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  1. #16
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
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    I have finally received my illustrated copy of the Cyberiad (took nearly two months!) and will read a story or two and give some initial thoughts later
    ....
    Well, I've just had time to read the first story about the machine that only makes things beginning with n. Instantly loved it - I love his style (the translator has done a superb job) and the off-hand way in which big ideas are thrown around with humorous consequences reminded me a lot of a book I've just read, The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien.

    If the rest of the stories are as good I'll be more than happy, though I feel it would be a good book to read now and again, rather than all in one go.

    Happy New Year, everyone.
    Last edited by Ropie; December 31st, 2005 at 12:52 PM. Reason: read a story..

  2. #17
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    I finally received my copy from amazon.com. My order was held up for nearly two months while they were deciding they couldn't fill a part of the order after all. So I'll get started reading and posting some comments.

  3. #18
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    I've now read the first ten stories, and I am really enjoying it. Maybe it's because I just read four heavy, dense, dark novels and I was ready for a change of pace. Maybe it's because I thrive on silly nonsense in general, and the mock epic in particular (as demonstrated by the string of silly parodies of famous poems I have contributed to the volleyball writing thread over at iblist). I particularly loved the story about the poetry machine. And I'll admit that a couple have dragged bit. It probably goes without saying that it is completely different in tone from other Lem that I have read (Fiasco, Solaris, His Master's Voice), so I hope those of you who didn't like it won't cross Lem of your list.

    I'll post additional comments after I finish.
    Last edited by clong; February 5th, 2006 at 05:01 PM.

  4. #19
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clong
    It probably goes without saying that it is completely different in tone from other Lem that I have read (Fiasco, Solaris, His Master's Voice), so I hope those of you who didn't like it won't cross Lem of your list.
    I agree. I've still only read the first five stories but each one has been interesting and amusing, light and yet intelligent, and quite different to the other Lems I've read (Eden & The Investigation). I enjoy reading one every now and again when other books start to drag a little.

    I love his writing and he can really do no wrong as far as I'm concerned!
    Last edited by Ropie; February 13th, 2006 at 10:44 AM.

  5. #20
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    If Dr. Seuss had a doctorate in physics, astronomy, and mathematics - and dropped a lot of acid - these are the types of stories he would have written.

    After reading the first book in the collection, How the World was Saved, I seriously wondered whether I would be able to suffer through the rest. Despite the fun complexity of the language, I thought the story itself was worthy of a creative writing seminar. However, I pressed on and, despite the two less-than-impressive stories that followed, Trurl's Machine and A Good Shellacking, I began to enjoy the collection and came away very impressed not only with some of Lam's outlandish concepts (that, despite their over-the-top treatments, still contained a grounding in some theoretical truths) but with Michael Kandel's translation in particular. My polish is a little rusty (non-existent) so I'm unable make comparisons to the original, but the language of the narrative - with all of its alliterations - was incredible.

    My favorite stories: The Dragons of Probability, and Prince Ferrix and the Princess Crystal.

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