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The Rediscovery of Man (S.F. Masterworks) Paperback – May 13, 1999


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

SALES POINTS * #10 in the Millennium SF Masterworks series, a library of the finest science fiction ever written * 'Read this. Cordwainer Smith is timeless' -- Terry Pratchett * 'Smith's Instrumentality is the most complex and lyrical of all future histories, redolent with future antiquity. It is a history of a mankind transformed, oddly convincingly, by a relentless series of changes - war, genetic engineering, interstellar travel, immortality - and Smith's remarkable, rich prose gives shivery hints of a darkly imagined universe extending far beyond the boundaries of the stories. Lush, strange, unique, a treasure.' -- Stephen Baxter
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Product Details

  • Series: S.F. Masterworks
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (May 13, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857988191
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857988192
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,525,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 30, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
THIS IS NOT THE COMPLETE SHORT FICTION OF CORDWAINER SMITH, RATHER A COLLECTION BY THE SAME NAME!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maximiliano F Yofre on December 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
First of all let me state that this is a British collection of only 12 short stories from the author, named "The Best of Cordwainer Smith" in other editions.

Cordwainer Smith is the pen name of Mr. Paul M. A. Linebarger, who lived a comparatively short (1913 - 1966) and difficult life. He was educated in China, Germany and USA. He loose one eye in an accident being a child. Had a PH degree in Political Sciences, was a university professor and worked undercover for CIA. At the same time he wrote fascinating sci-fi stories.

My first contact with the author's stories was "Alpha Ralpha Boulevard" (included in this volume). It was obvious for me that this was a fragment of a greater story, full of mysterious and provoking ideas as the Rediscovery of Man, the Eketeli and so on. I was captivated by the imagery and searched for more works from Cordwainer Smith. Little by little they were appearing in different sci-fi magazines and short stories collections.

There are various editions of collected short stories of the author. This book contains twelve of them, constituting a fair sample of the author's universe giving the reader a broad inkling to it.
Each story of this publication has a short introduction by J. J. Pierce, editor of this collection.

"Scanners Live in Vain" was Cordwainer's first published tale, situated around year 6000 AD, describes a crisis within the Scanners Guild and the emerging of a new type of interstellar flight.

In "The Game of Rat and Dragon" humans and telepathic cats join forces against dreadful dragons of deep space.

The story "The Dead Lady of Clown Town" is an overwhelming recreation Joan D'Arc story transferred to the Underpeople and my favorite one from the author.
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By Abe Tenn on June 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is the British version, Publication by Victor Gollancz. This SF Masters edition is still based off the NESFA edition of the 1993-Complete works- Which means that this edition also places the stories in rough chronological order, ( rather than the order of when they were first published).
Before each work a paragraph discusses the relevance the piece may have within the time line, or the real life of Cordwainer, possibly featuring a forward by Jon Pierce. I don't recall as I passed along the book straight away to a friend as I needed to share the experience.

The selected pieces in the book are powerful good and struck me profoundly. I do not find this would have been possible were the order nonsensical or had poor selections been included. This is a fine introduction and it wont let you down.
Be warned to pay special note to the games Smith plays with words, lots of numbers in there as names, sometimes his narrative structure or style is closer to eastern narrative story telling methods. Other times the words seem to be constructed to be read aloud.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Blue Tyson on August 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is also the Best of Cordwainer Smith in a different edition - not to be confused with Rediscovery of Man : the complete stories. Yes, people who name collections the same as an existing collection are annoying.

However, this is outstanding, the story average is 4.04 thanks to not one, but two 5 star stories, in Scanners Live In Vain, and Mother Hitton's Littul Kittons.

Smith is one of those amazing throw you in the middle of wonder kind of writers. (This is partly why I like Terry Dowling so much, someone who actually is one of the Lords of the Instrumentality.) These two gentlemen have two of the highest rated SF collections I have ever read, the other being a writer with a different style completely, in Greg Egan.

Absolutely worth reading.

Best of Cordwainer Smith : Scanners Live in Vain - Cordwainer Smith
Best of Cordwainer Smith : The Lady Who Sailed the Soul - Cordwainer Smith
Best of Cordwainer Smith : The Game of Rat and Dragon - Cordwainer Smith
Best of Cordwainer Smith : The Burning of the Brain - Cordwainer Smith
Best of Cordwainer Smith : The Crime and the Glory of Commander Suzdal - Cordwainer Smith
Best of Cordwainer Smith : Golden the Ship Was Oh! Oh! Oh! - Cordwainer Smith
Best of Cordwainer Smith : The Dead Lady of Clown Town - Cordwainer Smith
Best of Cordwainer Smith : Under Old Earth - Cordwainer Smith
Best of Cordwainer Smith : Mother Hitton’s Littul Kittons - Cordwainer Smith
Best of Cordwainer Smith : Alpha Ralpha Boulevard - Cordwainer Smith
Best of Cordwainer Smith : The Ballad of Lost C'Mell - Cordwainer Smith
Best of Cordwainer Smith : A Planet Named Shayol - Cordwainer Smith

Monopoly is bad, and worth doing something about.
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