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Gospodov glas

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  3,499 ratings  ·  280 reviews
Roman Gospodov glas (1968) je eno najznamenitejših Lemovih del (poleg Solarisa), ki med drugim obravnavajo temo stika z nezemeljskimi civilizacijami ter vprašanje človekove etike in morale.
Profesor Hogarth obuja spomine na čase, ko se je pridružil skupini znanstvenikov, zbranih v tajnem in strogo varovanem puščavskem laboratoriju, da bi raziskali skrivnostni nevtrinski sig
Paperback, 300 pages
Published 2016 by Kulturno-umetniško društvo Police Dubove (first published 1968)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  3,499 ratings  ·  280 reviews

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Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, slavic
Signal as Noise

As is typical with much of his other work, Lem explores a perennial philosophical issue in His Master’s Voice: How can we know that what we think we know has any claim to reality? Lem’s use of a very Borgesian pseudo-factual account of a mathematician’s encounter with a cosmic intelligence is brilliantly apt. Plato knew the problem well; Kant re-stated it ad nauseam; and Trump confirms its significance on a daily basis. Don Delillo‘s Ratner’s Star has a similar theme (See: https:/
Andrej Karpathy
Sep 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
His Master's Voice is probably best described as a grown up version of Carl Sagan's Contact. This is a very unique sci-fi, in a good way. It is first and foremost an ambitious and humbling philosophical treatise on humanity and our place in the universe. This is then grounded in a short story about a team of scientists in a project similar to the Manhattan Project who are trying to decipher a discovered message encoded in a neutrino signal. The book raises several intriguing possibilities about ...more
Michael Battaglia
While Stanislaw Lem was not known as a writing man of action, neither was he Samuel Beckett for the most part either. But my goodness there is such a thing as taking it to extremes. Fortunately, Lem was a thinker on such a ridiculously intense level that if you're the right kind of SF reader then this is come across like manna from heaven. If you're the kind of person who seeks out authors based on George Clooney's starring film choices, you're going to be in for a bit of a surprise, because thi ...more
Nov 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
His Master's Voice is the story of a brilliant mathematician, working on a Manhatten Project-like in an attempt to decipher a signal from space.

The attempt has only succeeded in deciphering a tiny fragment of the message (and that is not well understood). Thus the work fits in with Lem's many writings on the subject of the "alien" and how it may be impossible to understand something which is truly different from us.
These other works include "Fiasco", "Eden" and (most famously) "Solaris". "His
Dan Keating
Let me start by saying that I've owned this book for around five or six years and have only just completed it. I've made several attempts over the years, the most recent of which involving swearing to myself that I would not read anything else until I completed it. Well, I've completed it, and the sensation is something akin to climbing a grueling mountain only to turn around afterward and discover that it was, in fact, an anthill.

Don't get me wrong. Lem's brilliant ability to misdirect the read
Mar 06, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read three books now by Polish author Stanisław Lem, I'm beginning to realize that he comes in two distinct flavours. On the one hand, there's the captivating, exciting, "fun Lem" of The Futurological Congress. On the other, the boring, deeply philosophical, incredibly dense Lem of Solaris.

For better or worse, His Master's Voice is firmly in the second category. It tells the story of a top secret U.S. government project team, sequestered in a remote desert, who are tasked with decipherin
Marc Nash
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent treatment of the relentless march of scientific progress and discovery and its shortcomings. However, the book reads like a debate rather than an involving narrative. There is no plot.

A seemingly alien message is intercepted by Earth but it is a language and technology not previously encountered. The best minds of the democratic West are assembled to try and crack its mystery, including the mathematician narrator, whose main role turns out to be that of skeptic, providing the count
Lukasz Pruski
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This extraordinary novel from the favorite writer of my youth, Stanisław Lem, defies categorizations. While on the surface it is a suspense novel or a "mystery" (more precisely, a scientific and philosophical mystery/suspense), it is actually more of a treatise on the human species' place in the Universe. Mr. Lem, who began in 1940s as a science-fiction writer and became the world's most widely read science-fiction author, left his mark on the 20th century as one of the deepest thinkers writing ...more
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favoritos
Grande Lem.
Stanislaw Lem is a good author.
But his science fiction reads more like philosophical fiction.
There is some good particle physics stuff in this story, which I greatly appreciated.
The writing style is elegant, sometimes gaudy, but the narrator's pompous opining gets old.
I found myself hoping for less talk, more action a lot while reading this book.

I feel like the author didn't have the balls to chose mathematical and cryptographic details for The Message, so he left them out.
I would have loved to
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a science fiction novel – but it is only sort-of science fiction, and, for that matter, only sort-of a novel.
It's in the form of a memoir – or musing – by a noted mathematician who worked in the upper levels of a secret government project code-named His Master's Voice – the purpose of which was to decode and comprehend a message, seemingly sent by intelligent beings from outer space, on neutrino waves.
We are told from the outset that the project was not successful – no communication was
Andras Szalai
Sep 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
#The philosophy of science is difficult to do right.
#Philosophers (ontologists) are mostly just winging it.
#Blind luck is an integral part of discovery in the natural sciences.
#Theoretical physics has a lot in common with philosophy.
#You cannot do scientific research on extra-terrestials without understanding humans first. Yay social science?
#The military-industrial complex deliberately and continuously distorts science.
#The Fermi paradox would be a tough nut to crack even if we were to receive
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sort of like the anti-Contact (or, as it precedes Sagan's novel, maybe Contact is the juvenile, safe-for-kids rose-colored version of HMV).

Works much better as philosophy than as a novel. The psuedo-memoir structure adds nothing, and deletes any sense of urgency about the message; despite the final third attempting (unsuccessfully) to instill something akin to a generic scientists vs. military conflict. The opening took me 2 tries to get through, and seems fairly unnecessary having finished the
Apr 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here we have more of Lem's tragic scientists, deep characters whose interactions, as always with Lem, sometimes read like a novel of manners from another dimension.

His Masters Voice can feel like a series of disconnected essays on grand themes, but the whole thing adds up to a wrenching statement about the impossibility of knowledge and the human place in a vast universe. The patchwork of ideas in this book fuse with a weird, white hot intensity that will move you, despite yourself.

It's sad tha
Dec 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, audible
An epic book, in scope, if not in length. Just short of a philosophical treatise on the origins and future of mankind, Lem weaves together a true arsenal of science fiction tropes and scientific knowledge of the day to paint a eerily realistic scenario that follows a discovery of an extraterrestrial signal. The book starts out a bit slow - with the narrator explaining to the reader why he is the one who is narrating the said book - but it picks up from there and the plot has a steady ramp-up to ...more
Dec 13, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story of a strange message from deep space and the scientists who attempt and fail to decipher it. Plenty of Lem's interesting theorizing, but totally lacking in the humor his other books have. Very slow and dreary. It's a short book, and still the story doesn't feel like it starts until it's half over. If I had a sharp stick, I would poke this book in the eye with it. ...more
this book is a mental meat grinder
Raghunathan Kaushik
Oct 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite
Should be in school curriculum. One of the greatest books I have ever read in any genre.
cardulelia carduelis
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: home-scifi
I’m having trouble reviewing this book because I’m not sure if it was written by Stanisław Lem or Peter Hogarth.

If I read it as the former it is a social satire on the nature of science. It is masterful in its appropriation of the culture and the process of big science and its confluence with government and politics.
But if I read it as the latter the outlook is far less favorable: a dry, meandering pseudo-psychological portrait of a character, framed to be a disclaimer in a pseudo-philosophical
Nigel Mitchell
May 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of Mankind's first contact with extraterrestrial life, but it's nothing like what you've seen before. I always felt that if the people who created the SETI Project to search for alien signals had read this book, they would have given up. That's because Lem's novel perfectly illustrates how impossible it would be for us to communicate with alien life. Think of it as the evil twin of "Contact," written twenty years later.

In "His Master's Voice," a group of scientists identify a r
This is an incredible book. It's a philosophical fiction novel masquerading as a science fiction novel; an in-depth examination of how language and math and culture are inextricably intertwined.

The story itself is almost trivial, and from a plot perspective there are probably only four or five significant moments that could have been summed up in a few pages. (Though I don't mean trivial as unimportant.) Rather, this is a novel of ideas and concepts, and we spend the bulk of the pages inside the
Jan 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book is the story of an unsuccessful attempt to translate an alien signal encoded in neutrino radiation. (The possibility of detecting or sending such a signal makes the book science fiction, given the elusiveness of neutrinos in the real world.) This is not a spoiler. The narrator, a member of the scientific team assigned decipher the transmission, tells us it was unsuccessful from the very beginning. The novel is more about why it was unsuccessful and the consequences of it being unsucces ...more
Carlos Eliseo Ortiz
The translation from Polish to English by Michael Kandel reads like an original. However, Lem’s scientists are immersed in long theoretical discussions about quantum physics and neutrinos much beyond my reading interests. Moreover, as a science-fiction fan, I find Lem’s view on this genre and life in the universe dated and ironic, a view of the Milky Way from 1967, a universe mostly barren and void of exoplanets.

Through his characters, he describes science fiction as:

"that popular genre (especi
James F
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just noticed by accident that several of Stanislaw Lem's novels I hadn't read before are now available to borrow free from Kindle Unlimited, so I decided to download them for break-time reading. His Master's Voice is a very interesting novel. The premise is that a repeating signal is received from space, which is assumed to be of intelligent origin, and a secret project is set up to decipher it. Like many of Lem's books this one is a novel of ideas rather than of exciting action; the book comm ...more
Jul 05, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those moments where I know I'm wrong, but I'm okay with that. Reading this was like pulling increasingly bored teeth.

Here's my hot take: This, the more methodical, billowing, obtusely reflective sci-fi, which for good reason tends to exist more in the the more "classical era" of science-fiction, flourishes when it is shorter. Otherwise you need a powerful writer to nurture your interest with fair-minded finesse or passionate, semi-ironic diatribe. Stanislaw, for all his praise el
Steve Joyce
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lem asks absurd questions that somehow have relevance in reality and yet simultaneously asks relevant questions answered with absurd responses. All this he accomplishes without bludgeoning "why s", "how s", or "because s" but rather in a style that immerses the reader in his topsy-turvy which somehow still makes sense.

It's a science fiction novel that simultaneously:

_has virtually nothing but scientists as characters. (what a concept?!?)
_treats the science fiction genre in a condes
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
On one hand, this book can be described by a simple phrase: A masterpiece by one of the greatest masters of science fiction. But on the other hand, my strong opinion is that it can't and needn't to be described, as it is such a highly intellectual piece of literature, full of phylosophy and wisdom, that you need to let it through yourself to understand, and after that, I'm pretty sure you will feel shocked and astonished but at the same time have peace in your mind, like I did. ...more
Jul 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been trying to read this for about 8 years... it's one of those "you can borrow it" books that I never gave back. It was quite good, and I found it surprisingly free of the one-dimensional Cold War cliches that seem to be so common in retrospect. Sometimes it's difficult to tell what's an allegory or metaphor, and sometimes the internal musings get a bit clunky ... BUT I still liked this a whole lot. ...more
Jon Gauthier
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Scientists
Lem has inspired comments on science in the real world:
the creeping insular bias of a particular scientific field,
the institutional bias of modern science,
the troubled relationship between science and its government (often military) funding sources,
and the impossibility of a really "objective" science.

To reread for sure. I'll go read some more of Lem's books for the time being..
Erik Graff
Jul 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sf fans
Recommended to Erik by: James Koehnline
Shelves: sf
Stanislaw Lem is, to my knowledge, the writer of the best science fiction to appear in English translation from a Warsaw Pact country. His approach is a bit like Philip Dick, a bit like Borges--intellectual, wryly humorous.
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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

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