The Star Diaries: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy
Although Solaris is Stanislaw Lem’s most esteemed work, I believe The Star Diaries—the contemporaneous memoirs of star-pilot Ijon Tichy—to be a better representative of his genius, for it is ambitious in scope, inventive, and often profound.
The Star Diaries, a series of interplanetary adventures ranging in size from mere vignette to long novella, was written over a period of twenty years, and therefore--no surprise!—these pieces vary considerably in seriousness and depth, moving from the playful ...more
Bold adventurer Ijon Tichy zooms across the universe in his midget rocket ship as if zipping around Poland (Stanislaw Lem’s home country) in a midget racing car. Are we talking here about another Flash Gordon or Hans Solo? Hardly. Ijon is more like your prototypical college math instructor with his skinny tie, wrinkled shirt, corduroy pants, scuffed up loafers and nerd eyeglasses held together by tape. But, it must be admitted, Ijon Tichy keeps a level head as he deals with a string of ...more
The Star Diaries is the fifth book I’ve read so far. The others are (in ...more
What a fantastic book! One of the best ones that I have read this year!!! If you have not read it, and I assume that is the situation, I highly recommend it!
"I sat at my desk today, to write, and the chair said to me: 'What a strange world this is!"
I will put this bluntly: I am highly aware that the English speaking world generally neglects the literature of the rest of the world, which is the idea behind the Reading the World challenge to begin with....more
Lem's diarist Ijon Tichy is a starship pilot, galactic explorer and self-styled diplomat whose adventures around the universe lead him into frequent philosophical and religious discussions and even more frequent menace to his strange-by-comparison-to-aliens earthling body, ...more
I was right and wrong. The subject matter of spaceship navigator Tichy's voyages are plenty serious and related with the driest of humor. Many of the convolutions of time and space involve Tichy, full well ...more
Before our civilisation disappeared into its own navel, there were the Dichoticans. And before we started to prattle about 'Singularities' the robot monks of Dichotica had already looked unflinchingly into that abyss.
Before we ceased to create science fiction, there was this book showing us the sort of thing we could be creating instead.
Tichy encounters a variety of strange problems in his travels and solves them in ways that are certainly unconventional. The book excels in absurd writing, full of original ideas and various inventions.
The book, is composed of short stories, all related to his solo voyages in space.
Most of the stories are excellent, some a bit tedious.
My favorites were
"The Eighth Voyage", in which Ijon Tichy represents Earth to ...more
A brilliant and hilarious (I find) parody, emblematic of the "Speculative Fiction" Genre, but where the word "Speculative" actually denotes what it's meant to. This is one of the best philosophical Sci-Fi works I have ever read (or rather re-read), and certainly the most original.
When I was reading it decades ago I completely missed all the allusions and references to philosophy and history, which were so clear to me - thus hugely entertaining - now.
Ijon Tichy, the protagonist, is ...more
I really like the Eighth Voyage, which Tichy ...more
One other thing is the character of Ijon Tichy. He might be the most non-existent character in the history of literature. I have read hundreds of pages about him and I ...more
Btw - the story with electronic brains in chests? - now I know who did Wachowsky's ripped off to make Matrix ;)
Finding the narrative quite disconnected, (more so than illuminatus! trilogy) to the point where I can't build a model of the characters, universe or concepts, and therefore can't engage with the book.
The prose doesn't particularly enthrall me either
Other books in the series
The Twenty-first Voyage”