Month: November 2011

His Master’s Voice, by Stanislaw Lem

Here we have more of Stanislaw Lem’s tragic scientists, deep characters whose interactions read like a novel of manners from another dimension.

His Masters Voice can feel like a series of disconnected essays on grand themes, but the whole thing adds up to a wrenching statement about the impossibility of knowledge in a vast universe. The patchwork of ideas in this book fuses with a weird, white hot intensity that will move you, despite yourself.

It’s sad that the Nobel Prize eluded the author, who will surely be remembered as one of the great souls of his age. Reading his books informs people what it was like to be a sensitive, thinking person alive in the latter half of the twentieth century, even if most of his stories take place on other planets or in other dimensions.