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Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2002 13:21:13 -0700
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: (urth) Does Gene Wolfe read Cordwainer Smith?

Hartshorn and Nutria have been talking about Cordwainer Smith and the
puzzling mystery of "How can Wolfe not know Smith's work?" and seeming
convergent evolution between Wolfe and Smith.

I don't want to rain on the parade here, but I have a new card to lay on
the table.

I, too, was puzzled by this strange Smith-gap in Gene Wolfe's reading, so a
few years ago I went so far as to send him an old paperback collection (in
mint condition!) of Smith stories (fwiw it contained my favorite: "Alpha
Ralpha Boulevard").  He never said a word about it, by which I believe that
he did not much like it and did not read more than a fraction of it.

If it had been something that he enjoyed as much as he enjoys Tolkien, or
even as much as he enjoys Dodie Smith's (ah, another _Smith_!) I CAPTURE
THE CASTLE, he would tell people . . . at WorldCon he told me about I
CAPTURE THE CASTLE (but I already knew he had it, heh-heh) and he mentioned
it to the audience at least one time when he was on a panel at WorldCon.

(Trivia: Dodie Smith is most famous for 101 DALMATIONS.)

So there is, I believe, a strong likelihood that he doesn't really enjoy
Cordwainer Smith.  As odd as that might seem to us.  I readily admit I've
never asked him point-blank, so if anyone would like to do that at a
convention, feel free to do so.



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