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The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem
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The Cyberiad (original 1965; edition 2002)

by Stanislaw Lem (Author)

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2,146285,055 (4.16)43
Trurl and Klaupacius are constructor robots who try to out-invent each other. They travel to the far corners of the cosmos to take on freelance problem-solving jobs, with dire consequences for their employers. "The most completely successful of his books... here Lem comes closest to inventing a real universe" (Boston Globe). Illustrations by Daniel Mr--z. Translated by Michael Kandel.… (more)
Member:j_aroche
Title:The Cyberiad
Authors:Stanislaw Lem (Author)
Info:Harvest Books (2002), Edition: 1, 312 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:fiction, robots

Work details

The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age by Stanisław Lem (1965)

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» See also 43 mentions

English (25)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
While I was initially tempted to treat this collection of 1965 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! As I read this, I gave a constant chuckle-rumble, especially with the Seven Sallies of Trurl and Klapaucius. These two master-builder robots get along with their wits and near-infinite capability to make things. Anything. And they are tricksters. Very funny tricksters.

The one time that Trurl made a poetry machine, I was f***ing spoiled by some of the best math poetry I've ever read, and here's the kicker: This was translated from Polish. Hell, it was translated into several dozen languages. But the English translation retained ALL its flavor. :) It was honestly funny.

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.

I admit I've read a number of things *like* this, but never to this one's high quality. This is a perfect cure for grimdark malaise. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
I didn't end up finishing this book. For about a third of the way through I found it utterly charming--the old sci-fi clunkiness, cheesy puns and the fairy-tale style--then the second third got more and more repetitive, and then I decided I'd read enough. I'd recommend any one or two of the stories in this, but it really didn't have enough ideas to sustain it through the whole collection. ( )
  eldang | Apr 16, 2020 |
A set of nested and interconnected tales of Constructors Trurl and Klapaucius. The stories are told in a fairy-tale or fable-like way but with technical and science-fictional terms and amusing wordplay. There are stories within stories, as in the Arabian Nights. Most of the protagonists are robots. ( )
  questbird | Dec 15, 2019 |
I just don't understand rating this 5 stars by so many folks; I found it boring, trite and a struggle to stay engaged. A writer trying to be funny and philosophical but ends up just being annoying. I try hard not to abandon books but this one came close. ( )
  troyengel | Sep 8, 2019 |
This book is so goofy! On one hand, it's a short story collection with consistent characters and something close to resembling a plot that ties everything together. On the other, it's an entire book of unapologetic technobabble.

Billed as a book of fables, and as such the morals of the stories are pretty heavy-handed. But since we have a lot of them with the same two folks there's a surprising amount of character development, even if there's an infinitesimal amount in each individual story.

The technobabble is great. You can dip in and out of it as you read - if you're feeling like reading some clever nonsense it's fun, and if you're not, you can skim through it knowing that most of it is just for flavor anyways.

In many ways this reminds me of Labyrinths by Borges, but I liked this book and didn't like that one. I think the difference was this: when reading Labyrinths I felt like the author was so proud of how clever the ideas in his stories were, and the Cyberiad is mercilessly skewering cleverness at every turn. ( )
1 vote haagen_daz | Jun 6, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lem, Stanisławprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
義治, 村手翻訳secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fernandes, StanislawCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kandel, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kannosto, MattiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mróz, DanielIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rey, LuisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
昭三, 吉上翻訳secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Żył raz pewien wielki konstruktor-wynalazca, który nie ustając, wymyślał urządzenia niezwykłe i najdziwniejsze stwarzał aparaty.
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