No one before or since has written like Cordwainer Smith: the strange, soaring stories, with their hints of even further unglimpsed depths and wonders, were one of the delights of my youthful exploration of SF, and are a recurring source of pleasure even now.
Unfortunately Smith was ill-served by his early publishers: his one longish novel (Norstrilia) was hacked into two parts (The Planet Buyer and The Underpeople), and the short stories (which originally appeared in magazines like Fantasy & Science Fiction ) were splattered around different compilations at random.
Now Norstrilia has been restored and published intact, and the shorts have all been collected into one properly-edited volume: this one.
There are 33 stories altogether. If you've been reading SF for any length of time, you may well have one or more of the early anthologies already, and will want to know if this complete opus will give you enough extra stories to justify the expense. I therefore provide the complete list below.
There is an intelligent and scholarly introduction, and also an editor's introduction. The 27 stories of the Instrumentality universe are then presented in order of internal chronology, followed by the odds and ends.
01) No, No, Not Rogov! 02) War Nº 81-Q (Rewritten version) 03) Mark Elf 04) The Queen of the Afternoon 05) Scanners Live in Vain 06) The Lady Who Sailed The Soul 07) When the People Fell 08) Think Blue, Count Two 09) The Colonel Came Back from Nothing-at-All 10) The Game of Rat and Dragon 11) The Burning of the Brain 12) From Gustible's Planet 13) Himself in Anachron 14) The Crime and the Glory of Commander Suzdal 15) Golden the Ship Was — Oh! Oh! Oh! 16) The Dead Lady of Clown Town 17) Under Old Earth 18) Drunkboat 19) Mother Hitton's Littul Kittens 20) Alpha Ralpha Boulevard 21) The Ballad of Lost C'mell 22) A Planet Named Shayol 23) On the Gem Planet 24) On the Storm Planet 25) On the Sand Planet 26) Three to a Given Star 27) Down to a Sunless Sea 28) War Nº 81-Q (Original version) 29) Western Science is So Wonderful 30) Nancy 31) The Fife of Bodidharma 32) Angerhelm 33) The Good Friends
N.B. The Gollancz paperback with the identical title is NOT the same as this edition, since it contains only twelve (12) stories. Suggestio falsi?