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HMH, Jul 18, 2012 - Literary Criticism - 312 pages
The author of Solaris critiques science fiction in a collection of provocative essays.

Celebrated science fiction master Stanislaw Lem turns his always sharp and insightful pen to criticism in this bold and controversial analysis of the genre for which he is most known. In this collection of ten essays—ranging from an introspective examination of his own biographical and literary history to biting scrutiny of fellow authors and their works—Lem takes a keen look at the influence, shortcomings, merit, and importance of science fiction, touching on topics from Philip K. Dick (“a genius among the charlatans”) to time travel, cosmology, and Jorge Luis Borges.
Whether deriding the genre’s tendency to adhere to well-worn patterns of adventure or lauding its ability to, when executed correctly, discover ideas that have not been thought of or done before, Lem’s quick wit, razor tongue, and impeccable insights make Microworlds a master class of scientific and literary analysis from one of the undisputed legends of science fiction.

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User Review  - delta351 - LibraryThing

Lem has a pretty extensive vocabulary, and this book is at times difficult to read. You need a dictionary close by, because he uses a lot of 5 syllable words, some of which he either made up or are ... Read full review


Reflections on My Life
On the Structural Analysis of Science Fiction
A Hopeless Casewith Exceptions
A Visionary Among the Charlatans
The TimeTravel Story and Related Matters of ScienceFiction Structuring
The Possibilities of Science Fiction
Cosmology and Science Fiction
Todorovs Fantastic Theory of Literature
Unitas Oppositorum The Prose of Jorge Luis Borges
About the Strugatskys Roadside Picnic
Back Matter
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About the author (2012)

Stanislaw Lem is the most widely translated and best-known science fiction author outside of the English language. Winner of the Kafka Prize, he is a contributor to many magazines, including the New Yorker, and the author of numerous books, including Solaris.

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