Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

Cordwainer Smith


Rod McBan 151st farms ‘stroon’, the immortality drug, and is the last scion of one of the oldest and most honourable families on Norstrilia, only source of stroon. But he’s also a telepathic cripple and faces the ever-present risk of being culled under the government’s draconian population laws. To protect himself, he uses his not-strictly-legal computer to play the market and amass an unimaginable fortune. But after he survives an assassination attempt, McBan discovers that having enough money to literally buy the Earth is no good if you’re too dead to spend it.

Cordwainer Smith (real name Paul Linebarger) was known essentially for his short story work. This novel was published works, ‘The Planet Buyer’ (1964) and ‘The Underpeople’ (1968). The novel is in part a sequel to Smith’s 1962 short story ‘The Ballad of Lost C’Mell’, featuring some of the same characters and settings.

Paperback, 288pp
Orion, 2016 (1964, 1968: 1975)
ISBN 9781473212534