Sad news

Stanislaw Lem died today.

For those not in the know, he's a Polish sci-fi writer. His stories, the ones I've read anyway, are fairly straightforward spaceshippy stuff, but his style is literary and, well, inimitable. Here's a taste to whet your appetite, the opening lines of the short story "Pirx's Tale."

Sci-fi? Sure, I like it, but only the trashy stuff. Not so much trashy as phony. The kind I can dip into between shifts, read a few pages at a time, and then drop. Oh, I read good books too, but only Earthside. Why that is, I don't really know. Never stopped to analyze it. Good books tell the truth even when they're about things that never have been and never will be. They're truthful in a different way. When they talk about outer space, they make you feel the silence, so unlike the Earthly kind -- and the lifelessness. Whatever the adventures, the message is always the same: humans will never feel at home out there. Earth has something random fickle about it -- here a tree, there a wall or garden, over the horizon another horizon, beyond the mountain a valley . . . but not out there.

As soon as the kids are in bed I think I'll cuddle up on the couch and read the rest. Yum!


  • I seem to recall reading Solaris as a teenager and being confused but fascinated. Maybe I should try the movie.

    posted by Anonymous Sylvia on 11:35 PM  

  • Since you're a Lem fan, Bookie, would you happen to know his story about coincidence, the one in which he describes the convergence of various fortuities and the result thereof?

    Yes? What's the title?

    Or did I already ask you this once before?

    posted by Anonymous Fatherworm on 10:43 PM