Norstrilia (Instrumentality of Mankind)
This is the only novel Cordwainer Smith ever wrote during his distinguished career. It tells the story of a boy from the planet Old North Australia (where rich, simple farmers grow the immortality drug Stroon), how he bought Old Earth, and how his visit to Earth changed both him and Earth itself.
A very eccentric novel, a bit frustrating at times, but quite entertaining. It was frustrating in that there were so many potentially interesting issues that could have been pursued--and they were left unexplored. For instance, telepathy is just a given in Norstrilian society and if you ...more
1. Inflation has its uses.
2. Sometimes the best computer for the job is the laminated brain of a mouse . . .
3. The economic significance of mutant sheep.
4. Go big or go home.
A sideways and roundabout look at a strange and twisted future involving everything from telepathic mink to bird-men with hypnotic mandalas to a man who literally bought the planet earth. I don't know why it works, but it most certainly does - this is a must read for anyone who appreciates a un ...more
Nominee Hugo Award Best Novel (1964) (The Planet Buyer)
Roderick Frederick Ronald Arnold William MacArthur McBan to the Hu ...more
The book is a riot of color and language. ...more
I can only imagine Frank Herbert liked this book a whole lot, because he borrowed a shocking amount of it wholesale. Norstrilia is basically Dune without the pretension, long monologues, weird social-political diatribes, and giant worms. Instea ...more
Like much of Smith's work, his only singly conceived science fiction novel (The Quest for Three Worlds being a linked collection of stories) was rescued from obscurity to become a classic of the genre. It has a publication history only too familiar for the non-mainstream in America in the sixties; following magazine appearances of extracts in 1960, it was butchered into two novels and only made its first appearance as originally intended in ...more
However the story declines once the character leaves Norstrilia to wander around in what I understood to be some sort of underground city where the oppressed underpeople live. The problem here is that little effort was made by the author to create sympathy for the underpeople. They just came across ...more
The characters were believable. Pretty different-should be since some were only parrt human. They could have been MORE developed, though.
The plot took a while to get started, and most much of the time, he was passive. Just doing what others told him. It was strange enough, though. The main character's planet's economy was based on sick sheep that produced an immortality drug. The idea that the main character's computer was intelligent enough to manuever his money enough to buy ...more
That floors me, as well: writing stories this imaginative was just his hobby. You know, when he wasn't speaking 6 languages and influencing people who created our ...more
This is a fun story, with lots of little bits t ...more
However, I can see what an impact it had on other science fiction I love (no way F ...more
It was really easy to read which is always a plus - if i had read it in one go i would have ben done in a few hours.
The main character Rod was such a funny lil guy and the universe its set in is so interesting.
I read that most of the authors other stories are all set in the same ...more
Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger
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).
Linebarger was also a noted East Asia scholar and expert in psychological warfare.