The relationship between Dr. Linebarger, Crawford and Ackerman apparently developed as a result of his interest in Fantasy Press. He had been ordering Fantasy Press books by mail since it was founded - and his widow Pits. Genevieve Linebarger, says she understands her husband was even a stockholder in the firm.
Pohl bought the story, and his anthology appeared in 1952, - it was the first time 'Scanners Live in Vain' appeared before a wide readership. And it was in BEYOND THE END OF TIME that the error about the story having first appeared ]n 19t~8 got its start.
Crawford himself included 'Scanners' in his own anthology - but that one, SCIENCE AND SORCERY did not appear until 19~3, one year after Pohl's. Dr. Linebarger, at this time, was finishing up his tour of duty as a consultant to the U.S. Eighth Army in Korea -but he "got some feedback" somehow from the anthology appearances of 'Scanners', Pohl relates.
Moskowitz, meanwhile, had been tapped by Hugo Gernsback to edit Science Fiction Plus and was pressuring Crawford for more stories by "Smith". "Let's get some action on this Cordwainer Smith fellow," he was pleading towards the end of 1952.
Crawford replied he hadn't been able to get in touch with the man. "As I recall it, he is sort of an expert on Far Eastern countries and he may be over there." Early in 1953~ however, he was able to inform Moskowitz:
"I finally heard from Cordwainer Smith. The reason he was so slow in answering was because he was on a trip around the world1 and I guess it took a while for the letter to catch up, or for him to get a chance to answer it - or something. Anyway, at the moment, he hasn't any other material for submission, but I'm trying to build a fire under him and I think I'll have something for you to look at before long."
Before long wasn't soon enough for
Moskowitz, however - Science Fiction Plus folded at the end of 1953, after only seven issues.
Dc. Linebarger didn't have anything to "look at" until 1954, in any case - And then, it was H.L. Gold who got to do the looking. No doubt Gold's close relationship with Pohl
was a factor - for Galaxy's editor had been
one of those who rejected 'Scanners Live in
Vain', and he recently indicated that he had
not solicited any Cordwainer Smith stories at the time the manuscript of 'The Game of Rate and Dragon' was submitted to him in 1954.
Dr. Linebarger, however, had written to Pohl as a result of the appearance of 'Scanners' in BEYOND THE END OF TIME, and it was thus that Pohl learned his identity and began an association that lasted until the death of Dr. Linebarger.
Having arrived back home in Washington following the Korean War, Dr. Linebarger first turned his attention to an updated edition of his PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE, based in part on the knowledge he gained in Korea and on the insights from the psychoanalysis that had been part of his refresher training course for his Eighth Army assignment.
Much has been made of the impact of continuing psychoanalytic sessions on his writing by Arthur Burns in the Australian Science Fiction Review. Yet the type of imagination found in the stories Dr. Linebarger wrote in the ~950's actually seems little different from that in 'Scanners'
Cat Melanie, the first of a family of felines, made here appearance in the Linebarger household in 1954I and was quickly followed by Lady May and Captain Wow. Cat Melanie, as everyone knows, was later to be immortalized when transmogrified into C'Mell, the heroine of the Underpeople. She and Lady May have both died - hut Captain Wow lives yet in the same row house in northwest Washington.
'The Game of Rat and Dragon' was written in a single afternoon9 sent to Gold and accepted immediately. Once again, Dr. Linebarger was able to brilliantly portray the emotional impact of a bizarre situation - the intimate, almost symbiotic relationship of the pin-lighters and their cat partners battling the terrors of the Up and Out. It was one of his most extravagant concepts - and yet, pure science fiction. The author might have been amused by a piece in the Aug. 24 1970 Time magazine, describing how "Russian scientists are studying the feasibility of training a cat to pilot air-to-air missiles." But he would have been appalled, no doubt, at the callous attitude the Soviets were taking towards their "partners" - whose missions, it seems, will all be strictly one-way.
Although 'Game' was the first science fiction he had written in eight years? Dr. Linebarger was by no means out of touch with the field. "He read every science fiction magazine and book he could lay his hands on," Mrs. Linebarger relates. Among his favorite stories from his non-writing period were Robert A. Heinlein's 'The Green Hills of Earth' Arthur C. Clarke's CHILDHOOD'S END, Philip Jose Farmer's 'The Lovers', Ray Bradbury's 'Mars is Heaven' and Bernard Wolfe's LIMBO. He talked about Fritz Leiber a lot, Mrs. Linebarger remembers, and Burns said in the ASFR that "he felt himself akin to Leiber -but less Nietzschean." A cryptic comment indeed!
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Document scaning and conversion provided by Peter Barker
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