Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cats cruelty and children: Idealism and morality in the Instrumentality of Mankind - Angus McIntyre

"The science-fiction writings of Cordwainer Smith consist of some twenty-odd short stories and two novels, which chart the history of an evolving civilisation over some fifteen thousand years. The history is internally consistent, and each story contributes to a coherent picture of the technological, social and spiritual development of the future described.

In real life, Smith was Dr Paul Linebarger, Professor in Asiatic Studies at Johns Hopkins university and colonel in US military intelligence, accomplished linguist and foreign policy adviser to the state department. His writing style, partly inspired by Chinese narrative techniques, more closely resembles poetry than the conventional dry prose of science-fiction, and his stories are dense with literary and historical references and more or less complex linguistic puns. Running through the entire work is a consistent morality and outlook, whose principal themes recur again and again in stories often written many years apart."

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