The Futurological Congress (From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy)

The Futurological Congress (From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy)

Paperback(First Edition)

$12.55 $12.99 Save 3% Current price is $12.55, Original price is $12.99. You Save 3%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Friday, November 22


Bringing his twin gifts of scientific speculation and scathing satire to bear on that hapless planet, Earth, Lem sends his unlucky cosmonaut, Ijon Tichy, to the Eighth Futurological Congress. Caught up in local revolution, Tichy is shot and so critically wounded that he is flashfrozen to await a future cure. Translated by Michael Kandel.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780156340403
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 10/01/1985
Series: Ijon Tichy Series
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 584,623
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.47(d)

About the Author

Stanislaw Lem (1921-2006) was the most widely translated and best known science fiction author writing outside of the English language. Winner of the Kafka Prize, he was a contributor to many magazines, including the New Yorker, and the author of numerous works, including Solaris.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Futurological Congress: From the Memories of Ijon Tichy 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
clong on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a strange little book. It starts out with our protagonist Ijon Tichy arriving for one of group of competing conventions being held simultaneously in a massive luxury hotel in a third world nation. This leads into a very funny, almost slapstick, extended scene that brings to mind the Marx Brothers on drugs (he gets a room on the hundredth floor, which ¿had its own palm tree grove, in which an all-girl orchestra played Bach while performing a cleverly choreographed strip tease¿). Then things start to get surreally dangerous when the local revolutionaries release mind altering chemicals and start shooting real bullets and setting off real bombs. Our protagonist is shot and flash frozen to await future advances in medical technology (a similar plot device is used in Lem¿s Fiasco). When Tichy is thawed out, he finds himself in a very strange, chemically engineered utopian seeming future. But, he discovers, all is not as it seems. As in Cyberiad, Lem spends lots of time making up words to represent concepts nobody has ever thought of before (obviously, a translator¿s nightmare). And we don¿t really get much in terms of character development or action. This is definitely a novel of ideas, rooted in concerns about overpopulation, which ultimately manages to keep its dark sense of humor. Not my favorite Lem, but worth reading.
gnapp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not my kind of book. It's way too many things happening in way too few words; it's like a retelling of what happened in the book, without actually getting to see it. Some interesting ideas, but nothing more.
ChadReasco on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Was anyone else aroused during that probot scene? While I love the concept of dystopian futures, none of them usually satisfy. But this book is both hilarious and disturbing to your sense of security in society, while not attempting to moralize (afterall, why the hell would you want to do that after deconstructing morals for about two hundred pages). His obsession with puns may seem quaint, but I think this was Lem's comment on advertising which is just as relevant as Orwell's points about Newspeak. Again, the reality of politics is frightening enough. It's like listening to a They Might Be Giants album; Lem proves you can do a light-hearted nightmare.
defrog on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well, I had to try Lem after the meme gods told me to. It¿s a pretty wild ride ¿ the main character attends a conference of futurologists then ends up in the future to see what it really looks like. It¿s packed with ideas ¿ so much so that a lot of things can happen in a single paragraph, so you have to pay attention. But it¿s pretty interesting, so I may have to try Lem again sometime soon.
soylentgreen23 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lem peels back the layers of unreality so many times as he runs with his audience through this piece that it's kind of difficult to know where the story is... until about half way through he settles down and tells one. When he does, all the confusion of the first forty pages is forgiven, and what one then reads is a delight. If only it hadn't been so painful tumbling down the rabbit to get there.
rdaneel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Really good. Michael Kandel is an amazing translator. This is a story about how civilization is falling apart due to overpopulation, and the government is resorting to mass drugging to keep things under control. Quite scary, once you realize that the physical drugging can be read as a metaphor for brainwashing by the mass media.