- Also check our best rated Children’s Book reviews
Mortal Engines (Predator Cities) Paperback – 7 Jun 2012
|New from||Used from|
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"Wildly imaginative, full of marvelous details, humor, and grand adventures." -- KLIATT --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
There is a distinct break in tone in this collection - which I discovered afterwards is due to this being a collection of Lem’s collection ‘Fables for Robots’ with a couple of other stories on robots from Lem’s other writings tacked on at the end.
The early tales are, as you might imagine, from their source collection ‘Fables for Robots’ fairy tale like and enchanting tales of a universe of robots in a universe free (mostly) of humans. I have never come across anything like them in SF. Lem is very much the author who could pull that idea off well, and he does so.
The tone then changes for the tacked on stories at the of the collection but be very grateful that they are tacked on as one of them, ‘Mask’, is the most memorable, and haunting tales of the whole collection.
As with the Cyberiad the translator's work conveys both emotion and humour and some passages are great fun; I enjoyed:
"‘True, the imperfection of biological evolution’, I began, but he didn’t let me finish. ‘Imperfection?!’he snorted. ‘Droppings! Trash! An outright botch-job! If you can’t do something right, you shouldn’t do it at all!’ ‘Not that I want to make excuses’, I said quickly, ‘but Nature, don’t forget, worked with what it had at hand. In the primordial sea …’‘Garbage floated!!’he roared so loud, I winced. ‘Isn’t that right? A star exploded, planets formed, and from the dregs, which couldn’t be used for anything, from those gobbets and scraps life arose! Enough, no more! No more of these pudgy suns, inane galaxies, this mucilage that has a soul –enough!’"
Which is part of a general working out of the Evidential Problem of Evil in the text, the sense the Universe is rather less than one might expect from a provident creator. Lem clearly enjoyed philosophy and there are passages where I'd hazard he enjoyed Hume.
Passages in which human creations struggle with an internal thought process and existential worry about who or what they are and what freedom they have are reminiscent of Blade Runner.
Having said that some passages dragged: The Mask (particularly) could have been shorter.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews