MORTAL ENGINES by Stanislaw Lem


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Kandel, translator of a recent collection of Leto's Ijon Tichy stories (The Star Diaries, 1976), has now put together a slightly disjointed sampling of the Polish sf writer's robot fables. There are eleven sardonic parables of mad robot kings, sleeping robot princesses and bold electroknights, robot cosmogoners, robot castaways. In addition, Kandel has included a stray Tichy story set in a robot lunatic asylum and two lengthy stories in entirely different modes: a rather pedestrian selection from Lem's Pirx the Pilot series and a dazzling first-person narrative of a beautiful robot-assassin. As in The Star Diaries, Leto gambols audaciously among Me–bius-like paradoxes, insouciant slapstick, and the astringent cybernetics-cummetaphysics that he has made peculiarly his own. One is grateful for every addition to the body of Leto's work available in English, but Kandel's admittedly personal selection is a good deal less coherent and convincing than his redaction of The Star Diaries.
Pub Date: April 1st, 1977
ISBN: 0156621614
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Seabury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1977


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