Sterntagebücher Book reviews


Author(s): Stanisław LemDownload  


Pilot Pirx, Ijon Tichy und die beiden Roboter Trurl und Klapauzius sind die bekanntesten Figuren des weltberühmten polnischen Science-fiction-Autors und Zukunftsforschers Stanislaw Lem. Die vorliegenden Sammelbände vereinen alle Geschichten dieser Protagonisten. Lem schickt den Leser weit in die Zukunft, treibt dort ein scharfsinnig-erfinderisches Spiel mit ihm und holt ihn dann wieder belehrt und bestens unterhalten auf die Erde zurück.

Some Reviews: 313 in

Ola Banasińska

Ola Banasińska rated it      

Brilliant, witty take on random philosophical concepts, sprinkled with some truly original (at the time at least) science fiction – I love Lem! (when he doesn’t make his main character get angry at everyone and everything all the time, that is)


Chris rated it     

Humorous. Similar to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but more thought-provoking and less random. (Slav 117- Univ Sophomore)

James F

James F rated it     

There is, perhaps appropriately, a certain confusion about the chronology of this book. The translator’s afterword, which seems to be “straight”, unlike the Introduction which is written from within the world of the book, says that it contains the original 1957 stories in addition to some written later in the 1960s and 1970. The stories are in the order of the numbered “voyages”, which does not correspond to the order in which they were written. The translator lists the order in which they were written, and says that when read in that order there is a progression from early action stories through political and social satire to philosophical essays; but it seems to me that all the stories are a mix of action, satire and philosophy.

The book is ostensibly the Diary of Ijon Tichy, a freelance spacefarer who travels around the universe (and occasionally gets lost in time as well) in an unreliable spaceship and with erratic navigation skills, exploring strange worlds, trying to survive and occasionally save a civilization or combat evil creatures — which reminds me of Doctor Who, although with less concern for plausibility and rather more obvious satire and philosophy, I’m tempted to say a cross between Doctor Who and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, although the original stories were written well before either. There is also a similarity to the stories of Jorge Luis Borges. In the end, discussion of analogies is irrelevant; this is pure Lem, although only one of his many styles. In reviewing The Futurological Congress, a later adventure of Ijon Tichy, I said it was not my favorite of his styles, but reading these it sort of grew on me.

This is definitely a good book if you are looking for something which is at the same time a light, entertaining book and one which is also thought-provoking and “intellectual”; and like nearly all Lem’s books it is currently free on Kindle Unlimited.


Yannis rated it     

Though not a short story collection per se, it’s actually stories about the travels of Tichy. Some of them are 5 star material. You could make a 5 star book out of every single one of them! Some aren’t that great but still they are pretty damn good and make overall for a great book. Amazing ideas, the hero is fun but it kinda has the same issues as most short stories collections/anthologies out there. Not much development, the plot is too fast etc etc. But I would recommend this book both to every SF fan but also every reader that is interested in checking if SF is any good. Cause this proves it is. A lot of good.


Sara rated it     

“At the same time they completely lost the placid passivity typical of Earth’s potatoes, which have been domesticated through constant care and cultivation. Growing more and more wild, they became, at last, potatoes of prey.” Ijon Tichy in the Twenty-Fifth Voyage. This quote pretty much captures the tone and heart of Stanislaw Lem’s The Star Diaries: Further Reminiscences. Lem’s book is a delight of bizarre and hilarious cosmic situations that will literally make you laugh out loud.

Ijon Tichy is a future astronaut who has written down his adventures most likely out of boredom, or perhaps to prove that he isn’t crazy. The poor earthling has to travel the universe alone, and immerse himself in a myriad of intergalactic cultures for the sake of science. He also experiences several strange phenomena in the deep reaches of outer space.

The worlds Tichy encounters mirror our own idiosyncrasies and faults. There’s the robot planet that punishes all non-robotic creatures and forces them into hiding. Then there’s a astronaut who longs for the romance of piracy, and plunders spaceships only to return all the loot later. And then there’s the planet plagued by rising oceans, in which all the inhabitants are forced to breathe underwater.

While I loved this book, I couldn’t give it full stars as there was one voyage that comprised 50 pages of fictional philosophy. It would have been better served with section or page breaks, or as a standalone novella. Everything else was exceptional.


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