His Master's Voice by Stanislaw Lem / ISBN 9780262538459 / 259-page paperback from MIT Press
Scientists attempt to decode what may be a message from intelligent beings in outer space.
By pure chance, scientists detect a signal from space that may be communication from rational beings. How can people of Earth understand this message, knowing nothing about the senders—even whether or not they exist? Written as the memoir of a mathematician who participates in the government project (code name: His Master's Voice) attempting to decode what seems to be a message from outer space, this classic novel shows scientists grappling with fundamental questions about the nature of reality, the confines of knowledge, the limitations of the human mind, and the ethics of military-sponsored scientific research.
"Such deadly wit, such deadly playful tightrope walking…a modern European version of Swift or Voltaire.” —Peter S. Beagle, New York Times
"The release of these new volumes seems to expand the possibilities of what a university publisher can do." —LitHub
"This thorough, intellectual take on a classic hard sci-fi trope is Lem at his best." —STARRED REVIEW, Publishers Weekly
"Fourteen years after his death, the universe is still struggling to catch up with the vast creative force that was Stanisław Lem. And for my money, it won't be surpassing him anytime soon…Enjoying the genius of Lem requires readerly dexterity and a willingness to go wherever the author takes you…These marvelous, absorbing and often hilarious books make our weary universe seem pale and undistinguished by comparison." —The Washington Post
Stanisław Lem (1921–2006), a writer called “worthy of the Nobel Prize” by the New York Times, was an internationally renowned author of novels, short stories, literary criticism, and philosophical essays. His books have been translated into forty-four languages and have sold more than thirty million copies.