In summer I swim more and read more - often at the same place. This year I decided to reread Stanislav Lem's Short Story Collections - The Star Diaries, Fables for Robots and The Cyberiad - in German.
In his work Stanislav Lem explores philosophical themes, speculation on technology, the nature of intelligence and the impossibilities of mutual communication (men and machines as well as machines and machines). They are sometimes presented as fiction, in the form of essays or philosophical books. I like the short stories.
The fables for example are written in the grotesque form of folk fairy tales.
The stories are about robots living without humans all over the universe. They are about kings, electroknights and robot dragons ... nuclear giants fighting intelligent machine monsters ...
Although we know much more now (fables for robots were written 1964), I find the writing refreshing. Lem perfectly combines science fiction and fantasy elements.
I just pick the Tale of The Computer That Fought a Dragon - King Poleander Partobon had one problem that troubled him greatly: he had no enemy ... so he forced the royal engineers to build a computer that created all kind of armed enemies ... the machine created a mighty electrosaur instead ... that telegraphed that it intends to occupy the throne ... after sending waves of armies without success the king plugged in the old wise strategy machine and asked it to cast him out ... after claiming some honors the computer promised to create a theory .... and this it was: ask the dragon to divide itself by itself, then to extract his root .. panic because nothing happened ... and now to subtract itself from itself (in routine the dragon did) ... the electrosaur was no more and not nice the king wanted to disconnect the old computer ... the computer tried to transform itself into an electrosaur but failed in panic and became an electrosauce ... however the king became a different king - he engaged exclusively in civilian cybernetics, and left the military kind alone.
I compiled the story, because the way Lem writes about (weird) requirements, systems and their behavior is inspiring to me - and I'd love to see works that told stories about, say, the rules for and of programming ...