[Unreasonable Software logo]


A Celebration of the Works of Cordwainer Smith
and His Life as Paul Linebarger

"Smith" was a master of disguise, as mysterious and charming as his visions. He caught Australia, an alien land to him, better than any native writer did, by using the devices of distancing, seeing it as a strange territory. His repute only grows with time.

Gregory Benford
Cordwainer Smith explored the territory of 'uplift' long before I did, dealing empathically with an eventuality that seems inevitable... a future era when we'll alter many of the animals around us, bestowing upon them the 'gift' to speak and share our sapient world. Instead of confronting this issue with simpleminded dread (as all other writers did), he was the very first to deal with it in a complex manner, weighing heavy yin against ponderous yang... the worrisome morality versus the wonder and hope it might offer. For that achievement alone, he deserve to be remembered as a great, exploratory science fiction author. He'll be remembered when we set forth down that promising but perilous road!

What a great project to honor a truly unforgettable writer...

David Brin
When Cordwainer Smith's first story, "Scanners Live in Vain," appeared ... the editor hailed it as "one of the most outstanding stories to appear in any magazine," and time has confirmed his judgment: "Scanners" became recognized as a classic of science fiction, and it launched one of the most remarkable careers in this field. [S]tory after story appeared ... each contributing to a "future history" of unprecedented originality.

Terry Carr
Cordwainer Smith was certainly one of the most original minds in S.F. and I admire him greatly. Good luck with the project!

Arthur C. Clarke
[T]he short fictions of the unmatchable, unthinkable Cordwainer Smith ... are magnificently weird, most are plain magnificent, and one or two are the nearest thing to perfection that you or I will ever chance upon in our little lives.

John Clute
Smith was one of the greatest writers ever to work in the genre.

Gardner Dozois
I'm a fantasy writer myself, and very much influenced by Cordwainer Smith's endless inventiveness and wit. He's one of those rare writers whose work I can come back to repeatedly and always enjoy. In fact, I have two cats named Captain Wow and Lady May. No, really, I'm not obsessed...

Gregory Frost
I respect and delight in Cordwainer Smith's work.

Elizabeth Lynn
It's a most worthy project; I'm delighted to hear it exists; I support it and wish it well, and will mention it to all my friends. Cordwainer Smith was one of the great ones.

Spider Robinson
If literary historians of the future make of Cordwainer Smith another Tolkien, it will not be too surprising.

Theodore Sturgeon
Under whatever name, Cordwainer Smith was an enigmatic figure, his life as fascinating at his work. He was able to cloak his far-future worlds in a sense of magical reality. My favorite story is "The Game of Rat and Dragon," which we have read many times in the class I teach.

Jack Williamson
No one ever wrote like Smith, with his special blend of intense myth-making and rich invention.

Publishers Weekly

Unreasonable Books will be publishing an original art and prose book, entitled Stroon, devoted to Paul Linebarger and to the worlds he created as Cordwainer Smith. Stroon will be edited by sf writer David Lubkin.

The Stroon project is being undertaken with the approval and support of Paul Linebarger's family. All profits from the sale of the book will be donated in his memory to charities chosen by his family.

We expect to be paying 5¢ a word for original prose, and 3¢ a word for previously published material. Specific terms and the rates paid for artwork and other material have not been determined yet.

Currently signed-up contributors are:

  • Damien Broderick
  • Algis Budrys
  • Gardner Dozois
  • Rosana Linebarger Hart
  • Karen Hellekson
  • James B. Jordan
  • Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Frederik Pohl
  • Susan M. Shwartz
  • Robert Silverberg

The contracts will be reviewed by Gay Haldeman.

If you'd like to be a part of the project, write or call us.

What we're looking for


  • previously published art depicting some aspect of Cordwainer Smith's work
    (If you have any information on CS artwork, please see the art page.)
  • original art, along the same lines: serious or humorous
  • pertinent photographs


  • reminiscences of Paul Linebarger
  • correspondence with Paul Linebarger
  • what Cordwainer Smith's work has meant to you, as a writer or as a reader
  • literary analysis of his work


If you have something else in mind — like music or original fiction — ask. If it's not right for the book, it might be suitable for the web site.


We also welcome help. Some ways you might:

  • have bright ideas
  • refer us to other people
  • give advice (legal, printing, etc.)
  • translate essays into English
  • spread the word
  • labour


We're not accepting orders yet, but we'll be happy to get back to you with more information. Email us if you might be interested in buying or reselling Stroon when it's available.


Read his books

Norstrilia The Rediscovery of Man

His other books are out of print.

Read about him

Email to: info@stroon.org
Unreasonable Software, Inc.
Box 7288 Nashua NH 03060 USA

[Be unreasonable.] Copyright © 2009 Unreasonable Software, Inc.
All Rights Reserved. Legal notices.
Webmaster: web@stroon.org