Alan Elms has been working on a biography of CS / PMAL for years, and I often turn to him for answers to questions that readers send me… Here are some of these, reprinted from old ezines of mine. I think the questions are obvious from the answers:

Paul Linebarger wrote a book manuscript called ‘Ethical Dianetics,’ which was in part a response to Ron Hubbard’s book ‘Dianetics.’

The Linebarger book is mainly an argument for self- analysis or informal mutual analysis between spouses; it was intended to provide an alternative to the Hubbard model and other psychotherapeutic approaches, rather than being a further development of Hubbard’s ideas.

Linebarger and Hubbard knew each other as college undergraduates, but as far as I’ve been able to determine, they didn’t maintain their acquaintance later. The manuscript of ‘Ethical Dianetics’ (which was never published) is now in the Linebarger Papers at the Hoover Institution Archives; it is not available online.

Lost Notebook?

Nope, never found. I’ve gone through all the Cordwainer Smith papers at the U of Kansas and the Hoover Institution several times, and though there are other notebooks there, the notebook detailing the early development of the Instrumentality etc is missing. Paul Linebarger apparently told different versions of how and where it was lost to Genevieve (who told her version to J. J. Pierce and to me) and to Fred Pohl–or maybe they just remembered differently what he told them. But whatever story he told about the notebook’s loss, he never found it again.

I’ve had the fantasy that it’s somewhere out there in a Chinese bazaar or an Egyptian cave, and someday maybe someone will come up with it yet. If so, please let me know–right away!”

Hoover Archives

I turn to Alan with archival questions too. Here’s his answer to one:

Rosana passed on to me your inquiry about the stories listed in Box 30, Folder 14 of the Hoover Institution’s Linebarger Archives–“The Vanguard of Venus,” “The Girl from Mars,” and so forth.

Alas, those are not unpublished Cordwainer Smith stories, nor even Paul Linebarger juvenilia. Rather, they are stories by various early SF writers, published by Hugo Gernsback in the late 1920s in the form of pamphlets (as in Box 30) as well as in his magazines. They were early entries in Paul’s science fiction collection; they wound up in the Hoover Archives (which focus on his academic and political roles) more or less by mistake. If you’re really interested in tracking any of them down elsewhere, try one of the SF bibliographic databases on the Web–but be warned that none of the stories (as I recall from skimming through them at the Hoover) is any sort of SF classic. Paul was an omnivorous reader, and he seems to have grabbed hold of any scrap of science fiction he could find.