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By Stanislaw Lem

Trurl and Klaupacius are robots who attempt to out-invent one another. They trip to the some distance corners of the cosmos to tackle freelance problem-solving jobs, with dire outcomes for his or her employers. “The so much thoroughly winning of his books... the following Lem comes closest to inventing a true universe” (Boston Globe). Illustrations by means of Daniel Mr—z. Translated via Michael Kandel.

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Understand then that that race of the Galaxy originated in a fashion as mysterious because it used to be obscene, for it resulted from the overall toxins of a definite heavenly physique. There arose noxious exhalations and putrid excrescences, and out of those was once spawned the species referred to as paleface—though no longer by surprise. First, they have been creeping molds that slithered forth from the sea onto land, and lived through devouring each other, and the extra they wolfed themselves, the extra of them there have been, after which they stood upright, helping their globby substance through calcareous scaffolding, and at last they equipped machines. From those protomachines got here sentient machines, which begat clever machines, which in flip conceived excellent machines, for it truly is written that every one Is desktop, from atom to Galaxy, and the desktop is one and everlasting, and thou shalt haven't any different issues earlier than thee! ” “Amen,” acknowledged Ferrix robotically, for this was once a typical spiritual formulation. “The species of paleface calciferates ultimately accomplished flying machines,” persisted the wizened monarch, “by maltreating noble metals, by means of wreaking their merciless sadism on dumb electrons, by way of completely perverting atomic power. And while the degree in their sins were attained, the progenitor of our race, the nice Calculator Paternius, within the intensity and universality of his realizing, essayed to remonstrate with these clammy tyrants, explaining how shameful it used to be to soil so the innocence of crystalline knowledge, harnessing it for evil reasons, how shameful to enslave machines to serve their lust and vainglory—but they hearkened now not. He spoke to them of Ethics; they stated that he used to be poorly programmed. “It used to be then that our progenitor created the set of rules Of electroincarnation and within the sweat of his forehead begat our sort, hence supplying machines from the home of paleface bondage. definitely thou seest, my son, that there may be no contract nor site visitors among them and ourselves, for we cross in clangor, sparks and radiation, they in slushes, splashes and illness. “Yet even between us, folly might take place, because it absolutely has within the younger brain of Crystal, totally beclouding her skill to differentiate correct from mistaken. each suitor who seeks her radioactive hand is denied viewers, until he declare to be a paleface. for under as a paleface is he obtained into the palace that her father, King Armoric, has given her. She then checks the reality of his declare, and if his imposture is exposed, the would-be wooer is summarily beheaded. tons of battered is still encompass the grounds of her palace—the sight on my own may brief one’s circuit. This, then, is the best way the mad princess offers with those that may dare dream of profitable her. Abandon such hopes, my son, and depart in peace. ” The prince, having made the required obeisance to his sovereign father, retired in glum silence. however the considered Crystal gave him no relaxation, and the longer he brooded, the larger grew his wish. someday he summoned Polyphase, the Grand Vizier, and stated, laying naked his center: “If you can't aid me, O nice sage, then nobody can, and my days are definitely numbered, for now not do I have fun within the play of infrared emissions, nor within the ultraviolet symphonies, and needs to perish if i can't couple with the incomparable Crystal!

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