Memoirs of a Space Traveler: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy (Ijon Tichy #2)
Ijon Tichy is an ordinary space traveler whose extraordinary curiosity leads him to the very fringes of science. Their plans are grandiose, the bargains they make too often Faustian, for the ends these scientists pursue concern humanity's greatest and most ancient obsessions: immortality, artificial intelligence, and top-of-the-line consumer items.
By turns philosophical,...more
Paperback, 153 pages
Published February 11th 2000 by Northwestern University Press
(first published 1971)
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This is the first Lem that I've been able to get into, but I think I'll give his other work another try after this. I've kept on picking up his stuff since I read in one of John Gardner's books that (while they were both alive, or either alive for that matter) he considered Lem to be the greatest living writer. This is a book of reminisces from the space traveler of the title. I kept on picturing the J Peterman from Seinfield telling these stories which made this eminently enjoyable.
This may be my new favorite book by Lem. Even more than Peace on Earth, even though this is really a collection of short stories rather than a novel. These stories range from interesting philosophical quandaries to hilarious social satire, to really, terribly painful social satire. Lem's long-running character, Ijon Tichy, space traveler, narrates, as he visits scientists whose work he's curious about, entertains visitors looking for investors in their big ideas, stumbles randomly into strange s...more
Mar 28, 2013 Jordan rated it 3 of 5 stars · review of another edition
These short stories ranged from mildly amusing to pretty awesome. My least favorites were "The Twenty-Fourth Voyage" and "The Washing Machine Tragedy". Both started out interesting, but managed to lose my attention about halfway through. "The Eighteenth Voyage" also kind of lost me towards the end with all its "clever" names (Lou Cipher is Lucifer etc. How amazingly witty...), but I liked the idea of the story. I really enjoyed the first four stories in "Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy" thou...more
This companion book to The Star Diaries is a collection of thought experiments thinly wrapped in funny, even goofy, stories in which the hero witnesses or participates in the work of cranks and mad scientists. You know, like time machines, human clones, handheld souls, sentient washing machines, and the creation of the universe. Lem's short stories are SF at its purest, or, if you like, philosophy of mind and metaphysics at its most fun.
I read this book in French when I discovered Marseille's public library and every short story was exciting. The stories don't just make you awe at what the future has reserved for us (at least according to the writer's imagination), they also make you think (and not about such blatant subjects as "science vs. morality" bur also "science vs. human curiousity", "reality vs. the limits of human imagination", and etc.)
Oct 22, 2007 John rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Wry and introspective wanna-be space travellers
Lem's fascination/obsession with the various forms that life can take - robotic, crystalline, brains in a jar - is explored in great detail in this collection of stories through the adventures of the charming and irascible Ijon Tichy, adventures that range in tone from the absurd and comic to the philosophical to the downright frightening (there are a couple good ghost stories here).
This book is basically a primer for modern philosophy and theology told through brilliant short stories that center around odd scientists and their emotionally devastating creations of new technology and life. Of course, since it's vaguely framed as stories told by a "space traveler" it's banished to the sci-fi section, when it is in fact a work of art.
Libro geniale. Ho sempre pensato che Douglas Adams non facesse ridere per niente o che comunque non meritasse la fama. Il vero autore di fantascienza umoristica e filosofica è lui, Stanislaw Lem, conosciuto per il romanzo SOlaris, ma il meglio lo ha dato nei racconti, fantasiosi, narrati in stile affabulatorio, pieni di vitalità e di spunti filosofici.
Oct 30, 2009 Angela Alcorn rated it 4 of 5 stars · review of another edition
Stanislaw Lem is an ingenious sci-fi writer who is never at a loss for new ideas. This book is full of important lessons for budding scientists - lessons we should probably learn before it's too late.
Aside from the last story, which is a bit of a throwaway, "Memiors" is consistently brilliant. Sub-story II of "Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy" is particularly excellent; any faith you have in God and/or the afterlife will be thoroughly shaken.
dish washer manufacturers enter arms race to make best washer and they invent one that looks like jane mansfield and people have sex with / marry it and then a sink gains sentience and wears owner's clothes and marries old ladies to steal their money. wow
Stanisław Lem (staˈɲiswaf lɛm) was a Polish science fiction, philosophical and satirical writer of Jewish descent. His books have been translated into 41 languages and have sold over 27 million copies. He is perhaps best known as the author of Solaris, which has twice been made into a feature film. In 1976, Theodore Sturgeon claimed that Lem was the most widely read science-fiction writer in the w...moreMore about Stanisław Lem...