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One Human Minute (...) is a review of a book of statistical tables, a compilation that includes everything that happens to human life on the planet within any given 60 second period.  One of Lem's most diverting and thought-provoking abilities is his gift for taking mundane realities, paradoxes and horrors and flying with them to heights of imaginative, logical absurdity.  There are occasional flashes of such wit in this piece (...)

Lynn Harnett, Portsmouth Herald

 

ALL books by this Polish master of intellectual science fiction should come with a label on the cover warning: "Handle With Care." Mr. Lem is a moralist, an ironist, a man of wide erudition (in both science and literature) who has little patience with the shortcomings of his fellow man.

His latest volume contains three short essays masquerading as reviews of books that have not yet been written. The first is of a book called "One Human Minute," issued, according to Mr. Lem, in 1988 by a publisher with offices in London, New York and on the moon. This book purports to give the reader, through reams of computer-compiled statistical tables, a picture of "what all the people in the world are doing, at the same time, in the course of one minute." As reviewer, Mr. Lem dutifully points out the flaws inherent in such a project while confessing his fascination with the material at hand.