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's latest futuristic satire sends his redoubtable protagonist Ijon Tichy - hero of The Futurological Congress, among other works - to the moon, which has been given over to intelligent, self-evolving war machines in a kind of super-detente. Weapons are banned on Earth, while each nation's robot army runs an arms race on the moon. When the governments of Earth become concerned that the machines are planning an invasion of the mother world, the Lunar Agency dispatches Tichy and several remote-controlled robots to investigate.
I don't know what to do. If I could say "I'm miserable," it wouldn't be so bad. I can't say "We're miserable" either because I can only partly speak for myself even though I'm still Ijon Tichy. I used to talk to myself while I shaved but I had to stop because of my left eye's lewd winking. Coming back in the LEM, I didn't realize what happened to me just before lift-off. The LEM, by the way, doesn't have anything to do with the American NASA module manned by Armstrong and Aldrin to collect a couple of moon rocks. It was given the same name to disguise my secret mission.
Page 1 of 2