- Series: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy
- Cover Type: Paperback with 156 pages
- Published by: Mariner Books October 28, 1985
- Written in: English
- ISBN 10 Number: 0156340402
- ISBN 13 Number: 978-0156340403
0.4 x 5.5 x 7.8 inches
- Weighs: 4.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review:
4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews 57 customer reviews
The futurologists of the world have gathered at their Eighth World Congress at the Costa Rica Hilton to discuss the problem of overpopulation. Their deliberations, however, are interrupted by a revolution which the government attempts to quell with chemical weapons. The air and water are laden with "benignimizers" and other exotic drags which send futurologist Tichy careening into a hallucinatory tomorrow. Lem's view of the overcrowded future is original and disturbing. A pessimistic, mordantly funny book, well translated from the Polish by Michael Kandel. (Kirkus Reviews
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Here I am sitting on a chair and pecking at a keyboard with a monitor and computer in front of me. At least I think so. But what if the sushi I had for lunch was spiked with a psychotropic drug that makes me believe that this typing at the keyboard activity is real? Especially when, in actual reality, I may be strung up stark naked and upside-down in a subterranean dungeon with rats gnawing at my vitals while happily thinking up what to write about Stanislaw Lem's greatest book, THE FUTUROLOGICAL CONGRESS. The reason why I believe that some of the best sci-fi since WW2 came from Eastern Europe (Lem from Poland and Boris and Arkady Strugatsky from Russia) is that the mind set of communism was conducive toward what is referred to as "aesopic writing" (The term comes from Solzhenitsyn.) If you protested anything, you were regarded as a traitor to the state; but if you wrote fables as the Greek writer Aesop did which were not set in a particular unnamed repressive regime at a particular time, you might be able to get away with it scot free. Lem had a field day by speculating on a congress who members are drugged into thinking they are drugged into acting as if they were drugged ... it goes on and on. The more or less classical beginning descends into multiple levels of questioning every level into reality, until even the most utterly solipsistic stance is questioned. By that time, you are either confused or, if you're like me, laughing your head off. As they say in another context, unreal!