Lem at Amazon

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4.7142857142857 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.71 (14 Votes)

The collection of short stories "Bajki robotów" (The Tales of the Robots) was published in English in two volumes:  "Mortal Engines" and "The Cosmic Carnival of Stanislaw Lem".  

Readers who enjoyed The Cyberiad will also find this book very appealing.

Neil Barron, "Delap's F&SF Review"



Pyron invented the wire telegraph, and then he pulled the wire out so fine, it wasn't' there, and in this fashion he obtained the wireless... Later I visited the hospital wards.  I was introduced to an Old Testament computer that suffered from senility and couldn't' count up the ten commandments... what is attractive in Lem is his view of humanity not as as matter of organic life or biological development, but as a matter of freedom - even if it is a freedom we may not in fact be able to exercise.

Gore Vidal, "The New York Times Review of Books"


5.00 out of 5 based on 1 ratings1 user reviews.
Fairy tales for a modern age Reviewed by wiredweird on . This review is from: Mortal Engines (Paperback) The first dozen stories in this book are brief, amusing, and very clever. Most of them start in the traditions of fairy tales, with bold knights, beautiful princesses, powerful kings, and deadly dragons. As in traditional fairy tales, some describe great quests, while others narrate hubris and downfall. The difference is that every story is peopled (if you'll pardon the term) by robots. It creates a grand setting for Lem's adventures and warmly humorous inversion of all the old storytelling. The final two stories, though, are the real gems of this collection. They are longer, they feature humans as well as robots, and are serious, even somber in tone. One is told by a human, part of the party that has to hunt down a dangerous robot across the stark surface of the moon. The teller finds the rogue in the end and fells it, but something in that last moment turns it from victory into completion of a much more ambiguous kind. The final story, "The Mask," is a sensitive look into a man-made mind. It conveys real complexity in the robot's sense of its own life. One of the story's many readings is a warning that, even if the feelings are carried in metal cases, they're as real to the minds feeling them as ours are to us. Creating a mind that can feel such feelings imposes a responsibility on the creator - a responsibility not met in this chilling story. This is Lem at his best, and his best is very good. The happy satire of the first stories is some of Lem's most amusing. The conjecture in the last story is some of his darkest. The set as a whole shows Lem's range as a writer, even within the constraints that unify this wonderful collection. wiredweird Rating: 5 5