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The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age

The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age

Stanisław Lem


Science fantasy of the first order, this book of short stories tells (mainly) of the adventures of Trurl and Klapaucius, two "constructors" (who are themselves robots) who spend their time making complex machines for the benefit of various patrons. There's a medieval feel to many of the stories, despite the fact that most of the characters are either robots or intelligent machines.

Several of the stories clearly send echoes down through future literature, and indeed other forms of entertainment: in the Seventh Sally, Trurl builds a miniature universe to placate a deposed king, allowing him to control and influence its development in a way that's unmistakably like Sim City. There are machines that tell tales within the tales, and robots who tell of having had their good deeds go awry. When you consider the Polish original was written in the mid 1960's it's all an amazing contrast to the contemporary science fiction and fantasy writing.

4/5. Finished 06 January 2019.

(Originally published on Goodreads.)

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