In Pilot Pirx, Lem has created an irresistibly likable character: an astronaut who gives the impression of still navigating by the seat of his pants-a bumbler but an inspired one. By investing Pirx with a range of human foibles, Lem offers a wonderful vision of the audacity, childlike curiosity, and intuition that can give humans the courage to confront outer space. Translated by Louis Iribarne. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
This is a collection of perfect yet imaginary reviews of nonexistent books. With insidious wit, the author beguiles us with a parade of delightful, disarmingly familiar inventions. "Lem is Harpo Marx and Franz Kafka and Isaac Asimov rolled up into one and down the white rabbit's hole" (Detroit News). A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
Bringing his twin gifts of scientific speculation and scathing satire to bear on that hapless planet, Earth, Lem sends his unlucky cosmonaut, Ijon Tichy, to the Eighth Futurological Congress. Caught up in local revolution, Tichy is shot and so critically wounded that he is flashfrozen to await a future cure. Translated by Michael Kandel.
Trurl and Klaupacius are constructor robots who try to out-invent each other. They travel to the far corners of the cosmos to take on freelance problem-solving jobs, with dire consequences for their employers. "The most completely successful of his books... here Lem comes closest to inventing a real universe" (Boston Globe). Illustrations by Daniel Mr--z. Translated by Michael Kandel.
In this bold and controversial examination of the past, present, and future of science fiction, Lem informs the raging debate over the literary merit of the genre with ten arch, incisive, provocative essays. Edited and with an Introduction by Franz Rottensteiner. Translated by Rottensteiner and others. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
The planet Quinta is pocked by ugly mounds and covered by a spiderweb-like network. It is a kingdom of phantoms and of a beauty afflicted by madness. In stark contrast, the crew of the spaceship Hermes represents a knowledge-seeking Earth. As they approach Quinta, a dark poetry takes over and leads them into a nightmare of misunderstanding. Translated by Michael Kandel. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
A young officer at Scotland Yard is assigned to investigate a puzzling and eerie case of missing-and apparently resurrected-bodies. To unravel the mystery, Lt. Gregory consults scientific, philosophical, and theological experts, who supply him with a host of theories and clues.
The year is 3149, and a vast paper destroying blight-papyralysis-has obliterated much of the planet's written history. However, these rare memoirs, preserved for centuries in a volcanic rock, record the strange life of a man trapped in a hermetically sealed underground community. Translated by Michael Kandel and Christine Rose.
Ijon Tichy, Lem's Candide of the Cosmos, encounters bizarre civilizations and creatures in space that serve to satirize science, the rational mind, theology, and other icons of human pride. Line drawings by the Author. Translated by Michael Kandel. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
Commander Pirx, who drives space vehicles for a living in the galaxy of the future, here faces a new series of intriguing adventures in which robots demonstrate some alarmingly human characteristics. Translated by Louis Iribarne, assisted by Magdalena Majcherczyk and Michael Kandel. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
These wickedly authentic introductions to twenty-first-century books preface tomes on teaching English to bacteria, using animated X-rays to create "pornograms," and analyzing computer-generated literature through the science of "bitistics." "Lem, a science fiction Bach, plays in this book a googleplex of variations on his basic themes" (New York Times Book Review). Translated by Marc E. Heine. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
Ijon Tichy is the only human who knows for sure whether the self-programming robots on the moon are plotting a terrestrial invasion. But a highly focused ray severs his corpus collosum. Now his left brain can't remember the secret and his uncooperative right brain won't tell. Tichy struggles for control of the lost memory and of his own two warring sides. Translated by Elinor Ford with Michael Kandel. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
It is 1939; the Nazis have occupied Poland. A young doctor disturbed by the fate of Poland joins the staff of an insane asylum only to find a world of pain and absurdity to match that outside. Translated by William Brand. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
A six-man crew crash-lands on Eden, fourth planet from another sun. The men find a strange world that grows ever stranger, and everywhere there are images of death. The crew's attempt to communicate with this civilization leads to violence and to a cruel truth-cruel precisely because it is so human. Translated by Marc E. Heine. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
A former astronaut turned private detective is dispatched to Naples to discover the pattern in a mysterious series of deaths and disappearances occurring at a seaside spa. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
In this sequel to The Star Diaries, Ijon Tichy, space traveler of future centuries, discovers that "out there" isn't very different from "down here." Throughout these nine wild adventures, surprise follows witty surprise. Line drawings by the Author. Translated by Joel Stern and Maria Swiecicka-Ziemianek. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
A charming, mind-bending and anarchic book of imagined civilizations 'Most cosmic civilizations long for things, in the depths of their souls, they would never openly admit to...' Trurl and Klapaucius are 'constructors' - they travel around the universe creating machines of astonishing inventiveness and power and visiting a bewildering variety of violent, peculiar and morose civilizations. The Cyberiad is oddly reminiscent of Gulliver's Travels, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Phantom Tollbooth and Alice in Wonderland. Charming, mind-bending and anarchic, it is perhaps Lem's greatest work. This edition includes all of Daniel Mroz's hallucinatory original illustrations.
Stanislaw Lem's set of short stories, written over a period of twenty years, all feature the adventures of space traveller Ijon Tichy and recount him spinning in time-warps, spying on robots, encountering bizarre civilizations and creatures in space and being hopelessly lost in a forest of supernovae. This is a philosophical satire on technology, theology, intelligence and human nature from one of the greatest of science fiction writers
'On one side of the ducats was stamped the radiant profile of Archithorius, on the other - an image of his six hundred arms'Mortal Engines is a selection of the best of Stanislaw Lem's extraordinary miniature space epics, chosen by his heroic translator Michael Kandel, who has somehow battled through Lem's jokes, parodies, fabricated technological terms and unreliable robots and brilliantly converted them from Polish into English. Encompassing his Fables for Robots and stories from his protagonists Ijon Tichy (from The Star Diaries) and Pirx the Pilot, this is a highly entertaining but also deeply alarming view of the glories and absurdities of Outer Space.
'A giant of twentieth-century science fiction' Guardian
'This Room Guaranteed BOMB-FREE. From the Management'Hapless cosmonaut Ijon Tichy has been sent back to earth to attend the Eighth Futurological Congress in smog-bound, overpopulated Costa Rica, holed up with an assortment of scientists in a luxury hotel (fully equipped with tear gas sprinklers in case things get out of hand). But when an unfortunate incident occurs involving a revolution and hallucinogenic drugs in the water supply, Tichy finds himself shot, frozen and thawed out in a future beyond anything he could ever have imagined.
'What use to a being that lives beneath a sun are jewels of gas and silver stars of ice?'From a giant of twentieth-century science fiction, these four miniature space epics feature crazy inventors, surreal worlds, robot kings and madcap machines.Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.