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Opowieści o pilocie Pirxie
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Opowieści o pilocie Pirxie

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  2,690 ratings  ·  48 reviews
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. Transl
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Paperback, 379 pages
Published 1995 by Literatura (first published 1961)
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Mike
Sep 10, 2011 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
I remember reading a bunch of Stanislaw Lem quite a while ago. "Tales of Pirx The Pilot" was certainly one of them and it was with some fondness that I picked up another copy while looking for another specific book. I am happy to report that I was not disappointed. This book is a solid "4.0".

These stories of Pirx are an odd amalgamation of interesting science and young/juvenile action-adventure, but done in a very readable and convincing way. Without revealing too much, I found that Lem's testin
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Vlad
My first foray into Lem, Pirx the Pilot, is a good, if subtly flawed work. In it are five adventures of the titular hero, from his first test run as a simple-minded cadet to a tale of a transport ship where Pirx is the grizzled commanding officer. His personal biography between adventures is only briefly mentioned.

Thus, the book is five short stories loosely tied together. This has been done before by other authors, and it generally works here. Pirx evolves as a character, never quite the same
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Justyna
This is a collection of stories, which are very fun to read. Prix always perseveres, although seemingly incapable of doing so. The story about Terminus stuck with me the most; possibly, because I found it to be the saddest of them all.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Stanislaw Lem's science fiction tends to be dense and philosophical/political. This book was different, in that the adventures of Pirx, an average sap who stumbles into these situations, are based on hard science and yet retain that philosophic air. I enjoyed this book very much-- must read it again!
Holly
This is one of my husband's favorite books ever.

It is not one of my favorite books ever, but I did enjoy reading it.

This is a collection of short stories. I liked all of them but one. The one I didn't like built up to a climax and then just poofed.

The thing I liked most was the humor-- both the sense of humor of the main character, Pirx, and the author's humor in the situations that occurred. I also liked the mystery element that was in many of the stories, including and especially the last one
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Ian
I decided I should read more Lem, especially as I’ve been finding the concerns of much male-authored US science fiction of last century somewhat tiresome; and there are these attractively-packaged Harcourt Brace Javonovitch paperbacks of some of his books available on Amazon… But they’ve already fucked up the “collection” as the only two I’ve bought so far – this one and Imaginary Magnitude – are sized slightly differently. Argh. Anyway, Pirx is a space pilot and sort of an Everyman, although he ...more
Mike
While I didn't enjoy these stories as much as the Ijon Tichy series (still two books to read in that series, one of which is sadly still untranslated) they're still worth reading. I think I was a little put off by the dated-ness of the tech - so many people back then thought we'd rush into space on atomic-reactor-powered rockets, building advanced moonbases and such, but not have any way to communicate beyond a newspaper or radio, or have women involved in the stories at all (Heinlein was a nota ...more
Andrzej Gutowski
Poziom nierówny, ale za samo opowiadanie o Terminusie (o ile dobrze pamiętam) należą się oklaski.
Quappe
Ein-Satz-Review

Der technologische Fortschritt von Prix' Welt wird in den farbigen Geschichten ins Innere verlagert: Die Reisen durchs All sind öde und unspektakulär, Aliens gibt es nicht, die gesellschaftlichen Hierarchien ändern sich nicht (Chefs sind unantastbar und Frauen kommen nicht vor), doch in der Kabine des Raumschiff tobts, in den zentralen Schaltstellen einer delokalisierten, havarierten Kommandobrücke, wo Fliegen (Test), Katzen (Terminus) und Irrlichter (Die Patrouille) auftauchen, i
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Bob
Stanislaw Lem is a Polish science fiction writer who died in 2006. His writing is set in a futuristic, space travel setting but really explores the inner world of his characters. With Pirx, he explores in separate chapters that could more or less stand alone, phenomenon of lateral thinking and problem solving, sensory deprivation, the fatal mental errors we can make in stress situations, our urges to avoid anything associated with death and dying (Albatross), and the ways we (projected in this c ...more
Mathew
Compilation of Lem hard SF short stories. Groundbreaking in style for their time; a big contrast from US SF of the 50s and 60s. However, too often the plot fails to go anywhere and you just end up with a short sketch of an imagined future of space travel. Perhaps closest in style to Arthur C Clarke.
Zack
Synopsis: Incidents in the life of a cadet star pilot.

Thoughts: This is my second time reading this book, and some of the stories suffer a little from knowing the twist ending (or, in case of imperfect remembrance, not knowing the twist ending but knowing that there was a twist ending). Otherwise, this is very fine "hard" sci-fi that is more in the tradition of classic sea stories than Lem's more cerebral Solaris or more experimental Imaginary Magnitude.

Rating: Four Stars. Why Lem's name isn't
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Wayne
This was an interesting book. It wasn't an adventure-filled SF book with spaceships zooming hither and yon, but was rather more thoughty than I was expecting. Several of the stories ended rather abruptly, without a real resolution.

The writing itself was very interesting. It had a feel to it that wasn't like anything I'm used to. Was it really significantly different than I'm used to from SF writers from the US? Would I have noticed a difference if I didn't know Lem wasn't from the US? I don't kn
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Janeks
Easy readable. More about humans and characters then about technology or philosophy. Moon landscape descriptions were spectacular.
Jamesb
funny scoff novel a light read contrasting Asimov's IRobot
Hagalmir
Cool and funny at the same time, much like the Cyberiad.
Kate
The future that wasn't and won't be, but interesting because imagined out of Poland. Space flight with cathode ray bulbs, impossible, but other things are solid as imagined, such as what it would be like to live with another person, who you don't know, in isolation in a space ship or on the moon in a station. These are good stories, worth reading.

But when reading a book that has been translated from another language, do we enjoy the author's story or the interpretation of the author's words?
rob
It's a bunch of short stories about this character, the eponymous Pirx. They're good science fiction and pretty good for short stories. The only problem I had was that the american version is cut up into two books of five stories each, and the Polish version has them all in one. Whatever, right?

They seem to repeat themes quite often, but they're sometimes funny and usually strange and the last story, terminus, is good even by short story standards. My short story standards are very high.
Carl Mayo
For sci-fi, Tales of Pirx the Pilot is a fun quick read.

It has the same quality that impressed me when I first read Cyberiad--- short stories linked together into a larger story. Easy to pick up & put down without losing the flow between readings, because the compartmentalized subplots don't require you to hold onto a lot of details when moving from one to the next.

Lighthearted in some parts, tragic in others. Enjoyable, no matter what your age.
Joe
I loved The Cyberiad, and I'm sure my opinion of this was colored by expecting this to be similar in some way. It isn't... it's slight, serviceable space opera stories. Not particularly philosophical, certainly nothing like the deceptively simple and lyrical Cyberiad. Hard to believe it was from the same writer. I tried hard to find something meaningful or novel in it, but honestly couldn't. Feel free to try to convince me otherwise.
John Defrog
A collection of stories that follow the career of Pirx, a space pilot top-loaded with self-doubt who somehow manages to get through one misadventure after another, often involving faulty technology and bureaucracy. The tales start from his days as a cadet, and end with the flight of a rickety old ship bound for Mars with a mysterious past and a robot that knows the fate of the previous crew. Lem can be a mixed bag, but I rather enjoyed this.
Kurt Adam
I got this in an ebook sale at Amazon a while back. I've been a fan of Lem for a long time, and I thought I'd read this back in high school, but when I read it this time none of it seemed familiar. The story isn't as humorous as something like The Cyberiad or as inventive as The Futurological Congress. The stories were still interesting, but newcomers would probably want to look to other books by Lem first.
Thomas
Pirx was amazing to stumble upon, as his character was something entirely new to me: from the tarot, the Prince of Wands disguised as half-Star, half-Joker. For all those scientists, please barf here. Lem is somehow able to evoke the texture of curisoity and wonder all the while navigating through the stark, bleak, redundant void akin to peer entanglement and abandoned space stations.
Philip Challinor
The workaday world of interstellar travel, seen via the progress of an unhandsome, unromantic, accident-prone cadet. The funniest story is "The Test", in which the unfortunate Pirx's maiden flight is complicated by the antics of a couple of flies; the best is "Terminus", in which the ghosts of an old disaster manifest themselves through a ship's robot.
Maria Holland
The stories didn't really seem to go anywhere . . . at least one, I was convinced that the author just forgot to finish it. A few of the stories were decently good, but too sinister for me to really enjoy. Also, I feel like the language suffered in the translation from Polish.
Alexey Safronov
Too short, too easy and lightweight as for me
Anna
Stanisław Lem as science-fiction writer became widely known in the world. Tales of pilot Pirx is one of the most popular of his works and one of those without philosophy in it. Great!!!
Michal Huniewicz
Not bad, but the nearly complete lack of women is a bit odd.
Ikarus
Pirx ist ein normaler Mensch und kein Held, dies macht die Geschichten/Kurzgeschichten sehr realistisch.
Dem Alter des Buchs entsprechend ist es vor allem technische Weltraum-SF, das habe ich aber auch nicht anders erwartet.
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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 ...more
More about Stanisław Lem...
Solaris The Cyberiad The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy The Star Diaries: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy Eden

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