Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Fife of Bodidharma - Cordwainer Smith

Short Story

Number of words : 2900
Percent of complex words : 10.3
Average syllables per word : 1.5
Average words per sentence : 16.0


READABILITY INDICES

Fog : 10.5
Flesch : 64.5
Flesch-Kincaid : 8.2


PEOPLE

Goldsmith

Made the fife and died as a result.

Bodidharma the Blessed One

Ancient religious leader who is given the fife.

German explorer

Found the fife.

Wolfgang Huene

A nazi who hates Hitler and finds the fife.

Hagen von Griin

One of the German rocket scientists who worked at Huntsville, Alabama.



TECHNOLOGY

Magical fife

A musical instrument. A chancy prediscovery of psionic powers with sonic triggering. Made of gold.

Onyx

A type of quartz.

Case No. 34 of the Dorotheum

Where the fife resided in Germany.


PLACES

Cathay

Another name for part of China.

Loyang

Chinese city.

Anyang

City in South Korea.

Rhine

German river.

Cape Canaveral

Site of USA space launches.


ORGANISATIONS

Northern Wei dynasty

Ancient Chinese rulers.

Toba Tartars

Chinese barbarians.

Volkssturm

German military group.

Harappa

A proto-Indian culture.


ANIMALS

Tiger and wolf and fox and jackal and snake and spider

Encountered by the Bodidharma.


VEHICLES

B-29s

Allied planes.


PLOT

A goldsmith makes a fife with special properties which has different owners over time from Bodidharmas to nazis. Eventually a rocket scientist uses it as a replacement strut in a launch and wonders if it matters in what setting he left it.


2.5 out of 5

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