At one point in this fascinating, alarming and occasionally frustrating novel, a scientist involved in a Pentagon-sponsored attempt to decode what may of may not be a "letter from the stars" begins reading great swatches of popular science-fiction stories in hope of generating new ideas. "Indeed a mistake," remarks the aging mathematician who narrates His Master's Voice. "He had not read such books before; he was annoyed - indignant, even -expecting variety, finding monotony (...).
However accurate this generalization may be - and it has been a running complaint of Stanislaw Lem for years - it could never be taken to apply to his own work.
The New York Times Review of Books