Stanislaw Lem
Fiasco Cover

Smart Speculative Fiction, but carried on weak Characters


Lem's Fiasco eschews deep character evolution for long-winded speculations about aliens and first contact. This is not to say that the long-winded speculation wasn't interesting; it is without a doubt a smart book with intriguing speculation on the perils and particulars of first contact. It is not character driven, however, and quickly became a slog for me. In fact, the characters are secondary, ciphers for Lem to deliver his speculative speeches. In the end, it's a book I enjoyed vastly more while thinking about its message and implications than I enjoyed while reading it.