I can not help but root for Pirx the Pilot. Unfocused, day dreaming, and distracted at the drop of a hat, Stanislaw Lem's Pirx is a hero for all the wrong reasons. Also, I think Lem's books have amazing cover art.
It is pretty evident that Pirx is clueless. Starting as a cadet, we follow Pirx's rather successful career as a pilot and space adventurer. His commanders seem to understand his capabilities and assign him missions he can complete, but it always takes Pirx a while to figure this out. He imagines romantic scenarios around every simple mission. While he believes failure or death imminent, everything works out just fine. It isn't blind luck, Pirx puts in the effort but he doesn't trust himself. This is a very endearing read.
I've ordered a copy of More Tales of Pirx the Pilot. I bet they are just as much fun.
Tales of Pirx the Pilot by Stanislaw Lem
A decade ago, I published the first Madeline Ashby story to see print, “In Which Joe and Laurie Save Rock n’ Roll,” in Tesseracts 11; four years ago, I reviewed her outstanding debut novel, vN, and then revelled in its sequel a year later: but now, a decade later, Ashby is an overnight success, with a breakout novel about love, labor, shame, sex and Singularity cultists: Company Town.
Next April, Tor Books will publish Walkaway, the first novel I’ve written specifically for adults since 2009; it’s scheduled to be their lead title for the season and they’ve hired the brilliant designer Will Staehle (Yiddish Policeman’s Union, Darker Shade of Magic) for the cover, which Tor has just revealed.
In 1989, Canadian activist, engineer and thinker Ursula Franklin gave a series of extraordinary lectures on the politics of technology design and deployment called “The Real World of Technology.”
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