Smith, c. early 1960s
|Born||Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger|
July 11, 1913
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US
|Died||August 6, 1966 53) (aged|
|Occupation||Writer, professor, military officer|
|Education||PhD in political science|
|Alma mater||Johns Hopkins University|
|Subject||East Asia political science, psychological warfare|
|Notable works||"Scanners Live in Vain"|
|Relatives||Sun Yat-sen (godfather)|
Cordwainer Smith ( // KORD-way-nər) was the pen-name used by American author Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger (July 11, 1913 – August 6, 1966) for his science fiction works. Linebarger was a noted East Asia scholar and expert in psychological warfare. ("Cordwainer" is an archaic word for "a worker in cordwain or cordovan leather; a shoemaker", and a "smith" is "one who works in iron or other metals; esp. a blacksmith or farrier": two kinds of skilled workers with traditional materials.) Linebarger also employed the literary pseudonyms "Carmichael Smith" (for his political thriller Atomsk ), "Anthony Bearden" (for his poetry) and "Felix C. Forrest" (for the novels Ria and Carola). He died of a heart attack in 1966 at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, at age 53.
Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction that has been called the "literature of ideas". It typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, time travel, parallel universes, fictional worlds, space exploration, and extraterrestrial life. It often explores the potential consequences of scientific innovations.
East Asia is the eastern subregion of Asia, defined in either geographical or ethno-cultural terms. China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam belong to the East Asian cultural sphere. Geographically and geopolitically, the region includes China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Mongolia and Taiwan.
Linebarger was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His father, Paul M. W. Linebarger, was a lawyer and political activist with close ties to the leaders of the Chinese revolution of 1911. As a result of those connections, Linebarger's godfather was Sun Yat-sen, considered the father of Chinese nationalism.
Milwaukee is the largest city in the state of Wisconsin and the fifth-largest city in the Midwestern United States. The seat of the eponymous county, it is on Lake Michigan's western shore. Ranked by its estimated 2014 population, Milwaukee was the 31st largest city in the United States. The city's estimated population in 2017 was 595,351. Milwaukee is the main cultural and economic center of the Milwaukee metropolitan area which had a population of 2,043,904 in the 2014 census estimate. It is the third-most densely populated metropolitan area in the Midwest, surpassed only by Chicago and Detroit, respectively .Milwaukee is considered a Gamma global city as categorized by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network with a regional GDP of over $105 billion.
The Xinhai Revolution, also known as the Chinese Revolution or the Revolution of 1911, was a revolution that overthrew China's last imperial dynasty and established the Republic of China (ROC). The revolution was named Xinhai (Hsin-hai) because it occurred in 1911, the year of the Xinhai stem-branch in the sexagenary cycle of the Chinese calendar.
A godparent, in many denominations of Christianity, is someone who bears witness to a child's baptism and then aids in their catechesis, as well as their lifelong spiritual formation. In the past, in some countries, the role carried some legal obligations as well as religious responsibilities. In both religious and civil views, a godparent tends to be an individual chosen by the parents to take an interest in the child's upbringing and personal development, to offer mentorship or claim legal guardianship of the child should anything happen to the parents.
While Sun Yat-sen was struggling against contentious warlords in China, Linebarger's father moved his family between a variety of places in Asia, Europe, and the United States and sometimes sent his son to boarding schools for safety; Linebarger attended more than 30 schools. In 1919 at a boarding school in Hawaii he was blinded in his right eye; the vision in his remaining eye was impaired by infection.
Linebarger was familiar with six languages by adulthood. At the age of 23, he received a PhD in political science from Johns Hopkins University.
Johns Hopkins University is a private research university in Baltimore, Maryland. Founded in 1876, the university was named for its first benefactor, the American entrepreneur, abolitionist, and philanthropist Johns Hopkins. His $7 million bequest —of which half financed the establishment of Johns Hopkins Hospital—was the largest philanthropic gift in the history of the United States up to that time. Daniel Coit Gilman, who was inaugurated as the institution's first president on February 22, 1876, led the university to revolutionize higher education in the U.S. by integrating teaching and research. Adopting the concept of a graduate school from Germany's ancient Heidelberg University, Johns Hopkins University is considered the first research university in the United States. Over the course of several decades, the university has led all U.S. universities in annual research and development expenditures. In fiscal year 2016, Johns Hopkins spent nearly $2.5 billion on research.
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From 1937 to 1946, Linebarger held a faculty appointment at Duke University, where he began producing highly regarded works on Far Eastern affairs.
Duke University is a private research university in Durham, North Carolina. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present-day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. In 1924, tobacco and electric power industrialist James Buchanan Duke established The Duke Endowment and the institution changed its name to honor his deceased father, Washington Duke.
While retaining his professorship at Duke after the beginning of World War II, Linebarger began serving as a second lieutenant of the United States Army, where he was involved in the creation of the Office of War Information and the Operation Planning and Intelligence Board. He also helped organize the army's first psychological warfare section. In 1943, he was sent to China to coordinate military intelligence operations. When he later pursued his interest in China, Linebarger became a close confidant of Chiang Kai-shek. By the end of the war, he had risen to the rank of major.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.
The United States Office of War Information (OWI) was a United States government agency created during World War II. OWI operated from June 1942 until September 1945. Through radio broadcasts, newspapers, posters, photographs, films and other forms of media, the OWI was the connection between the battlefront and civilian communities. The office also established several overseas branches, which launched a large-scale information and propaganda campaign abroad.
In 1947, Linebarger moved to the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC, where he served as Professor of Asiatic Studies. He used his experiences in the war to write the book Psychological Warfare (1948), regarded by many in the field as a classic text.
He eventually rose to the rank of colonel in the reserves. He was recalled to advise the British forces in the Malayan Emergency and the U.S. Eighth Army in the Korean War. While he was known to call himself a "visitor to small wars", he refrained from becoming involved in the Vietnam War, but is known to have done work for the Central Intelligence Agency. In 1969 CIA officer Miles Copeland Jr. wrote that Linebarger was "perhaps the leader practitioner of 'black' and 'gray' propaganda in the Western world".According to Joseph Burkholder Smith, a former CIA operative, he conducted classes in psychological warfare for CIA agents at his home in Washington under cover of his position at the School of Advanced International Studies. He traveled extensively and became a member of the Foreign Policy Association, and was called upon to advise President John F. Kennedy.
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In 1936, Linebarger married Margaret Snow. They had a daughter in 1942 and another in 1947. They divorced in 1949.
In 1950, Linebarger married again to Genevieve Collins; they had no children. They remained married until his death from a heart attack in 1966, in Baltimore, Maryland. Linebarger had expressed a wish to retire to Australia, which he had visited in his travels.
Colonel Linebarger is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Section 35, Grave Number 4712. His widow, Genevieve Collins Linebarger, was interred with him on November 16, 1981.
Linebarger is long rumored to have been "Kirk Allen", the fantasy-haunted subject of "The Jet-Propelled Couch," a chapter in psychologist Robert M. Lindner's best-selling 1954 collection The Fifty-Minute Hour.According to Cordwainer Smith scholar Alan C. Elms, this speculation first reached print in Brian Aldiss's 1973 history of science fiction, Billion Year Spree; Aldiss, in turn, claimed to have received the information from Leon Stover. More recently, both Elms and librarian Lee Weinstein have gathered circumstantial evidence to support the case for Linebarger's being Allen, but both concede there is no direct proof that Linebarger was ever a patient of Lindner's or that he suffered from a disorder similar to that of Kirk Allen.
According to Frederik Pohl
In his stories, which were a wonderful and inimitable blend of a strange, raucous poetry and a detailed technological scene, we begin to read of human beings in worlds so far from our own in space in time that they were no longer quite Earth (even when they were the third planet out from Sol), and the people were no longer quite human, but something perhaps better, certainly different
Linebarger's identity as "Cordwainer Smith" was secret until his death.
Smith's stories are unusual, sometimes being written in narrative styles closer to traditional Chinese stories than to most English-language fiction, as well as reminiscent of the Genji tales of Lady Murasaki. The total volume of his science fiction output is relatively small, because of his time-consuming profession and his early death.
Smith's works consist of: One novel, originally published in two volumes in edited form as The Planet Buyer, also known as The Boy Who Bought Old Earth (1964) and The Underpeople (1968), and later restored to its original form as Norstrilia (1975); and 32 short stories (collected in The Rediscovery of Man (1993), including two versions of the short story "War No. 81-Q").
Linebarger's cultural links to China are partially expressed in the pseudonym "Felix C. Forrest", which he used in addition to "Cordwainer Smith": his godfather Sun Yat-Sen suggested to Linebarger that he adopt the Chinese name "Lin Bai-lo" (simplified Chinese :林白乐; traditional Chinese :林白樂; pinyin :Lín Báilè), which may be roughly translated as "Forest of Incandescent Bliss". ("Felix" is Latin for "happy".) In his later years, Linebarger proudly wore a tie with the Chinese characters for this name embroidered on it.
As an expert in psychological warfare, Linebarger was very interested in the newly developing fields of psychology and psychiatry. He used many of their concepts in his fiction. His fiction often has religious overtones or motifs, particularly evident in characters who have no control over their actions. James B. Jordan argued for the importance of Anglicanism to Smith's works back to 1949.But Linebarger's daughter Rosana Hart has indicated that he did not become an Anglican until 1950, and was not strongly interested in religion until later still. The introduction to the collection Rediscovery of Man notes that from around 1960 Linebarger became more devout and expressed this in his writing. Linebarger's works are sometimes included in analyses of Christianity in fiction, along with the works of authors such as C. S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.
Most of Smith's stories are set in an era starting some 14,000 years in the future. The Instrumentality of Mankind rules Earth and goes on to control other planets later inhabited by humanity. The Instrumentality attempts to revive old cultures and languages in a process known as the Rediscovery of Man. This rediscovery can be seen as the initial period when humankind emerges from a mundane utopia and the nonhuman Underpeople gain freedom from slavery. It may also be viewed as part of a continuing process begun by the Instrumentality, encompassing the whole cycle, where mankind is constantly at risk of falling back into bad old ways.
For years, Linebarger had a pocket notebook which he had filled with ideas about The Instrumentality and additional stories in the series. But while in a small boat in a lake or bay in the mid 60s, he leaned over the side, and his notebook fell out of his breast pocket into the water, where it was lost forever. Another story claims that he accidentally left the notebook in a restaurant in Rhodes in 1965. With the book gone, he felt empty of ideas, and decided to start a new series which was an allegory of Mid-Eastern politics.
Smith's stories describe a long future history of Earth. The settings range from a postapocalyptic landscape with walled cities, defended by agents of the Instrumentality, to a state of sterile utopia, in which freedom can be found only deep below the surface, in long-forgotten and buried anthropogenic strata. These features may place Smith's works within the Dying Earth subgenre of science fiction. They are ultimately more optimistic and distinctive.
Smith's most celebrated short story is his first-published, "Scanners Live in Vain", which led many of its earliest readers to assume that "Cordwainer Smith" was a new pen name for one of the established giants of the genre. It was selected as one of the best science fiction short stories of the pre-Nebula Award period by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. It was selected for The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume One, 1929-1964 .
Smith's next story did not appear for several years, but readers began recognizing the name on stories and novelettes, often published through Galaxy Science Fiction .His stories feature strange and vivid creations, such as:
Titles marked with an asterisk * are independent stories not related to the Instrumentality universe.
Mark Clifton (1906–1963) was an American science fiction writer, the co-winner of the second Hugo Award for best novel. He began publishing in May 1952 with the widely anthologized story "What Have I Done?".
In the science fiction of Cordwainer Smith, the Instrumentality of Mankind refers both to Smith's personal future history and universe and to the central government of humanity within that fictional universe. The Instrumentality of Mankind is also the title of a paperback collection of short stories by Cordwainer Smith published in 1979.
In science fiction, uplift is a developmental process to transform a certain species of animals into more intelligent beings by other, already-intelligent beings. This is usually accomplished by cultural, technological, or evolutional interventions like genetic engineering but any fictional or real process can be used. The earliest appearance of the concept is in H. G. Wells' 1896 novel The Island of Doctor Moreau, and more recently appears in David Brin's Uplift series and other science fiction works.
The Rediscovery of Man: The Complete Short Science Fiction of Cordwainer Smith (ISBN 0-915368-56-0) is a 1993 book containing the complete collected short fiction of American science fiction author Cordwainer Smith. It was edited by James A. Mann and published by NESFA Press.
"Mother Hitton's Littul Kittons" is a classic science fiction short story by American writer Cordwainer Smith, first published in Galaxy Magazine in 1961, and partly based on Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. It is collected most recently in The Rediscovery of Man. It details the methods by which the Norstrilians of Smith's fictional "Instrumentality" universe maintain their monopoly on the precious immortality drug stroon. The story details part of the background to the novel Norstrilia.
Norstrilia is a science fiction novel published by Paul Linebarger under the pseudonym Cordwainer Smith. It is the only novel he published under this name, which he used for his science fiction works. It takes place in Smith's Instrumentality of Mankind universe, and was heavily influenced by the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West. The novel is in part a sequel to Smith's 1962 short story "The Ballad of Lost C'Mell", featuring some of the same characters and settings.
"A Planet Named Shayol" is a science fiction story by American writer Cordwainer Smith, set in his Instrumentality universe. The story was first published in Galaxy Science Fiction magazine in October 1961.
"When the People Fell" is a science fiction short story by American writer Cordwainer Smith, set in his "Instrumentality" universe. It was originally published in Galaxy Science Fiction magazine in April, 1959, and is collected in The Rediscovery of Man, and in the collection of which it is the title story. The story takes place relatively early in the Instrumentality timeline, and a "scanner Vomact" appears both in this story and the classic story "Scanners Live in Vain".
"The Crime and the Glory of Commander Suzdal" is a science fiction short story by Cordwainer Smith, set in Smith's "Instrumentality" universe. It was first published in Amazing Stories in May 1964, and is collected in The Rediscovery of Man compendium.
"The Dead Lady of Clown Town" is a science fiction novella by American writer Cordwainer Smith, set in his Instrumentality of Mankind future history. It was originally published in Galaxy Science Fiction in 1964. It was included in the collection The Best of Cordwainer Smith and most recently in The Rediscovery of Man short story collection. A graphic novel adaptation by Elaine Lee and Michael Kaluta was to have appeared in DC Comics during the late 1980s, but never materialized.
"Scanners Live in Vain" is a science fiction short story by American writer Cordwainer Smith, set in his Instrumentality of Mankind future history. It was originally published in the magazine Fantasy Book in 1950. It was judged by the Science Fiction Writers of America to be one of the finest short stories prior to 1965 and was included in the anthology The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One, 1929–1964. A revised text, based on Linebarger's original manuscript, appears in the 1993 NESFA Press collection The Rediscovery of Man and the 2007 collection When the People Fell. The story was nominated for a Retro-Hugo award in 2001. It has been published in Hebrew, Italian, French, German and Dutch translations.
Atomsk, first published in 1949, is a Cold War spy novel by "Carmichael Smith", one of several pseudonyms used by Paul Linebarger, who wrote fiction most prolifically as Cordwainer Smith. Written two years after Winston Churchill's Sinews of Peace address, Atomsk is the first espionage novel of the Cold War, inaugurating a genre exemplified by writers such as Ian Fleming and John Le Carré.
"The Ballad of Lost C'Mell" is a science fiction novella by American writer Cordwainer Smith. It was first published in October 1962 in Galaxy Magazine, and since reprinted in several compilations and omnibus editions.
"Alpha Ralpha Boulevard" is a science fiction story by American writer Cordwainer Smith, set in his Instrumentality of Mankind universe, concerning the opening days of a sudden radical shift from a controlling, benevolent, but sterile society, to one with individuality, danger and excitement. The story has been reprinted a number of times, including in The Rediscovery of Man collection.
"Kirk Allen" was the pseudonym given to a patient of Robert M. Lindner's, in his book The Fifty-Minute Hour. Born in Hawaii, "Allen" soon became obsessed with a series of novels, the protagonist of which shared his name. Due to "Allen's" anonymity, it is unclear what the series was, apart from the fact that it was science fiction. Some have theorized that the series was the "Barsoom" books, by Edgar Rice Burroughs, featuring the main character "John Carter".
Mildred McElroy Clingerman was an American science fiction author.
"Think Blue, Count Two" is a science fiction short story by Cordwainer Smith, set in his Instrumentality of Mankind future history. The story revolves around a psychological trip-wire installed to prevent an atrocity on a sleeper ship.
Space Lords is a collection of science fiction short stories by the American writer Cordwainer Smith. It was first published by Pyramid Books in 1965.
"Drunkboat" is a science fiction short story by American writer Cordwainer Smith. It was first published in the magazine Amazing Stories in October 1963. It was included in Space Lords, a collection of five stories by Cordwainer Smith published in May 1965. It appeared in The Instrumentality of Mankind, a collection published in May 1979, and it was in The Rediscovery of Man, a complete collection of his short stories, published in 1993.
Fomalhaut is a class A star on the main sequence approximately 25 light-years (7.7 pc) from the Sun. It is the brightest star in the constellation of Piscis Austrinus and at magnitude 1.2 is one of the brightest stars in the sky.