the instrumentality of mankind by 'cordwainer smith' (published in 1979)
the instrumentality of mankind is a collection of science fiction short stories from 1958 by Paul Linebarger - with links between them as they are set in an alternative earth history
the stories certainly are different but technology/time/civilisation/writing/history seems to have overtaken the ideas
there are a few good story arcs but its mainly disappointment and trying to get through them to find out the ending - others may find most of them superb and to their liking. drunkboat short story is great. the goonhogo/chinesians invasion of planet venus - when the people fell seen on the books cover - is also a good idea ...