The Futurological Congress
"The Futurological Congress" is one of the most daringly told stories about Ijon Tichy. Tichy is invited to a futorological convention in a Latin America republic shaken by revolution. Eventually Tichy is transferred to a world where in a grotesque convolution both the utopian and anti-utopian visions of the future have been realized. Mockery of futorology – as always with Lem – is accompanied by serious reflection about human disposition for discord with reality.
Stanislaw Lem 1921-2006
Lem is both a polymath and a virtuoso storyteller and stylist. Put them together and they add up to a genius... He has been steadily producing fiction that follows the arcs and depths of his learning and a bewildering labyrinth of moods and attitudes. Like his protagonists, loners virtually to a man, his fiction seems at a distance from the daily cares and passions, and conveys the sense of a mind hovering above the boundaries of the human condition: now mordant, now droll, now arcane, now folksy, now skeptical, now haunted and always paradoxical. Yet his imagination is so powerful and pure that no matter what world he creates it is immediately convincing because of its concreteness and plentitude, the intimacy and authority with which it is occupied... read Lem for yourself. He is a major writer, and one of the deep spirits of our age.
Theodore Solotaroff "The New York Times Book Review"
A brilliant trip back to the technological future
It is amazing how much Lem got right, or even predicted. This ranges across artificial intelligence, the theory of search engines (he called it “ariadnology”), bionics, virtual reality (“phantomatics”), technological singularity and nanotechnology.
Simon Ings "New Scientist"