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The Best of Cordwainer Smith  By  cover art

The Best of Cordwainer Smith

By: Cordwainer Smith
Narrated by: Sean Runnette
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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.

What listeners say about The Best of Cordwainer Smith

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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.

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26 people found this helpful

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Complete chapter list and titles

1. Cordwainer Smith: The Shaper of Myths (J. J. Pierce)
2. Scanners Live in Vain
3. The Lady Who Sailed the Soul
4. The Game of Rat and Dragon
5. The Burning of the Brain
6. Golden the Ship Was, Oh! Oh! Oh!
7. The Crime and the Glory of Commander Suzdal
8. The Dead Lady of Clown Town
9. Under Old Earth
10. Mother Hitton's Littul Kittons
11. Alpha Ralpha Boulevard
12. The Ballad of Lost C'mell
13. A Planet Named Shayol

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10 people found this helpful

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Astoundingly Mind Blowing

There is no other Sci-fi universe like this. The writing is excellent, the concepts provocative, the images disturbing, the meaning rich.

The social implications of his message are as relevant today as they were fifty years ago.

It is science fiction at its best.

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4 people found this 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.

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3 people found this helpful

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Fantastically weird golden-age SciFi

There are concepts here that I’ve never seen in other similar great, Golden-age SciFi. Have you enjoyed the truly strange and bizarre elements in stories from Phillip K Dick or Frank Herbert’s Dune series? Then these will astound you.

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Name the Chapters! It's 2024

A great audiobook. Unusual author, pro narrator. Chapters badly need titles. These stories are hard to find in ebook format.

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