I recently had a fantastic time reading both "Tales of Pirx the Pilot" and "More Tales of Pirx the Pilot" by Stanisław Lem. The stories were excellent in their sheer adventure as well as their thoughtfulness. One of the aspects of these stories that stuck on my mind was how human the characters were. By this I mean that the people of the story all had the same issues humans have today, that despite being in the settings of space and on other planets, they still had many of the same existential questions and daily struggles that are found in life today.
(This is something that I’ve enjoyed so much about Lem’s work that I have read(as well as in the stories of Ted Chiang), that the technological or fantastical aspects of the stories are not so much the center of the story, but rather they serve a much larger story that involve a broader human story. I think the speculative fiction and fantasy texts and shows/movies that I’ve most enjoyed all exhibit these qualities.)
I also found myself quite impressed that these stories of Pirx not only solicited these very probing questions for me, but that they were also highly entertaining adventures as well! So far of the texts by Lem I have read I have very much enjoyed their thoughtfulness as well as their entertainment and humor, and I am already looking forward to reading more of his works.