Friday, January 2, 2009

Cordwainer Smith, "The Lady Who Sailed The Soul"

Romance among the stars of the far future.

Cordwainer Smith wrote some freaky science fiction in his day. Much of it I have yet to get through but it involves a future history about the Instrumentality of Mankind. This story takes place in that future. It's sort of Chaucer "Tristan and Isolde-ish" in that the romance is long to develop and timeless when it does.

Framed around a smart-assed girl from an even future future who is told the story, we have Helen America and Mr. Grey-no-more, destined to be together despite the odds! Some quaint 50's era sensibilities creep in to the story and much is devoted to Helen's scientific voyage among the stars, but overall it was a pretty sweet story. I liked the framing device, used to remove the saccharine quality of the romance, I believe, and the actual horrors of Helen's travels were conveyed adeptly. 7/10

Read it here.

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