Emily's Reviews > The Cyberiad

The Cyberiad by Stanisław Lem
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Feb 02, 11

Read in February, 2011

It's hard to believe this book is translated from the Polish, not written originally in English. Stanislaw Lem (and presumably his translator) have an amazing way of creating made-up words whose meanings are immediately clear nonetheless: for example "artifactotum" (a mechanical assistant), "scarechrome" (a robotic scarecrow), and many more. Lem's writing is reminiscent of Lewis Carroll in that fantastical style, but much more inclined to technological topics.

The book is a collection of short stories, almost all involving in some way the characters Trurl and Klapaucius. These two are galaxy-hopping geniuses specializing in the construction of robots and other mechanisms; they are themselves robots, and in fact organic life makes almost no appearance in any of the stories. Written in 1962, the style is old fashioned, but the descriptions of technology are so fantastical that it's not noticeably outdated. The stories are funny, clever, and fascinating to read as they're among the very first true robot stories.
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