MEMOIRS OF A SPACE TRAVELER by Joel Stern

MEMOIRS OF A SPACE TRAVELER

Further Reminiscences Of Ijon Tichy
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sharp satire, with complex philosophical underpinnings: these nine wild but often heavy-handed pieces were omitted from the US edition of The Star Diaries (1974) and now appear as a companion volume. In the opening yarn, Tichy collaborates with professor Razglaz to satisfy the inexorable demands of physics by helping to create the universe (Tichy has several improvements in mind, but his good intentions are sabotaged by jealous rivals); next, he journeys into space to meet the Phools, proud builders of a perfect social system (unfortunately, the process entails the destruction of the Phools). And there are six encounters with mad scientists: Corcoran, who's created a universe within a universe, but doesn't dare play God; Decantor, creator of an actual immortal soul (out of compassion, Tichy kills it); Zazul, who's cloned himself (the clone murders the original and takes over); Molteris, inventor of a time machine (he travels into the future, only to die immediately of old age); the Newton vs. Snodgrass washing-machine-robot controversy (the robots become lawyers representing both sides); and Diagoras, who's created two inorganic lifeforms--only to find that they're busily manipulating him in order to communicate with one another. Intellectually stimulating stories, then--but with Lem's didactic skeletons frequently poking through the meager narrative flesh, they're best taken in small doses.
Pub Date: Jan. 7th, 1981
ISBN: 0810117320
Page count: 166pp
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1981




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