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Science-fiction book recommendations?
What's wrong with you uba? You can't settle a dispute like that here, trying to be a mediator, making sure everyone feels like they won. This isn't a kindergarten. We settle things with chainsaws and nukes here. No-one is happy until one person is lying bleeding on the floor, humiliated for all to see.
You are both correct. As a reader, knowing that Lem was ethnically Polish, and of Jewish ancestry, living and writing under the Soviets puts his work in context.
Oh, and THX Uba, I understand what you're saying...
I'm from Poland!
Lem's books are set in future, there is nothing really soviet about them (except for Astronauts). In some of them economics are more utopian, kind of communism like (no rich and poor, everybody needs are taken for).
Pirx himself is working in private space businesses, often is short of cash, other people in book are mix of nationalities - I don't see anything soviet in that.
Of course Lem couldn't write anything that would suggest that communism don't fare too well in future either.
Lem is of Jewish ancestry but was atheist. My dad was born in Lvov too, and his family was resettled to Poland shortly before 1960.
It`s a shame Lem decided before fall of communism to not write science fiction anymore.
Roadside Picnic (Stalker is based on it), Monday Begins on Saturday, and books from Noon universe - they are set in communism future, but are pretty great and not very positive, grim and dark even.
Today's best polish sf writer is Jacek Dukaj, but I don't know if anything was translated to english. This guy ideas are outstanding, and writing very good.
“I didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition”
Anybody who's serious about SF needs to do themselves a favor and read this wonderful collection of short stories by Ted Chiang: Stories of Your Life and Others. Awesome stuff. Too bad he's not any more prolific, as people would have heard more about him by now.
It reminded me of another savage look at capitalism , in K.W. Jeter's bleak novel Noir. That nasty work had white collar managers cybered to derive near-orgasmic pleasure from shaking hands with each other, and one sad character was haunted by his late wife's undead self until he could pay off her debts and put her to rest.