Peace on Earth
The last voluminous book about the adventures of Ijon Tichy tells a story that takes place in a near future. Earthly superpowers send their arsenals and arms factories to the Moon, so that they can evolve there by themselves, leaving the Earth in a state of peace and welfare. The fear of what had been born from these arsenals forces international organizations to send Ijon Tichy in a secret mission to the Moon. Once there, the protagonist suffers from a strange accident: his brain becomes callotomized, i.e. the two hemispheres of his brain are separated. Tichy – in his psychical duality – becomes a puzzle to himself and his environment; he is also a deponent of a mystery he remains unaware of, desired by all intelligence services of the world.
Lem is both a polymath and a virtuoso storyteller and stylist. Put them together and they add up to a genius... He has been steadily producing fiction that follows the arcs and depths of his learning and a bewildering labyrinth of moods and attitudes. Like his protagonists, loners virtually to a man, his fiction seems at a distance from the daily cares and passions, and conveys the sense of a mind hovering above the boundaries of the human condition: now mordant, now droll, now arcane, now folksy, now skeptical, now haunted and always paradoxical. Yet his imagination is so powerful and pure that no matter what world he creates it is immediately convincing because of its concreteness and plentitude, the intimacy and authority with which it is occupied... read Lem for yourself. He is a major writer, and one of the deep spirits of our age.
Theodore Solotaroff "The New York Times Book Review"