Monday, March 27, 2006

RIP Stanislaw Lem

Lem dies:

If you have never read Stanislaw Lem, you must. Though much of his work was done during and about the cold war, it completely lacks the quaintness that makes so much early science fiction so very difficult to read. Perhaps this is because, unlike Clark and Asimov, he wrote from behind the Iron Curtain, giving his words an authority sorely lacking in the works of corn-fed American authors of earlier eras. His allegories on the nature of conciousness, global military conflicts, and the vast gulf between the everday and the alien are vitally important to today's world. As a bonus, his less serious work is among the funniest I've read. He is somewhere between Vonnegut and Swift in hierarchy of satirists.

If you can read only one Lem book, read Fiasco. If you can read more than one, read:

The Futurological Congress
The Cyberiad

For a more exhaustive review and catalogue of his works, see


At 10:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I greatly enjoyed Cyberiad, and lent it to many of my friends, as I thought it was something they should read and with which be familiar.

I'll get Fiasco from the library just as soon as I finish Walden.



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