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“The Cyberiad” and “Robot's tales” (in the US volumes entitled “The Cosmic Carnival of Stanislaw Lem and "Mortal Engines" were also published)  is a witty blend of traditional tales and science-fiction -  there are “constructors” instead of wizards and magic;  apparent miracles turn out to be the outcome of exceptional engineering capabilities.  However, greedy kings, cruel and hungry for power, stem from our very own world.  Just as among us, there live naive healers of the world,  who believe it takes only one good idea to save humanity.  In robots' states nothing good results from that.  The case with us – suggests Lem – would be very similar, since neither evil nor (fortunately) good cannot be eradicated.  And we will never give up telling tales.

5.00 out of 5 based on 4 ratings4 user reviews.
Dazzling! Reviewed by G. Moses "theonlytruegeo" on . Imagine a mixture of Borges, Calvino, Saint-Exupéry, Pynchon, Douglas Adams, Samuel Beckett, L. Frank Baum, Dr. Seuss, Lewis Caroll, and perhaps a little Philip K. Dick. That's what this is like, sort of. It is a collection of stories, some profound, others 'merely' entertaining, written by a man who was clearly drunk on sheer linguistic exuberance. The sheer virtuosity of the language is breathtaking: the book is packed to the gills with puns, rhymes, nonsense words, and general verbal japery. Huge amounts of credit must of course go to the translator, Michael Kandel, on this score. I wish the book included translation notes; he must have had to rebuild innumerable language formations from scratch in order to make them work--and work dazzlingly well--in English. Particularly impressive in this regard are 'The Fifth Sally (A), or Trurl's Prescription,' a delightful bit of frippery driven almost entirely by verbal dexterity; and an extraordinary mathematical love poem related in 'The First Sally (A), or Trurl's Electric Bard.' The centerpiece of the collection, however, must surely be the 'Tale of the Three Storytelling Machines of King Genius,' which, as you would expect, includes a flurry of internal stories, some of which in turn have stories inside them. One of these internal stories, that of Mymosh the Self-Begotten, is in my opinion the book's highlight. If Sam Beckett had turned his hand to science fiction, this is what he would have written. It's as strange and unsettling as any of Sam's short novels. Finally, some mention must be made of the highly stylized illustrations by Daniel Mroz scattered throughout the book; they complement the action to perfection. Lem is clearly having fun with The Cyberiad, and it's contagious. I had tried, some time ago, to read Tales of Pirx the Pilot, but I found the first tale so mind-numbingly dull that I couldn't bring myself to finish it. This, on the other hand, is a truly excellent collection, and you can rest assured tha I'll be checking out more of Lem in the near future. G. Moses "theonlytruegeo" Rating: 5 5
Absolutely the best book I have ever read. Reviewed by Connor on . Lem is able to create an utterly imaginative and creative universe.I didn't know what to expect when I spotted this work of art at a used book store;I had previously never heard of Lem.The cover intrigued me,so I bought it and took it home.As I started to read,I realized the philosiphical genius cunnily mixed with a strange sci-fi universe.I was also blown away by Daniel Mroz's illustrations.They are very complex and creative.The book and the drawings fit together perfectly.It really makes one think about robots and their intelligence.Mroz's machines looked very different than what the average mind would think;robots to them are just metal boxes stacked on top of one another and tubes for limbs.So you have to first have imagination before you read this book.I hope that his other novels will be as good as this one. Rating: 5 5
Extremely funny and witty Reviewed by on . Probably the best book (at least in its genre) I've read. Extremely funny and witty. I laughed and laughed while I was reading this. Rating: 5 5
An instant classic and a unique, unforgettable adventure! Reviewed by Derek Tyler on . Clever, witty, intensely creative and original, packed full of plot lines and surprises that will keep the reader turning the pages late into the night. There are not many sci fi books which also demonstrate a brilliant and imaginative sense of humor which is woven into the fabric of the stories and makes them a pleasure to read. You will not go wrong with either this or "The Star Diaries", by the same author. Rating: 5 5