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The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs…

The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy (original 1972; edition 1985)

by Stanislaw Lem

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1,177196,846 (3.99)18
Title:The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy
Authors:Stanislaw Lem
Info:Mariner Books (1985), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 156 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, scifi

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The Futurological Congress by Stanisław Lem (1972)

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English (18)  French (1)  All (19)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
The Futurological Congress by Stanislaw Lem feels like a dream. A really bizarre one, you know? One where you find yourself falling off a cliff for some crazy reason, only to be saved by praying mantises on flying scooters?

Like that, but ten times weirder.

Full review → Joie des Livres
  schadelkopf | Apr 12, 2016 |
Science fiction as satire has been done before (see Gulliver's Travels) as have narratives that make you question whether the main character's experiences are actually happening (see anything by Leo Perutz) but Lem does both well and at the same time to boot. The opening convention was funny, something I don't say about many books, and the final two thirds go far enough down the rabbit hole that it started to make me question my guess as to what was truly going on. Lem has range, a quality few science fiction authors possess, and even if I prefer his more straight-faced science fiction books this one was a lot of fun too. ( )
1 vote BayardUS | Dec 10, 2014 |
It's entirely thanks to my sister, Jessa, that I discovered Lem, and thanks to the used bookstore in Mecosta that I keep finding old paperbooks of his and adding them to my collection.

This is a dystopian, chaotic future, full of rioting and hallucinogenic drugs used as societal control. This book is a hallucination within a hallucination within a hallucination. Where do they end? And what is the truth? The multiple hallucinations allow Lem to explore a number of possible futures and possible realities. None of which are terribly comforting. ( )
  greeniezona | Sep 20, 2014 |
A futurologist wakes up in 2039 and finds the human condition is everything we hoped for, and not all it's cracked up to be.

While attending the 8th Futurological Congress in war-torn Costa Rica, futurologist Ijon Tichy experiences first-hand the future to come. While staying in the gigantic hotel, Tichy feels emotions that are alien to him: a kind of brotherly love, especially for people he doesn’t particularly like. It disconcerts him because he knows that he really does not like a certain person, but can’t help but feel a deep benevolence toward him. Tichy discovers that the water and the air are tainted with pharmaceuticals to try to prevent revolution. Chaos and rioting break out in the streets, and Tichy is evacuated to the sewers underneath the hotel. There he is dosed with more gas, and is gifted with an unsettling vision of the future.

This book was part Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, part Candide, and part Brazil (yes, the Terry Gilliam movie!). It was extremely funny, trippy, and terrifying all at once. One of Tichy's colleagues, Dr. Trottelreiner, reminded me of Voltaire's character from Candide, Pangloss. He would show up just when Tichy's newest adventure was at its most extreme, and either offer explanation for the crazy circumstances, or show a way out. Trottelreiner never seemed surprised by the paths that he and Tichy took, much in the way that Pangloss always believed that things were exactly as they should be. Which is why Tichy was so angry when he understood the truth behind his beyond-perfect experience of the future.

I'm glad someone on i09 recommended this book a couple months ago. I would never have tried it. ( )
  eilonwyhan | Sep 20, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stanisław Lemprimary authorall editionscalculated
Matwin-Buschmann, RoswithaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rey, LuisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The eighth world The Futurological Congress was held in Costa Rica.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0156340402, Paperback)

Bringing his twin gifts of scientific speculation and scathing satire to bear on that hapless planet, Earth, Lem sends his unlucky cosmonaut, Ijon Tichy, to the Eighth Futurological Congress. Caught up in local revolution, Tichy is shot and so critically wounded that he is flashfrozen to await a future cure. Translated by Michael Kandel.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:26 -0400)

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