There is an ebook edition of Cordwainer Smith’s stories and the publisher (with our agent’s permission) put several of the stories online where you can read them free. If you have never read Cordwainer Smith, this is an easy way to get started. If you are a fan already, you might like to refresh your memory. If you want to get the ebook, I expect you can get to it from the stories.

Here they are:


No, No, Not Rogov!

War No. 81-Q (Rewritten Version)

Mark Elf

The Queen of the Afternoon

Scanners Live in Vain

The Lady Who Sailed The Soul

When the People Fell

There is also a very interesting article by Frederick Pohl, the introduction to  a Cordwainer Smith collection called When the People Fell.

I had not realized that my father was beginning to meet science fiction people not long before he died. Here’s a bit from Pohl’s article:

Paul Linebarger kept his pseudonym private. He stayed away from gatherings where science-fiction readers and writers were present. When the World Science Fiction Convention was in Washington in 1963, not more than a mile or two from his home, I urged him to drop in and test the water. I would not tell a soul who he was. If he chose, he could turn around and leave. If not . . . well, then not.

Paul weighed the thought and then, reluctantly, decided against the risk. But, he said, there were a couple of individuals whom he would like to meet if they wouldn’t mind coming to his house. And so it happened. And of course it was a marvelous afternoon. It had to be. Paul was a fine host, and Genevieve—once his student, then his wife—a splendid hostess. Under the scarlet and gold birth scroll calligraphed by Paul’s godfather, Sun Yat-sen, drinking "pukka pegs" (ginger ale and brandy highball, which, Paul said, were what had kept the British army alive in India), in that discovering company the vibrations were optimal…

He enjoyed his guests—particularly, he said, Judith Merril and Algis Budrys—enough so that he felt easier about meeting others in the field. Little by little he did. Some in person, some only by mail, most by phone, and I think that the time was not far off when Paul Linebarger would have made an appearance at a science-fiction convention. Maybe a lot of them. But time ran out. He died of a stroke in 1966, at the bitterly unfair age of fifty-three.