Hello fellow southern hemisphericals! Well, winter is in full swing here in Melbourne, and today in particular an icy wind has been blowing through town. I spent my lunch hour huddled over my laptop in a cafe that was actually very cold - right up until they turned on their air conditioner, at which point it became very hot. It is hard to type or to write when your fingers are chilly, and clutching a hot coffee helps, but hardly gets any work done. It has been several months since I last tackled any fiction, either reading or writing - although that isn't exactly true, as I have been working my way through the unabridged audio books of Stanislaw Lem, that master of science fiction.
His work is magical, and somehow universal, or timeless - a quality that is all too lacking in much fiction today, and, it seems, science fiction in particular. The Polish Lem's tales, and really they are almost fables or myths, remind me of Italo Calvino at his most lyrical, when he is mining the rich vein of Italian Folktales. I have heard Lem's Cyberiad described as 'Aesop's fables for the cybernetic age', and that is a fitting description. I highly recommend any of his works. Google recently honoured him with a doodle on their home page: this is where the sketch above come from.