concept hunting

November 2nd, 2008

Stanislaw Lem is one of my favorite science fiction authors. One of the many things you might read about him was his disdain for ‘mainstream’ sci-fi. I think he was mainly disparaging the lack of speculative fiction within the space fantasy/rehashed/reworked Tarzan/Conan/Flash Gordon pulp from the American writers. The sort of stories in which humanoid aliens attacked a scantily clad Space-Girl who could only be saved by a single Astro-Man armed with a raygun.

I make that point because Lem’s work is pretty much the extreme opposite. They aren’t simple, they aren’t heroic, they aren’t recipe driven books. His novels and stories explore our ability to acquire knowledge, to grapple with extraterrestrial encounters and intelligent life far beyond our experience, and demonstrate the silly results of humankind bringing limited knowledge to bear against the vastness of universe and cybernetics.

Google: The Futurological Congress

I happily surprised myself by doing this. The influence of this novel is widespread and inspired me to do more hunting and gathering.

what do you get when you reach the limits of your comprehension and another intelligence is confronting you?

hmm, the other issue in the book:
Science Fiction Studies
#40 = Volume 13, Part 3 = November 1986

I’ll be back later…



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