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Scanners Live in Vain
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Scanners Live in Vain


Man has conquered space, but not without costs. To maintain the space lanes, Scanners have to undergo an operation in which their brain is severed from their sensory inputs to block the pain of space. Scanner Martel has made this sacrifice. He must monitor his vital functions via implanted dials and instruments in his chest. His only respite from this isolated existence is his ability to occasionally "cranch" and return to some sort of normalcy with his wife, Luci.

But now a man named Adam Stone has claimed that he has a found a way to travel in the deep of space without the use of the Scanners. Through the twisted logic of the community of Scanners, it is decided that Adam Stone must die. Martel, while cranched, realizes the madness of that solution and that all Scanners Live in Vain!

Voted by the Science Fiction Writers of America as one of the great stories of all time and is included in "The Science Fiction Hall of Fame" anthology.

Title:Scanners Live in Vain
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Kindle Edition
Number of Pages:50 pages
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    Scanners Live in Vain Reviews

  • Richard Derus
    Apr 26, 2017

    Rating: 3.5* of fivePrescient, and a little unnerving, was Cordwainer Smith. This tale makes the Earths, spread over the galaxy, accessible to each other only via the dead habermans...criminals, dregs...

  • Stephen
    Apr 26, 2010

    5.0 stars. Classic short story set in the universe of the Instrumentality of Mankind. Set around 6000 A.D., interstellar travel has been discovered to cause great pain and suicidal tendencies in peopl...

  • David Sven
    Feb 09, 2014

    Listened to this on the SFF Audio podcast - The book was around an hour and a half and then the discussion was on the next podcast. As is often the case, I enjoyed the discussion more...

  • ??????? ?????????
    Sep 03, 2013

    Πιθανόν ο Πωλ Λαϊνμπέργκερ επέλεξε το ψευδώνυμο Σμιθ γιατί ο τρόπος που προσεγγίζει τα θέματά του είναι κοιν...

  • Pamela
    Aug 01, 2014

    My intro to Cordwainer Smith (love the pseudonym!), and what an intro! Fascinating, fun, different, and a bit of workout to get a grip on what is going on, where, and with whom. That's welcome; I'm ti...

  • Jennifer Boettcher
    Aug 09, 2012

    A short story about Scanners, people who have been surgically modified into machine-like humans. Cut off from all sensory receptors so they can pilot ships in space. In this world, space travel is acc...

  • Corinne
    Jan 18, 2017

    Voted by the Science Fiction Writers of America as one of the great stories of all time and is included in "The Science Fiction Hall of Fame" anthology.Online here:

  • Brad
    May 19, 2014

    We went from cyborgs to an analysis of human emotionality into revolution, all in a short story. Pretty damn impressive and interesting, if you ask me. I was tempted to add this one into my zombie boo...

  • Glenn
    May 02, 2012

    A story about a man trying to change the status quo and regain his humanity, wrapped up in copper wire and cranched while he does it. Corwainer brings a fun read in this book, the plot moves along wel...

  • Diane
    May 25, 2014

    A beautiful, classic sci-fi story like you might see adapted into a "Twilight Zone" episode. ...