This collection of short stories centers around one character, space traveller Ijon Tichy. In these stories, Stanislaw Lem's "Candide of the Cosmos" encounters bizarre civilizations and creatures in space that serve to satirize science, the rational mind, theology, and other icons of human pride.
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Makes one think, laugh, and imagine...
It was an unexpected book, but maybe this was so because I am not as yet very familiar with Lem's works, just his popularity. It made me think of Gulliver and his travels, who by a series of encounters recalibrates his thoughs on human nature, leading him to despondency and alienation. Tichy is different in that he is terribly good-natured and not easily perturbed by what he discovers in space, time and the character of himself or other species, perhaps leaving the audience to carry the thought further. Richly imaginative, and highly recommended.