A few years ago I encountered, in an undistinguished anthology of Year's Best Something-Or-Other, a short science fiction story called "The Ballad of Lost C'mell." Love at first sight. I ransacked used book stores, the crowded shelves and dusty boxes of my house, and even libraries to find more short stories written by this miraculous Cordwainer Smith. I managed to assemble eight or nine, all from various anthologies, before my parents took pity on me and gave me "The Rediscovery of Man" for my birthday. Smith's writing is so good, it's intoxicating: you put down his writing with your head full of fantastic images, from underpeople toiling away in the mysterious corridors of Downdeep-downdeep, to star sailors riding the interstellar winds, the indescribable poetry of Space-3 and the strange futile lives of the Scanners. In my eyes Cordwainer Smith has only one fault-he died too soon! How dare he leave such a colorful, complicated, weird and wild future universe unfinished? Fortunately he left these stories, and if you have not already read them, I suggest you waste no further time in discovering the Instrumentality of Mankind and the universe around it. And even if you've read the stories before, read them again. They're just as good the second time around . . . or the fifth . . .or the fortieth . . .