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Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Mortal EnginesMortal Engines by Stanisław Lem
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a long-time fan of Lem's Cyberiad, I knew I had to work my way through all of his short fiction. Mortal Engines works as a theme machine focusing almost entirely on fairy tales for machine-life sentience, and I found most of them DELICIOUSLY funny.

It's hard to do humor right, but Stanislaw Lem has the knack. Just mix real wit and wonderfully skewed perspectives and then shine a bright light on our own idiocy. Give it two shakes and perhaps a short song and voila!

People should really not blow off this old Polish master of SF. They are tight, interesting stories that often bridge the inanity of humanity with philosophy, myth, hardcore satire, and the fundamental awesomeness of speculative fiction.

I may not have fallen in love with all of these stories, but way more than half of them will remain with me for a long time, bringing a smile to my platinum-lined face.

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