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The Star Diaries: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy

(Ijon Tichy #1)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  5,610 ratings  ·  217 reviews
Ijon Tichy, Lem's Candide of the Cosmos, encounters bizarre civilizations and creatures in space that serve to satirize science, the rational mind, theology, and other icons of human pride. Line drawings by the Author. Translated by Michael Kandel. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
Paperback, 286 pages
Published June 26th 1985 by Mariner Books (first published 1957)
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Bill  Kerwin
May 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction

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
Glenn Russell

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 challenge
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I need to reread this to review the book properly, but I know I liked it a lot, and even made a (view spoiler) out of one story, just for fun. Since I read it first in Finnish, the English reading experience will no doubt feel different :)
Jeannette Nikolova
Also available on the WondrousBooks blog.

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.

Susan Budd
Aug 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Stanislaw Lem is an author I should have discovered decades ago. You’d think that somewhere between Wells and Stapledon, Asimov and Clarke, Bradbury and Vonnegut, I’d have come across Lem. But I didn’t. I might have seen some excerpts in The Mind’s I, but that was long after I stopped reading sci-fi and started my studies in philosophy. Then last year I discovered Lem and he single-handedly renewed my interest in sci-fi.

The Star Diaries is the fifth book I’ve read so far. The others are (in orde
Charles Dee Mitchell
Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mid-century-sf
The morning I started reading this edition of Lem’s Star Diaries, I got about a hundred pages into it. When I put it down, I felt like I had over-indulged at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Each of Ijon Tichy’s intergalactic adventures in the 23rd century comes so packed with jokes, adventure, word play, hairsbreadth escapes, satire, and sophisticated scientific and philosophical speculation, they are best absorbed one at a time. They are going to all run together in the end, leaving the reader as di ...more
Stanislaw Lem es conocido mundialmente sobre todo por la magnífica ‘Solaris’. Sin embargo, la obra corta de Lem quizás no sea tan conocida. Diarios de las estrellas reúne en un solo volumen los Viajes y las Memorias de un curioso personaje, Ijon Tichy.

A través de sus extraordinarios viajes (que me recordaron poderosamente a Gulliver y Munchausen), siempre en su inseparable cohete, Tichy descubrirá las más absurdas e inverosímiles formas de vida, así como las sociedades más disparatadas. El humor
Apr 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardcover, library
This was good fun. I read "Solaris", saw the two versions of the movie, one Russian and the other, American starring Mr. Clooney. My impression based on that was that he was serious, very philosophical and very trippy as well. This book was initially unexpected as it was very humorous, but yet, it had all the elements mentioned about Solaris. It is a different type satirical humour than that of Vonnagut Jr. but on par. This book was equally smart, clever, very funny and introspective all at once ...more
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Pametna, duhovita i zanimljiva diskusija o religiji, ljudskoj prirodi, moralu, etici, generalno filozofiji, zamaskirana naučnom fantastikom. Sigurno ću čitati ponovo.
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Едно от най-добрите неща, които съм чел някога. Горещо препоръчвам да ги прочетете, ако искате да научите:

-защо нас, Земляните, не ни приеха в ООП (Организажията на обединените планети) и как всички членове започнали да припадат и повръщат след като гледали на монитора как върви историята на човечеството, тези трупоядци.

- как звезден проповедник изпитвал трудности при разпространението на религията на други планети, особено на една, на която средната температура е -200 C, а населението й не иска
Jan 27, 2017 rated it liked it
I didn't enjoy it as much as expected. Maybe I read it too late. Maybe what was original, witty, creative and imaginative at the time of the book's writing is now part of your ordinary modern sci-fi menu. Most of all, The Star Diaries reminded me of Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the difference being that Lem's Diaries are not a proper novel, but a collection of short stories. Most of them are meant to be comical and satirize prevalent sci-fi tropes like time travel. Despi ...more
Chris Fellows
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Before Arthur Dent, there was Ijon Tichy.

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.

Sep 25, 2016 marked it as xx-dnf-skim-reference  ·  review of another edition
Struggled through about 2/3 before giving up. I think I'll finally get around to reading Gulliver's Travels instead.
Izabela Mizia
Jul 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Całkiem miło, ale Podróż siódma to majstersztyk! Nie muszę po raz kolejny pisać, że ja po prostu uwielbiam twórczość Lema.
Sophie VERStand
Abgebrochen auf Seite 242 / 524.
Statt "Reiseberichten" des Raumfahrtpiloten Ijon Tichy wird das Buch mehr und mehr ein reines "Lexikon" über sämtliche Spezies, die sich Stanislaw Lem da einmal ausgedacht hat.
Dauernde Wiederholung der Arten von Erzählung und die völlige Abwesenheit von Handlung, der etwas zu gewollte Humor (schreckliche Wortspiele teilweise) demotivierten leider völlig beim Lesen.
"Solaris" gefiel mir so gut, dieses Buch ist dagegen maßlos enttäuschend.
The Star Diaries by Stanislav Lem is a group of short stories that the author wrote over a time period from 1950s and expanded and reissued in 1971. The stories are travel logs of space traveler, Ijon Tichy and translated by Michael Kandel from the polish in 1976. The Introduction and Introduction to the Expanded Edition are really a part of the book as well and not truly Introductions as can be gatthered from "The press tells us that Tichy used a ghost-writer, or that he never even existed, his ...more
Jan 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
The Star Diaries really defy comparison with anything I have read before. Although the dry humor I expect from Eastern European fiction is there, the story lines and philosophical wanderings are idiosyncratic in the extreme.

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, me
Rafal Jasinski
Lema, przyznam się szczerze, nigdy nie lubiłem, choć dodać tu muszę z pewną taką nieśmiałością, że dotychczas znany mi był z czasów szkolnych i bardzo zabawnych i tyleż samo dziwacznych "Bajek robotów" i fragmentów "Przygód pilota Pirxa". Niestety, wrażenie tego, że rodzaj fantastyki uprawianej przez Lema, to "bajka, która innymi, niż ja drogami chodzi", powróciło w trakcie niniejszej lektury.

W "Dziennikach gwiazdowych" doceniam niebanalne, choć absurdalne poczucie humoru i to, w że zazwyczaj w
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, humor
A collection of the unexpected adventures of the famous spaceman Ijon Tichy.

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 petiti
Apr 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jeanne by: Roger Peet
I had seen "Solaris" waaay back in college I think. Beautiful, but slowly paced, and this was a time that I slept through bits of a lot of movies. So I was thinking that this series of "journeys" of Ijon Tichy written by the author of Solaris (which I haven't read) would be serious and dry.

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 kno
Nihal Vrana
After Olaf Stapledon, Stanislaw Lem is my favourite Science-fiction writer. This collection of short stories is considerably weaker than his other works. Lem was a genius for sure, but he was not a comedy genius (drawing neither), the Douglas Adams-like nature of these stories does not really suit well with the gist of his ideas.

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 h
Nikolay Dyulgerov
Dec 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Бях чел някои от разказите в една друга книга с неща на Лем, която четох заради Соларис, но пък тя беше накрая, а в началото имаше малко истории за Ийон Тихи, после и за капитан Пиркс, та оттам се зарибих.
От една страна дневниците са адски забавни и иронични. От друга - човек може да научи интересни неща за науката, без това да натежава. Споменават се Файнман, Ферми, квазари, цефеи и т.н.
Най-много обаче ми хареса парадоксалноста и то особено времевите парадокси. Уникално описани са, а последни
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I can only be ashamed of myself passing by this genial stories in high school by one of the best writer of my country, bah - the world! However the timing may be perfect as often you'll find things coming from the past to save your future. I recently started to loose hope for sci-fi genre and looking for older books to rediscover the roots. Lem is universal and beyond time...and funny!
Btw - the story with electronic brains in chests? - now I know who did Wachowsky's ripped off to make Matrix ;)
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lem'in hayal edebilme gücünün kuvvetine hayr--... Yok, yok, bu güç tarif edilemez. Okuduğum en muhteşem kitaplardan biriydi.
Artur Coelho
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Um destes dias tenho de procurar uma biografia ou estudo literário sobre a obra deste singular escritor polaco de Ficção Científica. Gostaria de perceber se o que dele se conta é real. Se a historia, provavelmente apócrifa, de Lem ser um escritor apaixonado pela FC anglo-americana que impedido de a ler por estar do lado de lá da cortina de ferro, escrevia da forma como pensava que os grandes nomes que idolizava escreviam. Algo que lhe causou desilusões quando finalmente pode contactar com as obr ...more
This is a unique book for a sci-fi. Each chapter describes one of the voyages of Ijon Tichy's intergalactic adventures in the 23rd century. The stories are a mixture of futuristic crystal-balling, deadpan humour, discussions on religion, satirical insights into the results of man's constant search for perfection, the dangers of technology and more satire on government bureaucracy and their use of fear to control the population. It is a book of genius.
I really like the Eighth Voyage, which Tichy
Robin Pilgrim
El viaje septimo me hizo reir hasta el punto en que lloré, muuuuuy divertido, no me había reído así desde Matadero 5 de Vonnegut.
Los escritos de S. Lem entran en esa categoría de locura en donde están de alguna forma PKD, Douglas Adams y tal vez Vonnegut. <3
Mar 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

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 noth
Ali Ganjei
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
یه سری داستان علمی-تخیلی-فلسفی-فکاهی از استانیسلاو لم. بعضی از داستانهاش با ترجمه صادق مظفر زاده توی مجله دانشمند اواخر دهه شصت و اوایل هفتاد با عنوان خاطرات یون تیخی چاپ شده بود.
کتاب خیلی سختیه و خیلی واژه و اصطلاح ابداعی داره که برای فهمیدنشون باید کلی اطلاعات از کیهانشناسی و نظریه تکامل و فلسفه و علوم دیگه داشته باشید.
من یکی از داستانها رو با ترجمهی مظفر زاده مقایسه کردم و واقعا حیرت کردم از کیفیت بینظیر ترجمه. خیلی دوست دارم کسی که توی اون هول و ولای دهه شصت وقتش رو وقف ترجمهی یه همچین متن س
oguz kaan
Bilimkurguyu bugünkü seviyesine getiren yazarlar denildiğinde Le Guin ve Dick'in yanında anılan bir diğer yazar olan Lem'in okuduğum ikinci kitabı olan Yıldız Güncesi, öykü kitapları içerisinde favorilerime yerleşti.

Ijon Tichy'nin galakside ki maceralarından oluşan kitap boyunca Lem felsefeye, toplum eleştirisine, insanlığın devamına ve Tanrı'ya çoğu yazardan çok daha eğlenceli yaklaşmış.

Akılda kalıcı metaforlarla desteklediği fikirlerinde; evrim geçirip vahşileşen patateslerden tutun, zaman dö
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Speculative Ficti...: (Review) The Star Diaries 1 8 Nov 24, 2017 10:42AM  
Is anyone familiar with a particular story? 1 11 Jan 20, 2016 12:21AM  
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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)
  • Memoirs of a Space Traveler: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy
  • The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy
  • Peace on Earth
  • Wizja Lokalna
“The semanticists maintained that everything depends on how you interpret the words “potato,” “is” and “moving.” Since the key here is the operational copula “is,” one must examine “is” rigorously. Whereupon they set to work on an Encyclopedia of Cosmic Semasiology, devoting the first four volumes to a discussion of the operational referents of “is.” The neopositivists maintained that it is not clusters of potatoes one directly perceives, but clusters of sensory impressions. Then, employing symbolic logic, they created terms for “cluster of impressions” and “cluster of potatoes,” devised a special calculus of propositions all in algebraic signs and after using up several seas of ink reached the mathematically precise and absolutely undeniable conclusion that 0=0.” 5 likes
“A world compelled to good alone is as much a shrine to compulsion as a world compelled to evil only.

The Twenty-first Voyage”
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