Riots break out in Costa Rica and spill over into the Hilton, where astronaut Ijon Tichy is attending the Eighth World Futurological Congress. To quell the uprising, the government cropdusts the demonstrators with potent psychotropic 'benignimizers,' sending rioters, police, and conference attendees alike into fits of rapture. Reality and hallucination become indistinguishable in this hilarious and plausible satire that follows Tichy from the sewers below the convention center into the year 2039, where 'psychem' is ubiquitous and where the conditions on earth may not be at all what they appear.
The Futurological Congress is the fourth satirical science fiction novel in the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy series from Kafka Prize–winning author Stanislaw Lem.
“Nobody can really know the future. But few could imagine it better than Lem.”??—??Paris Review
Bringing his twin gifts of scientific speculation and scathing satire to bear on that hapless planet, Earth, Lem sends his unlucky cosmonaut, Ijon Tichy, to the Eighth Futurological Congress. Caught up in local revolution, Tichy is shot and so critically wounded that he is flashfrozen to await a future cure??—??a future whose strangeness exceeds anything the congress conjectured.
Translated by Michael Kandel.
“A vision of Earth’s future where the authorities dose the population with ‘psychemicals’ to make life in a desperately over-populated world worth living.”??—??Boston Globe
About the Author
Stanislaw Lem (1921-2006) was the most widely translated and best known science fiction author writing outside of the English language. Winner of the Kafka Prize, he was a contributor to many magazines, including the New Yorker, and the author of numerous works, including Solaris.