0f the ~5 stories Dr. Linebarger wrote during the 1960'st seven are directly related to OLD NORTH AUSTRALIA - 'The Dead Lady of Clown Town',I 'Under Old Earth', 'Drunkboat', 'Alpha Ralpha Boulevard', 'The Ballet of Lost C,Me11', 'Mother Hitton's Littul Kittens', and 'A Planet Named Shayol'. All are based on events referred to, or implied by, the central novel they illuminate, and form a literary mosaic with it. An eighth story in this series 'The Robot, the Rat and the Copt', would have been the most explicitly religious telling of the visions those three saw in Space3. It was never written.
It was probably these stories, more than any of his others, that Dr. Linebarger was referring to when he characterized his fiction as "pre-Cervantean" - that is, in the form of a cycle of legends, rather than the straight-forward narrative he dated from Cervantes. OLD NORTH AUSTRALIA and its attendant shorter works clearly form such a cycle, although the "legendary,' techniques in Dr. Linebarger's science fiction were evident as early as ~15he Burning of the Brain'
Frederik Pohl was largely responsible for the increased output or Dr. Linebarger during the 1960's. When he took over Galaxy and If from Gold on Jan. l, 19611 "I started going after him," Pohl relates.
When Pohl learned that Altshuler had two Smith stories - 'Alpha Ralpha Boulevard' and 'Mother Hitton's Littul Kittens' - up for sale but had offered only one of them to Galaxy, he insisted on a change in policy: a "first look" at every story Dr. Linebarger wrote. "From then on, I got them all," Pohl reports. And he rejected only three.
The appearance of the first Smith collection YOU WILL NEVER BE THE SAME, under the Regency label in 1963t further added to the rising literary stock of Dr. Linebarger. It was Robert Silverberg who planted the idea for the collection in the head of Algis Budrys.
Budrys was complaining of the lack of suitable material coming in at Regency.
'~e can't get any good science fiction," he said.
,,Why don't you get some Cordwainer Smith? Silverberg offered.
Budrys was "struck by wonder" at the idea and Silverberg got in touch with Altshuler t~ make the arrangements - for which he received due credit on the title page. Dr. Linebarger himself appended a brief note about his theory of art as a means to evoke wonder, and even the blurb was relevant - unlike most blurbs.
There was one unfortunate side effect -to Or. Linebarger, at least, from the publication of YOU WILL ~R BE THE SA/~. It blew his "cover.. For the 1964 edition of CONTEMPORARY AUTHORS, in its entry for "Linebarger, Paul Myron Anthony," listed YOU WILL NEVER BE THE SAME as one of his published works. This was unavoidable: the collection was published prior to a change in the copyright law that allowed copyrights to be registered under a pseudonym. In fact, Mrs. Linebarger said, anyone could have found out who "Cordwainer Smith" was from the start by a little research at the Library of Congress.
Nobody, apparently, ever did check the Library of Congress. But the mention in CONTEMPORARY AUTHORS was too obvious to mass. Thus it was that people like Alva Rogers got in on the "secret". In 1966~ Rogers was asking Pohl to accept the Invisible Little Men award on Dr. Linebarger's behalf - but he never got it in time. Fans wanted to invite Dr. Linebarger to conventions but he refused.
One such turndown involved the 1965 Eastern Science Fiction Association banquet - Pohl promised Dr. Linebarger he wouldn't be asked any questions, but the terms still didn't suit the author. He had always been extremely self-conscious about hid work, and wanted no contact with the fans. In part, Mrs. Linebarger believes, this was because he felt seriously about his work - even while treating it as an intellectual game - and feared those readers who would either fail to understand, or fail to respect his serious intentions.
His health had its ups and downs during the ~960's. Especially when he was ill and in bed, he would dictate his stories to his wife. Surprisingly, those he dictated wore the most straightforward in style, whereas those told in a seemingly "oral" style, like The Dead Lady of Clown Town, he typed himself.
When he was up and around, Dr. Linebarger maintained a busy schedule, both at Johns Hopkins and, as a member of the Foreign Policy Association, giving lectures on U.S. policy to foreign visitors (he was the only one who could talk slowly enough for them!) end working on non-fiction projects.
When Benson bought OLD NORTH AUSTRALIA for Pyramid, Pohl had to run the two extracts from it as novellas if-stead of as chapters in a serial in order to get them on the stands before the Pyramid edition of THE PLANET BUYER. The Pyramid book reached a wider market than the previous year's Regency
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Document scaning and conversion provided by Peter Barker
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