His Master's Voice

His Master's Voice

By pure chance scientists discover a signal from space that could be an statement from rational beings. How can we read this message knowing nothing about the senders?  What if we are not even sure whether they exist?  "His Master's Voice" is not a typical book. It lacks an adventure plot, yet struggle with the mystery rivets readers' attention more than in many adventure books, especially since the encounter with the unknown provokes elementary questions about the nature of the world, nature of man and reasons for defects of Being.

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I understand

Stanislaw LemYet his writing reached far beyond the borders of the genre. In addition to many novels and stories, he composed a huge philosophical treatise on the relation of human beings and machines, a good deal of pungently argued literary criticism, a volume of reviews of nonexistent books, a stochastic theory of narrative fiction, an experimental detective novel, speculative essays dealing with artificial intelligence, cybernetics, cosmology, genetic engineering, game theory, sociology, and evolution, radio plays and screenplays. Such staggering polymathic curiosity over such a vast range of material, all of it explored with lucidity and charm, gives his writing a unique place on a Venn diagram in which the natural sciences, philosophy, and literature shade into one another with mutually intensifying vividness and fascination.

Paul Grimstad, The New Yorker, January 6, 2019