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Publisher's Summary

With an introduction by J. J. Pierce, this volume features the 12 most important stories by Cordwainer Smith, a unique writer who has fused wonder and poetry into imaginative tales that transcend both science and fiction.

"Scanners Live in Vain"

Adam Stone has found a way for men to cross deep space alive - a discovery that might kill him.

"The Lady Who Sailed the Soul"

Helen America voyages to the stars - and into a timeless legend of romance.

"Alpha Ralpha Boulevard"

They thought it was a road to a dream that lasts forever - but dreams are made to be broken.

"The Ballad of Lost C'Mell"

Never has there been a girl quite like C'mell. She's not even human - but she's all woman.

And eight more stunning stories by a man who dreamed the future.

©2016 Cordwainer Smith (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Great Science Fiction

Seems like it has been a while since Audible released some great, classic science fiction, and this mid-century collection of short stories by "Cordwainer Smith" (aka Paul Linebarger, an East Asia scholar whose father was an activist in the 1911 Chinese Revolution) is one of the best. It's hard to come by in print unless you can find used copies online. Linebarger published all his SF under his pen name, all set within the same beguiling future that spanned thousands of years. The stories are exceptional--highly idiosyncratic in language and structure (influenced by Chinese fables) with great feeling for the sublime and the grotesque, as well as social justice. A real one-of-a-kind marvel.

The audiobook is well read in a perfectly relaxed, warm tone. Unfortunately, it highlights Audible's insufficient chapter system. It's a collection of short stories, many broken up into parts, with separate introductions for each. The Audible app devotes a chapter number to each of these elements, without any titles or ways to group them into wholes. It's a real problem of organization that prevents anyone from simply jumping to a specific story, as they would with a book in print using the Table of Contents. For example, one of the best stories is "The Game of Rat and Dragon," which is the third story in the collection, but it's only listed as "Chapter 19" and is broken up into five chapters (through 23) because the story is written in five parts. Audible should really fix this, as it makes navigating the collection very difficult.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Classic Sci

So glad this has made it to Audible. Well read, includes all the short stories of the original publication. Every sci-fi fan should know these very creative stories.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • jas
  • 11-05-17

great book

it was a great book, well worth a listen, will listen to it at least once more.