The Cyberiad (2002, Harvest/HBJ Book) 4 stars

Review of 'The Cyberiad' on 'GoodReads'

4 stars

This book is so goofy! On one hand, it's a short story collection with consistent characters and something close to resembling a plot that ties everything together. On the other, it's an entire book of unapologetic technobabble.

Billed as a book of fables, and as such the morals of the stories are pretty heavy-handed. But since we have a lot of them with the same two folks there's a surprising amount of character development, even if there's an infinitesimal amount in each individual story.

The technobabble is great. You can dip in and out of it as you read - if you're feeling like reading some clever nonsense it's fun, and if you're not, you can skim through it knowing that most of it is just for flavor anyways.

In many ways this reminds me of Labyrinths by Borges, but I liked this book and didn't like that one. I think the difference was this: when reading Labyrinths I felt like the author was so proud of how clever the ideas in his stories were, and the Cyberiad is mercilessly skewering cleverness at every turn.