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The Cyberiad Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; 1 edition (December 16, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156027593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156027595
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A Jorge Luis Borges for the Space Age New York Times

Language Notes

Text: English, Polish (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Stanislaw Lem is the most widely translated and best known science fiction author writing outside of the English language. Winner of the Kafka Prize, he is a contributor to many magazines, including the New Yorker, and he is the author of numerous works, including Solaris.

Customer Reviews

The Cyberiad is the type of book worth reading over and over again, since there's just so much to get out of it.
C. Adam Kuhn [cgkuhn@voicenet.com]
Very biting humor and a delight to read, I highly recommend this book even for those who don't particularly like science fiction.
Doug Dandridge
It contains great word play, clever ideas, and the ability to make you wonder about the limitless value of the world.
Maggie the Lizard Tamer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 71 people found the following review helpful By GeoX on January 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
Imagine a mixture of Borges, Calvino, Saint-Exupéry, Pynchon, Douglas Adams, Samuel Beckett, L. Frank Baum, Dr. Seuss, Lewis Caroll, and perhaps a little Philip K. Dick. That's what this is like, sort of. It is a collection of stories, some profound, others 'merely' entertaining, written by a man who was clearly drunk on sheer linguistic exuberance. The sheer virtuosity of the language is breathtaking: the book is packed to the gills with puns, rhymes, nonsense words, and general verbal japery. Huge amounts of credit must of course go to the translator, Michael Kandel, on this score. I wish the book included translation notes; he must have had to rebuild innumerable language formations from scratch in order to make them work--and work dazzlingly well--in English. Particularly impressive in this regard are 'The Fifth Sally (A), or Trurl's Prescription,' a delightful bit of frippery driven almost entirely by verbal dexterity; and an extraordinary mathematical love poem related in 'The First Sally (A), or Trurl's Electric Bard.' The centerpiece of the collection, however, must surely be the 'Tale of the Three Storytelling Machines of King Genius,' which, as you would expect, includes a flurry of internal stories, some of which in turn have stories inside them. One of these internal stories, that of Mymosh the Self-Begotten, is in my opinion the book's highlight. If Sam Beckett had turned his hand to science fiction, this is what he would have written. It's as strange and unsettling as any of Sam's short novels. Finally, some mention must be made of the highly stylized illustrations by Daniel Mroz scattered throughout the book; they complement the action to perfection.
Lem is clearly having fun with The Cyberiad, and it's contagious.
Read more ›
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 23, 1996
Format: Paperback
More than anyone else, Stanislaw Lem
understands the unique potential of the Science Fiction
genre. His
depictions of non-human intelligences, whether alien or
artificial, are consistently compelling. His insight into
humanity and our role in the Cosmos is unmatched (at least
among SF authors). As far as I can tell, Lem has never
written a bad book, and his reservoir of fresh ideas is
limitless.

However, this is a review of a book, not an author :-),
so...

I have read and enjoyed most of Lem's work, but I still go
back and re-read The Cyberiad every year or so. I always
hope to find something new, and I am never disappointed. It
amazes me to see how many of the deepest ideas from Lem's
other books are echoed somewhere in these stories. And
their style is Lem's best: The futuristic "fable", mixing
intellectual slapstick, brilliant wordplay, and deep
philosophy as only Lem can.

I guarantee The Cyberiad will make you laugh hard and think
harder. What more could you want from your reading?
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
First, the Cyberiad is an absolute hoot. It works on the highest literary levels with humor and insight. My only complaint is that Lem didn't write more of these cyber fables (I've got almost everything he's written that's been translated over the years and he's written quite a lot in this vein nd IT IS NOT ENOUGH - I WANT MORE!!). He's probably most famous for his book Solaris which I found an intriguing bore (personal taste only and could be a bad translation since I don't read in his native Polish). People who read Solaris as their first Lem book will find little in common with the Cyberiad. I avoided Lem for years because I pegged him as the author of Solaris and didn't realize what a virtuoso author he was. He will never win the Nobel because he's been stamped as a "Science Fiction" writer, sort of like Vonnegut, Le Guin, and Philip K. Dick are/were. He's different from all of them ... Read Solaris, The Invincible, and the Cyberiad and you'll see the range of his skills (good and bad). An aside: I was astounded when my 9 year old picked up the Cyberiad and read it obviously not getting a lot of the finer points) and then asked if he could find more books about Trurl and friends. He thought it was one of the funniest things he's read (and he likes the Harry Potter books also). Now, I wouldn't recommend Lem to most 9 year olds ...
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
I am baffled at how the previous reviewer could reduce the Cyberiad to a collection of name puns and logarithms jokes. The Cyberiad was sophisticated, humorous, profound and utterly original. Witness the pastoral poem on love and tensor algebra (with a little topology and higher calculus): Come let us hasten to a higher plane/ Where dyads tread the fairy fields of Venn/ Their indices bedecked from one to n/ Commingled in an endless Markov chain." And even though Lem wrote the Cyberiad in Polish, the translation is excellent - there is no caveman like grammer! I'm a fan of the Herbert-Niven school of science fiction but the Cyberiad showed me that science fiction can be so much more than the ubermensch and space battles. I think the comparison to Swift is apt though Lem doesn't have Swift's um, bathroom humor. Some stories reminded me of the Canterbury Tales. I think Lem is a far superior humor writer than Douglas Adams (why is he so famous?) whose Hitchhiker's Guide trilogy is threadbare and juvenile compared to the Cyberiad. Anyway, to the point: dear reader, please purchase The Cyberiad, it is in a class of its own.
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