Monday, October 22, 2007

Cordwainer Smith

While I am on the subject of science fiction writers I should give a mention to Cordwainer Smith, who is not as well known as he probably should be but is now becoming more popular. He developed a great vision of the future of mankind which is a bit complicated to put into a few words here but I will say that quite a lot of his stories involve cats, which I very much approve of. Captain Wow, his cat in the story "The Game of Rat and Dragon" works as a partner to the pinlighters who pilot spaceships across the great distances of space. The pinlighters discovered that there were hostile beings between the suns and underneath space which would attack the ships and drive the crew and passengers instantly mad, so the cats were used to direct light bombs towards the hostile entities because they were aware of them slightly before the human crew due to their faster reactions. The humans would see the entities as dragons but the cats would see them as giant rats. Anyway, there is a lot more to his universe than I can write about here but I will leave you a small quotation from one of his stories, Alpha Ralpha Boulevard.
"We were drunk with happiness in those early years. Everybody was, especially the young people. These were the first years of the Rediscovery of Man, when the Instrumentality dug deep in the treasury, reconstructing the old cultures, the old languages, and even the old troubles. The nightmare of perfection had taken our forefathers to the edge of suicide. Now under the leadership of the Lord Jestocost and the Lady Alice More, the ancient civilizations were rising like great land masses out of the sea of the past. I myself was the first man to put a postage stamp on a letter, after fourteen thousand years. I took Virginia to hear the first piano recital. We watched at the eye-machine when cholera was released in Tasmania, and saw the Tasmanians dancing in the streets, now that they did not have to be protected any more. Everywhere, things became exciting. Everywhere, men and women worked with a wild will to build a more imperfect world".

1 comment:

June Parrish Cookson said...

Hi John,

Thank you so much for the wonderful comment you left on my blog. Nice to know people would actually take a little time out of their day to lend feedback. Makes one feel a little less lonely in blogworld.

Enjoy your blog... wonderful art, photography, and writing. Exceptional!