Cordwainer Smith (1913-66)

Like Clark Ashton Smith, an original character and a unique prose stylist.  In the case of Cordwainer Smith, the style was influenced by oriental narrative techniques - CS knew China and Chinese. 

His invented Future History covers thousands of years, and is told in a style that digs so deep into the realm of archetypal mythopoeia, that it will never become dated.  He buries our own age under layer upon layer of time, yet on occasion he allows it to peep out:


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 we 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.

I myself went into a hospital and came out French....


- Alpha Ralpha Boulevard