Atomsk (novel)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Atomsk, first published in 1949, is a Cold War spy novel by "Carmichael Smith", one of several pseudonyms used by Paul Linebarger, who wrote fiction most prolifically as Cordwainer Smith.

Linebarger's third published novel, it has long been out of print. Copies regularly command figures in the hundreds of U.S. dollars in the second-hand market.

As well as drawing on Linebarger's own expertise in the field of psychological warfare, it is a study of the personality of a U.S. operative (Major Michael Dugan) who has little in common with James Bond except his extreme resourcefulness under cover and in danger. A man of many identities who sees himself to some extent as a blank sheet, he goes from calling himself "Comrade Nobody" to saying "I'm anybody". The novel also has an underlying, albeit devious and ambiguous, message of peace. As one character says, learning to like people is "the only way to win wars, or even better, to get out of them."

External links[edit]