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Space Lords

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  79 ratings  ·  7 reviews
This is the 1st edition.

The universe of Cordwainer Smith

Giant planoforming ships ply the spaceways...

Men "built" from animals do mankind's labor - and plot in secret...

Living weapons guard the most important secret in existence...

A thousand planets acknowledge one ruler - the instrumentality of Mankind...

Wierd, beautiful, terrifying - these stories of the far future paint
Mass Market Paperback, #R-1183, 206 pages
Published May 1965 by Pyramid Books
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I gave notgettingenough a copy of Space Lords...


... and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.

Ah, sorry, I mean, thank you, it's lovely!
Incredibly alienating. The bizarre badly written. I know he's a cult figure and I seem to be down on them, but.

Pohl tells a story on his blog about the reason Smith stopped writing about the world of the Space Lords. He had any number of ideas which he kept in a note book. One day he bent over the side of a boat on the Meditteranean. You can guess what happened.

Apparently he couldn't write unless nobody knew who he was. I'm sorry, but what I want to say is I don't blame him.

Surely nobody thinks
Out of all of these stories, I think I liked the Dead Lady of Clown Town best. I'm not normally a huge fan of Christ-like fiction, but... Holy F...! :) This one grabbed me right away with it's promise, it's sneaky-gentle prose and action and likable characters, and then it smashed my brains in with a huge club. Our fantastic author was even so good as to give us a little distance at the end so we wouldn't have to suffer so much.
Unfortunately, I actually found myself dreaming about the story last
Joe Santoro
This is a collection of 5 stories all taking place in Smith's 'Instrumentality of Man' universe, where human kind is alone in the universe, but goes out and colonizes. There are 'underpeople', animals give human traits and intelligence, that are used as semi-slave labor. At some points the government seems authoritarian, others more socialist. The stories take place over several millenia.

Smith in his prologue makes direct corrolations to other literature, which are.. sorta clear. The main story
Space Lords consists of 5 short stories by the author. Each is set in the same universe. The Underpeople fascinated me - they are animal and human DNA mixed to create a servant race. So there are snake woman, bull men, dog girls, cat ladies, etc.

Each story was well written and held on it's own. I especially enjoyed the last - A Planet Named Shayol. It was eerie and beautiful at the same time. Starts off pretty simple with a prison planet. But as you dig into the story you realize that the popul
I've enjoyed Smith's writing in the past, but this time found it slightly pompous, possibly because with the exception of "Drunkboat" I have seen these stories collected elsewhere many times before. As a result I rather rushed through this anthology.

As a political/social entity, the Instrumentality of Mankind is different from many as featured in other stories of this kind. It doesn't exist just to rule, but as a means to achieve some sort of purpose, to humanize Humanity.
Maybe it's my broader exposure to better sci fi, but this didn't strike as particularly impressive. It's not bad, just not all that good. There are better works elsewhere.
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Pseudonym of:
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.
More about Cordwainer Smith...
The Rediscovery of Man Norstrilia The Instrumentality of Mankind (Instrumentality of Mankind) The Rediscovery of Man: The Complete Short Science Fiction of Cordwainer Smith Scanners Live in Vain

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