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Peace on Earth

(Ijon Tichy #4)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,286 ratings  ·  81 reviews
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 Eli ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published December 4th 2002 by Mariner Books (first published 1987)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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Glenn Russell

Peace on Earth is a fast-paced adventure set in the future featuring none other than the star of The Star Diaries, Memoirs of a Space Traveller and The Futurological Congress: the one and only Ijon Tichy.

Stanislaw Lem fans have come to know and love brainy, levelheaded Ijon Tichy who zooms around the galaxy in his one-man rocket ship as if bopping about in a sports car in the author's home country of Poland.

But in Peace on Earth, Stanislaw Lem's last novel published in 1987, Ijon Tichy as first
John Jr.
At the outset of this tale, mankind has indeed managed to bring about peace on earth, but there’s a problem, and the redoubtable space adventurer Ijon Tichy (who figures into a number of Lem’s earlier writings) has been brought in to solve it. The major powers of Earth have realized that weapons are being developed faster than they can be limited by international agreement, and they’ve devised an ingenious stratagem: the moon will be divided into a handful of national sectors, and a new internat ...more
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Peace on Earth is Stanisław Lem's last sci-fi book written before he died in 2006. It is a highly complex story of the countries on Earth deciding to wage their wars -- without human intervention -- on the moon. What happens is that the Earth powers lose touch with their automated forces on the Moon, and send Ijon Tichy there to investigate.

At the outset, he suffers a remote callotomy at the hands (or whatever) of the Moon forces, in which the left and right hemispheres of his brain are disconne
Ivo Crnkovic-Rubsamen
Jul 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Classic Lem, Peace On Earth is a whimsical execution of a great concept. Part insightful look into neurology as it intersects with behavioral psychology and part cold war era hard sci-fi, the book touches both bases well and makes their fusion interesting and integral to the plot. The premise of the book exactly touches on what I have always suspected about the cold war mentality, namely that the whole thing was totally irrational and became more and more self-referential as each military commit ...more
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Sadistics: the algebra of conflicts that end fatally for all parties.”

Wish I had read this fifty years ago. A cynical, naive but hopeful inquiry into how to end the arms race. Well written with a folded timeline which will leave the inattentive reader confused. Good understanding that man’s most basic urge in any situation is to cheat. Stand alone story.

“Politicians continued business as usual, more concerned about voters than the future.”

Extra star because this story reads so well fifty years
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of, if not the last, book of fiction by LEM. It is difficult to 'chonologize' his work as, like Jules Verne, it is translated, thus not published in English consecutively. This complex, interesting and intelligent story is written with great humour. I enjoyed this very much.
Alexander Miles
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'd never read anything from Lem before, so this was an introduction for me. A bit strange from the outset, Peace on Earth follows an older model of science fiction than I've been reading in a long time. Lots of invented words, techno-babble, unique concepts, and entertaining anachronism (robots, lasers, and... typewriters?). The characters were fairly thin all around, but the novelty of the concepts makes up for most of that. The narrative jumps around the time line constantly. It takes a slow ...more
Martin DH
Nov 12, 2017 rated it liked it
My rating shouldn't be taken to serious, I didn't know that this was the 4th book in the series. But I still think I mannaged to follow the plot quite well. Stanislaw is a great author in the skill of coming up with a problem and make that problem 100 fold worse and through that creating his futuristic world/concept. In this he have adapted the world's fear of nuclear war and bioweapons. Then increased tech- and threatlevels, ending up with a messed up future were the characters have to make the ...more
Sep 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
review of
Stanislav Lem's Peace on Earth
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - September 18, 2015

Astronaut Ijon Tichy goes on a secret mission to the moon & gets a callotomy from forces unknown presumed to be the forces he was there to spy on: "While I'm urinating, I feel this little snap. Like a crack in the neck, only higher, in the middle of the skull. It was a remote callotomy. It didn't hurt." (p 2)

"The corpus callosum is a band of nerve fibers located deep in the brain that connects the two ha
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars
Honestly I enjoyed this so much that I have to give it 5 stars. I couldn't even say that this is my favourite Tichy story; maybe the 5 stars represents, rather than the merit of this story alone, the merit of the whole of Ijon Tichy's adventures, with this particularly apt conclusion.

Tichy's brain is severed, permanently separating the left and right hemisphere, and the Geneva Agreement has de-militarized Earth; instead, each nation significant enough at the time of signing has a designated sec
Robotics Through Science Fiction
Stanislaw Lem was one of the most read science fiction authors in the world in his day, especially the 70s and 80s, though not in America because there were rarely translations from his native Polish to English. Europeans could parse the French translations, we couldn’t even parlez vous francais. Lem famously did not like American science fiction, with a very few exceptions. One being Philip K. Dick- and it is no wonder since Lem's 1987 novel Peace on Earth shares many of the same themes that Di ...more
Split brain

Description: 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.

◙ Lem's last book before his death.
◙ Ijon Tichy pronounced 'Eon Ticky'
Peace on Earth (wikivid: 1 min 24 secs)

3* So
Rich Meyer
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
Another excellent science fiction novel from Stanislaw Lem, and yet another adventure of his greatest character, Ijon Tichy. The story was a bit more predictable than most of Lem's work, but the tale took you on the usual entertainingly convoluted ride to the climax. The world is at peace and there were no more arms races after all the nations of the world sent their arms-making capabilities to the moon as an ultimate mutually-assured destruction deterrent. But naturally, not every one is happy ...more
May 22, 2009 rated it did not like it
Extremely boring. I had to stop reading it.
Oct 28, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff, fiction
i do like an ijon tichy story, and this one had some amusing/interesting ideas, but it lost steam near the end. one of the weaker lem books i've read.
Christian Schwoerke
The callotomy (or, more commonly “callosotomy”) that Ijon Tichy suffers when he makes his last sojourn on the surface of the moon rends his consciousness, and he quickly becomes aware that he is experiencing a prolonged instance of “the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.”

The foremost source of this expression is Jesus’ injunction to give alms modestly, without drawing attention to oneself in the process. In that context, the expression is about the highest degree of secrecy/ano
Robyn Blaber
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I remember when I first drove a Porsche Carrera. At that point in my driving career a BMW Z3 was the sportiest sports car I'd ever driven. There was no comparison. The former accelerated faster, braked faster, turned sharper corners, was easier to handle, had cooler cup holders... and the list goes on and on. The latter was so far out of the former's league, that I no longer describe them as the same kind of object despite obvious similarities like wheels and doors.

Reading Stanislaw Lem after re
This was a super cool book and a really good read. Lem is great at creating suspense and I was literally dying to find out the answers to all of the questions he posed. I adore the premise of this novel: the solution to continuous arm race and war being each country sending a computer to the moon to create self evolving weapons of mass destruction and relinquishing any right to knowledge about what is going on there, but then this ignorance is manipulated by the government/other parties to stir ...more
James F
Aug 27, 2018 rated it liked it
As far as I can tell, Peace on Earth is Lem's last novel; in any case, it is the last which has been translated into English. The subject is the arms race: Earth, taking the first step toward the sort of world which is described in Fiasco, has moved the arms race to the Moon, where the arsenals of the various nations are undergoing a self-evolution of which the Earth is (intentionally) ignorant, but there is suspicion that the robot weapons may have combined and plan an invasion of the Earth; an ...more
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jim Mcbob
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
The whole left brain vs. right brain tangle is an interesting metaphor for the cold war between nation states and factions within them, but I'm not sure it works 100% as a literary device. It did slow things down somewhat at the beginning, but once Lem gets to the meat and potatoes of his mission, it picks up admirably.

As always, wonderful touches of Lem humour for nerds. "The military academies added new courses such as cryptotactics, cryptocountering (that is, taking counterespionage to the n
Strong Extraordinary Dreams
Great amounts of great ideas, especially about (1) knowing and not knowing and (2) war and it's possible futures.

However, while loving Solaris, The Fiasco, The Futurologocal Congress, Return from the Starts (and hating Notes found in a bathtub) this book just passed me by. Not much plot, really at all, difficult to care about the characters, vague and rambling. And the ideas aren't all that> great.

Not a great, and I originally gave only two stars.

Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian-breeze
Paranoid, sarcastic, satirical! This is how Lem views his contemporary world (Cold War) with its arm race and struggle for power. He simply take this and turn it into a brilliant SF about a distant future which (in certain aspects) was not so distant at all. That's what I like most at SF works: speak about today's issues by disguising them into a hypothetical future.
K. Counihan
Just OK

A psychological fight between the left side of the brain and the right side of the brain when they are severed and can no longer communicate. The left helps one army. While the right is communicating with the other army. Confused?
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I’ll definitely need to read this one again. So many interesting ideas packed into one mind bending story.
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another great book by Lem.
Pat Rondon
May 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not Lem's best. Huge plot holes abound, which he clearly knew about because he went to the trouble to add unbelievable handwaves that only serve to draw attention to them.
Zarathustra Goertzel
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
A funny story mocking mutually assured destruction, examining the life of a man with a split-brain, and a nifty sci-fi idea on the other side of automated warfare! :-)
Lukasz Pruski
Mar 31, 2015 rated it liked it
I grew up on Stanisław Lem. Most people know him as a science-fiction writer, but he was a philosopher, futurologist, social and literary critic first, and a sci-fi author second. I do not want to repeat what I wrote about Lem here , when reviewing his very good book (four stars was my rating) "The Chain of Chance" (the Polish title is "Katar"). "Peace on Earth" (1987) is not quite on the same level, but still, it is a greatly enjoyable and thought-provoking read. It could technically be catego ...more
Apr 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
how is it? in my mid-fifties, and having been a sci-fi fan since i read The Big Eye by Max Simon Ehrlich when i was 11 or 12 or some such tender age, there are still so many wonderful sci fi writers i've not read? (and yes The Big Eye IS as bad as it's cover suggests. didn't matter. i instantly became enamored with science fiction)

this brings me to Stanislaw Lem - who i am reading for the first time. i am loving this book and Lem's vision of a possible outcome of the arms race. given that everyone's defenses are such that
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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

Other books in the series

Ijon Tichy (5 books)
  • The Star Diaries: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy
  • Memoirs of a Space Traveler: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy
  • The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy
  • Wizja Lokalna

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