don’t have to understand it. Just do it. And I know you will. So since you are going, go.” Elaine tried to smile at her, but she was troubled, more consciously worried than ever before in her life. Something real was happening to her, to her own individual self, at a very long last. “How will I get through the door?” “I’ll open it,” smiled the lady, releasing Elaine’s hand, “and you’ll know your lover when he sings you the poem.” “Which poem?” said Elaine, stalling for time and
outpouring from the Brown and Yellow Corridor was wholly unexpected, even though the Lady Goroke had surprised D’joan; the mutiny of the robot police posed problems which would have to be discussed halfway across the galaxy. Furthermore, the dog-girl was making points which had some verbal validity. If they were left in the form of mere words without proper context, they might affect heedless or impressionable minds. A bad idea can spread like a mutated germ. If it is at all interesting, it can