Gateway Essentials: Cordwainer Smith

Paul Linebarger was born 103 years ago, today, which is good an excuse as any to present his SF Masterworks and Gateway Essentials. What’s that? You say?  Never heard of him? Ah! Well, that could be because . . .

US foreign policy adviser Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger published under a number of pseudonyms – Karolman Junghar, Felix C Forrest and Carmichael Smith, for example – but his most famous pen name was, of course, Cordwainer Smith. Holder of a PhD in Political Science from Johns Hopkins, Linebarger/Smith served in the US military during the Second World War and acted as an adviser to President Kennedy. His godfather was the Chinese revolutionary and political leader, Sun Yat-sen – the result of his political activist father’s close ties with leaders of the Chinese revolution.  Although Cordwainer Smith only published one novel, Norstrilia, he is well regarded for his short fiction, the majority of which is set in his future history of the Instrumentality of Mankind.

SF Masterworks:

Gateway Essentials:


You can find more of Cordwainer Smith’s work via his Author page on the Gateway website, and read about him in his entry in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.


** 13-07-16: Post updated to so as not to upset those who have never made a typo in their entire lives. **