His Master's Voice by Stanisław Lem
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a fascinatingly different kind of book. Not easily classifiable in the slightest. But here goes: the book reads like an autobiography of a scientist that was involved in a late 60's discovery of alien life, a message written in neutrinos, and the massive efforts across the world to decipher it.
Here's the thing: it's not a direct A to B story. Indeed, it reads like a real scientist's musings, a polymath, going through all the possible ideas, pitfalls of thought, philosophy, even the math that might go wrong or lead them all down dark alleyways of speculation.
Well now, that wasn't so bad. Was it?
But I should still underline the fact that the whole book reads like the smart but rambling musings of a polymath setting himself on the most important question of their time. As SF, it's extremely thought-provoking and reminds me a lot of what Sagan's Contact eventually became. As a history of science or an autobiography, it's complicated and dense and wonderful. As a story, it is what it is and doesn't pretend to be anything but a brilliant ramble.
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