One of the world's most beloved science fiction writers, Stanislaw Lem was famed for his wryly comic, outlandish imaginings of the relationship between humans and technology. In this playful cosmic fantasia, two 'constructors' compete to dream up ever-more ingenious inventions in a universe beyond reality. The linguistic inventiveness is extraordinary Lem has created a curious world in which robots and rockets rub shoulders with kings, dragons, witches and pirates. Stanislaw Lem was born in Lviv, then part of Poland. He is probably the most original and influential European science-fiction writer since H.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Michael Kandel Translator. A brilliantly funny collection of stories for the next age, from the celebrated author of Solaris. Ranging from the prophetic to the surreal, these stories demonstrate Stanislaw Lem's vast talent and remarkable ability to blend meaning and magic into a wholly entertaining and captivating work.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published December 16th by Harcourt first published More Details Original Title.
Trurl , Klapaucjusz. National Book Award Finalist for Translation Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about The Cyberiad , please sign up. Does any one read it in Spanish? Is it as good as in English? See 1 question about The Cyberiad…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews.
Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of The Cyberiad. Jan 08, Manny rated it really liked it Shelves: strongly-recommended , science-fiction , well-i-think-its-funny.
One of the most brilliant pieces of translation I've ever come across. You can hardly believe that all these wonderful jokes and word-games weren't originally composed in English. I wish I knew some Polish, so that I could compare with the original. The most impressive sequences, which have been widely quoted, come from the story where one of the inventors builds a machine that can write a poem to any specification, no matter how bizarre.
And within a few seconds, the machine has produced: Seduced, shaggy Samson snored. She scissored short. Sorely shorn, Soon shackled slave, Samson sighed, Silently scheming, Sightlessly seeking Some savage, spectacular suicide.
The love poem where all the metaphors come from the language of mathematics is nearly as good. View all 33 comments. Shelves: masterpieces , science-fiction , sf-f-h. If you're only going to read one Lem in your life There are several essential Lem books and stories. And this is one of them. Both of them. Something like that.
It's an essential Lem book of essential Lem stories. The basic outline is simple: two robot inventors they are robots and they invent robots The inve If you're only going to read one Lem in your life The inventors--friends, rivals, and each the only one capable of understanding the other's genius--are Nasrudin-like figures, both wise and fools, both creating problems and solving them, meeting common robot folk and uncommon robot world leaders.
They try to one-up one another, they try to help one another, and through it all they teach by doing and do by teaching. Maybe the comparison to Mullah Nasrudin is more apt than I'd realized. If Mullah Nasrudin were two space-travelling robot inventors Yeah, that's the book. Read it. And btw, it's hilarious, it's a quick read, and it's really easy to get ahold of. It all happened in days of yore, long before the invasion of cyberpunk… Cyborgs were merry and mischievous then… And they were cunningly inventive… Next there was a boom, a puff of yellow smoke, and something came rocketing out, a form as blurry as a tornado and with the general consistency of a sandstorm; it arced through the air so fast that no one really got a good look at it anyway.
Whatever it was flew a hundred paces or more and landed without a sound; the curtain that had been wrapped arou It all happened in days of yore, long before the invasion of cyberpunk… Cyborgs were merry and mischievous then… And they were cunningly inventive… Next there was a boom, a puff of yellow smoke, and something came rocketing out, a form as blurry as a tornado and with the general consistency of a sandstorm; it arced through the air so fast that no one really got a good look at it anyway.
Whatever it was flew a hundred paces or more and landed without a sound; the curtain that had been wrapped around it floated to the earth, glass bells tinkling oddly in that perfect silence, and lay there like a crushed strawberry. Now everyone could see the beast clearly — though it wasn't clear at all, but looked a little like a hill, rather large, fairly long, its color much like its surroundings, a clump of dried-up weeds.
The King's huntsmen unleashed the whole pack of automated hounds mainly Saint Cybernards and Cyberman pinschers, with an occasional high-frequency terrier ; these hurled themselves, howling and slavering, at the crouching beast. The beast didn't rear back, didn't roar, didn't even breathe fire, but only opened its two eyes wide and reduced half the pack to ashes in a trice. This is an absolute beast created by the unsurpassed robotic constructors: optimistic and resilient Trurl and his pessimistic and ironic colleague Klapaucius.
Their colourful adventures and mishaps throughout the entire universe are simply unrepeatable… Everyone knows that dragons don't exist. But while this simplistic formulation may satisfy the layman, it does not suffice for the scientific mind. The School of Higher Neantical Nillity is in fact wholly unconcerned with what does exist. Indeed, the banality of existence has been so amply demonstrated, there is no need for us to discuss it any further here. The brilliant Cerebron, attacking the problem analytically, discovered three distinct kinds of dragon: the mythical, the chimerical, and the purely hypothetical.
They were all, one might say, nonexistent, but each non-existed in an entirely different way. Do androids dream of electric fairytale tellers? If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. He thought it was just a series of disconnected tales that were "everything that sf is ridiculed as being", petty, and demeaning.
Then one day I snuck up on him and read him the st If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Then one day I snuck up on him and read him the start of the story on Dragons and Probability, and he burst out laughing. View all 5 comments. Jul 20, Bradley rated it it was amazing Shelves: humor , shelf , sci-fi. While I was initially tempted to treat this collection of short SF stories with kid gloves because I was already a huge fan of Solaris, I didn't quite understand that this collection was already a heavyweight of humor, satire, and delight.
Where the hell have I been? I should have read this back when I was a kid! Alongside Hitchhiker's Guide! These two master-builder robots get along While I was initially tempted to treat this collection of short SF stories with kid gloves because I was already a huge fan of Solaris, I didn't quite understand that this collection was already a heavyweight of humor, satire, and delight.
These two master-builder robots get along with their wits and near-infinite capability to make things. And they are tricksters. Very funny tricksters. Hell, it was translated into several dozen languages. But the English translation retained ALL its flavor. All of this was light, clever, and always to the point.
These are traditional fables, almost like the old Chivalric tradition, but add the element of gods granting everyone's wishes to the downfall of the wisher, and you've got a very good idea about what's going on here.
Oh, and almost every character is a robot. The wisecracking kind. This is a perfect cure for grimdark malaise. View 2 comments. A peerless collection of stunning fables, bursting with imaginative madness and the most impressive punnilinguistics in sci-fi.
Stanisław Lem, Cyberiad
A brilliantly crafted collection of stories from celebrated science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem. Trurl and Klaupacius are constructor robots who try to out-invent each other. Over the course of their adventures in The Cyberiad , they travel to the far corners of the cosmos to take on freelance problem-solving jobs, with dire consequences for their unsuspecting employers. Playfully written, and ranging from the prophetic to the surreal, these stories demonstrate Stanislaw Lem's vast talent and remarkable ability to blend meaning and magic into a wholly entertaining and captivating work.
Found in Translation: ‘The Cyberiad, Fables for the Cybernetic Age’ by Stanisław Lem
If you not change browser settings, you agree to it. Learn more. However, greedy kings, cruel and hungry for power, stem from our very own world. In robots' states nothing good results from that. The case with us — suggests Lem — would be very similar, since neither evil nor fortunately good cannot be eradicated. And we will never give up telling tales.
During the time when humanistic philosophy defined the conceptual structures of experience, offering a vocabulary latent with its own values, Robert Scholes' question as to the value of fiction would likely be interpreted as, "which kind of fiction is most useful in the Socratic quest to understand our lives? Before posing this question, in his book, Structural Fabulation, Robert Scholes describes the cul de sac of much contemporary writing, which makes this question unavoidable. On one hand New Journalism revels in narcissism. On the other, the New Novel originates from phenomenology and is appropriately called anti-fiction. One type giggles; the other yawns in boredom.
The main protagonists of the series are Trurl and Klapaucius, the "constructors". The vast majority of characters are either robots or intelligent machines. The stories focus on problems of the individual and society, as well as on the vain search for human happiness through technological means. Two of these stories were included in the book The Mind's I. The whole series was published in the Polish collection Cyberiada by Wydawnictwo Literackie and also included stories published previously elsewhere. Polish title: Siedem wypraw Trurla i Klapaucjusza All these stories were first published in the Polish collection Cyberiada by Wydawnictwo Literackie. Trurl and Klapaucius are brilliant robotic engineers, called "constructors" because they can construct practically anything at will , capable of almost God-like exploits.