Mortal Engines is a selection of the best of Stanislaw Lem's extraordinary miniature space epics, chosen by his heroic translator Michael Kandel, who has somehow battled through Lem's jokes, parodies, fabricated technological terms and unreliable robots and brilliantly converted them from Polish into English. Encompassing his Fables for Robots and stories from his protagonists Ijon Tichy (from The Star Diaries) and Pirx the Pilot, this is a highly entertaining but also deeply alarming view of the glories and absurdities of Outer Space.
'A virtuoso storyteller ... a Jorge Luis Borges for the Space Age' The New York Times
'He was a robot-hypochondriac. On his squeaking cart he carried a complete set of spare parts.'
A freighter pilot leads a manhunt across the Moon for a robot gone berserk; a shapeshifting assassin falls in love with the man she's programmed to kill; a paranoid King converts his kingdom into his artificial mind, but his dreams rebel. These stories range from surreal fables that satirically turn the fairy tale on its head, to longer works including the man vs. robot thriller, 'The Hunt', and possibly fiction's strangest love story, 'The Mask'. InMortal Engines Stanislaw Lem lays bare humanity's clash with machines, masterfully exploring science fiction's furthest frontiers.
“A virtuoso storyteller”
The New York Times