Learn how and when to remove this template message In , Linebarger married Margaret Snow. They had a daughter in and another in They divorced in In , Linebarger married again to Genevieve Collins; they had no children.
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There were the gentlemen-suicides back on Earth, who gambled their lives—even more horribly, gambled sometimes for things worse than their lives—against different kinds of geophysics which real men had never experienced. There were girls who fell in love with such men, however stark and dreadful their personal fates might be.
There was the Instrumentality, with its unceasing labor to keep man man. And there were the citizens who walked in the boulevards before the Rediscovery of Man. The citizens were happy. They had to be happy. If they were found sad, they were calmed and drugged and changed until they were happy again.
This story concerns three of them: the gambler who took the name Sun-boy, who dared to go down to the Gebiet, who confronted himself before he died; the girl Santuna, who was fulfilled in a thousand ways before she died; and the Lord Sto Odin, a most ancient of days, who knew it all and never dreamed of preventing any of it.
Music runs through this story. The soft sweet music of the Earth government and the Instrumentality, bland as honey and sickening in the end.
The wild illegal pulsations of the Gebiet, where most men were forbidden to enter. Worst of all, the crazy fugues and improper melodies of the Bezirk, closed to men for fifty-seven centuries—opened by accident, found, trespassed in! And with it our story begins. From "Alpha Ralpha Boulevard" We were drunk with happiness in those early years. Everybody was, especially the young people.
These were the first years of the Rediscovery of Man, when the Instrumentality dug deep in the treasury, reconstructing the old cultures, the old languages, and even the old troubles. The nightmare of perfection had taken our forefathers to the edge of suicide. Now under the leadership of the Lord Jestocost and the Lady Alice More, the ancient civilizations were rising like great land masses out of the sea of the past.
I myself was the first man to put a postage stamp on a letter, after fourteen thousand years. I took Virginia to hear the first piano recital. We watched at the eye-machine when cholera was released in Tasmania, and saw the Tasmanians dancing in the streets, now that they did not have to be protected any more. Everywhere, things became exciting. Everywhere, men and women worked with a wild will to build a more imperfect world.
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There were the gentlemen-suicides back on Earth, who gambled their lives—even more horribly, gambled sometimes for things worse than their lives—against different kinds of geophysics which real men had never experienced. There were girls who fell in love with such men, however stark and dreadful their personal fates might be. There was the Instrumentality, with its unceasing labor to keep man man. And there were the citizens who walked in the boulevards before the Rediscovery of Man.
The Rediscovery of Man: The Complete Short Science Fiction of Cordwainer Smith
Few science fiction writers present us with a bigger puzzle than Cordwainer Smith , an eccentric figure from the golden age of sci-fi who retains a small but devoted cult following today. Was Smith a brilliant thinker or mentally ill? Was he an artist or an ideologue? Was his body of work a unified vision or a disparate jumble?