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I understand


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This book was written differently than other ones in that it was born from frustration - from the inability to write the book I intended. Some five years ago, or maybe earlier, I decided to write a correction to The Fourteenth Voyage in which it would turn out that Ion Tichy mistakenly landed on a different planet - that was turned into a giant Disneyland-like amusement part. Hence I wanted to show that in reality everything was different. But since I didn't know what that "difference" might look like, I starting gathering information (from myself) - and these bits of information turned out to be scattered, inconsistent and fragmentary. To a certain extent this was similar to the reports on the internal situation in Poland published by the Soviet "Prawda" and the "International Herald Tribune". Struggling with these fragments made them grow and I realized they wouldn't meet and focus somewhere, everything was diverging. And since there was no was to "glue them together", I unintentionally produced a rich source of valuable ideas (also in terms prognoses), that seemed rather useless.

And then I invented the Ministry of Foreign and Extraterrestrial Affairs, which in its archives guards various works by historians, reports from their journeys, various versions and theories. But how could I present such an idea - by showing an entire library? Maybe I should have compiled an encyclopedia of such a plane? But that would require too much work and it would have resembled The Imaginary Magnitude and The Perfect Vacuum. Hence I decided that my hero would get to know these contradictory reports and he would discover that he made a mistake. Here the incoherent nature of various reports was desired, since some of them are works of authors that are not humans, written in various countries and times, with contradictory interpretation of religion, customs, ideology and planetary history.

And then, in addition to that, I wanted these reports to be analyzed by scientists creating a terrible mess. I knew that if I give the reader some humor he would struggle just as if he were to reconstruct the history of Europe from the reports written in China, Stalinist Russia, America and by the Nazis. Hence I wanted to make it impossible to reach the core of the events - because of too many interpretations skewed by authors' own inventions. My goal was to reach a nightmare of ambiguousness, to achieve a giant palimpsest.