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.
What Tichy finds on the moon provides Lem with a first-class opportunity to skewer military thinking and arms-race politics. Even stranger, however, is what happens to Tichy himself - a bizarre encounter with an unusual weapon results in a unique twist on the theme of split personalities. Humor and a breathless pace create a delightful and thought-provoking read.