Stanislaw Lem has to be one of the best science fiction writers out there. Actually, I wouldn’t categorize him simply as an sf writer. He’s a great writer period. The human element is front and center, with a science fictional background. The writing is first-rate. What’s most amazing is that Lem’s grasp of technology is *also* first-rate and his explanations of that technology so detailed. (Many sf writers don’t really know what they’re talking about.)

These two volumes of Pirx tales follow the pilot from a 19-year-old cadet to a 50-something old timer. Some of them read like detective stories. Many revolve around the theme of robot-human interaction. In fact, much of “More Tales ...” is like an updated I Robot (except Lem is a better writer than Asimov). A story like “Ananke” (from “More Tales ...”) is Borges quality (really!). If you like literary science fiction, these are must reads. (Solaris is also incredible.)