2020 Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award

The 2020 Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award is presented today to:

Rick Raphael

The jury particularly cites:

  • Raphael’s 1966 fixup novel Code Three, composed of three shorter works the first two of which were published in Analog and were each separately nominated for the Hugo Award.
  • Raphael’s 1960 novella “Make Mine Homogenized,” also from Analog (April 1960), a masterpiece of science-fiction humor, reprinted in The Great SF Stories 22 (1960), edited by Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenberg.

The Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award has been presented annually since 2001 by the Cordwainer Smith Foundation, preserving the memory of science-fiction writer Paul Linebarger, who wrote under that pen name. The Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award honors under-read science fiction and fantasy authors with the intention of drawing renewed attention to the winners.

The award is normally presented at Readercon, which was not held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and is sponsored by Paul Linebarger’s estate, represented by B. Diane Martin.

The 2020 jury consisted of Barry Malzberg and Robert J. Sawyer. “The jury mourns the passing of its third member, Mike Resnick, who died January 9, 2020,” Malzberg and Sawyer said, adding: “We are actively seeking new jurors with a deep knowledge of science fiction and fantasy history and invite those interested in serving to reach out to [email protected].”

13 thoughts on “2020 Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award

  1. I read some Rick Raphael (“Code Three” and “The Thirst Quenchers” (which I think take place in the same future)) just last year (from Gutenberg) and enjoyed it.

  2. I recently read Code Three and its sequel Once a Cop for Galactic Journey’s 1965 Hugo discussion and enjoyed them quite a bit.. Rick Raphael vanished from the scene shortly thereafter, so he’s not as well remembered as he should be.

    @Stephen Fritter
    I totally second Margaret St. Clair for 2021. She’s another excellent SFF author who’s not nearly remembered as well as she should be and her career was much longer than Raphael’s.

  3. His novelette, “The Thirst Quenchers “, from Analog in 1963 is noteworthy also. I remember being fascinated; little did I know I would end up in water resources civil engineering as a career. Luckily not as exciting/horrifying as that story.

  4. S C Sykes. Not much quantity, but every story is a gem, and her novel Red Genesis is my favorite Mars-set novel. (And I’ve read plenty.)

  5. @Cora: I read “Code Three” in response to the January 2018 Galactic Journey discussion of it.

    Does anyone else remember Danny Plachta?

  6. I remember the title “A Filbert Is a Nut” , but nothing of what it was about (or even who’d written it, before I looked up this author); I probably read it a long time ago in Prologue to Analog. (ISFDB said it was translated into Dutch, Italian, and Croatian, so it must have made some impression at the time.) ISFDB also calls Campbell’s April 1960 issue Astounding/Analog Science Fact & Fiction, showing covers with the two titles overlaid for February through September; if the committee is going to demand deep knowledge of SF history, it should try to get checkable facts correct. (I looked this up because I was certain the name change was later — I think I confused the name change with the brief bedsheet era, in which the first half of what became Dune was published.

  7. in which the first half of what became Dune was published

    And 3/5 of the second half.

    In the February 1965 issue of Analog, along with the second part of “The Prophet of Dune,” was Rick Raphael’s “The Mailman Cometh,” the first story I read by him. I liked it, but the concept of interplanetary or interstellar (I forget) letter delivery is just so quaint now.

  8. @Jeff Smith: I am among the 10,000. wrt letters: is it possible that even on-planet mail, such as in Spacial Delivery (Dickson) is quaint? With what I hear of poorly-wired places (e.g. much of Africa) going to satellite phones, I wonder whether there would ever be physical letters on a new world — ISTM the ship that brought people would also put up comsats. OTOH, absent a working transmat there would still be need for parcel delivery — although that could be started by private entities. (wrt Dickson specifically, ISTM that the Dilbians had come up with the idea of mail independently, and might not care for puny Earthlings’ tech.)

    The Boston library actually has a copy of Code Three — but it’s archival, available for in-house use only. OTOH (filling in for Cat) there is Works of Rick Raphael, an e-doorstop from 2013 containing much of what’s been listed above; it’s published by “eBookIt.com” (whose site suggests their business is turning people’s manuscripts into ebooks) and there’s no copyright page, so this may be relying on gaps in copyright or may be shady.

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