This book was given to me as a Gift (not the German kind ha ha) almost 30 years ago. I had never gotten around to reading it until just recently, when I found it buried amongst some other books.
The book, published in 1963, consists of a number of radio and television plays (Hörspiele und Fernsehspiele). My copy states that it has been translated from Polish into German by Klaus Stämmler, Charlotte Eckert, Jutta Janke and I. Zimmerman-Göllheim.
The radio play that gives the book its title ("Mondnacht"), is about two men who have been living in a station on the moon. This is a great story about human nature and survival. I was also amazed by the fact that Lem's news of the future included terrorism! In fact, this theme comes up several times in the book.
The second play is "Der Forschungsreise des Professors Tarantoga" ("The research trip of Professor Tarantoga"). He has invented a space travel machine that is simply a box on a table. He and his assistant, Chybek, visit other locations in the galaxy and encounter life forms in various stages of development.
One highly developed life form tells him: "He, Sie, wissen Sie, mit wem Sie sprechen? Vor knapp achtzehntausend Jahren seid ihr erst aus euren Höhlen gekrochen, und schon gelüstet es euch nach kosmischen Kontakten? Zwischen uns und euch liegt ein Unterschied von vierzig Millionen Jahren. Verstehen Sie? Entwickelt euch erst mal weitere neununddreißig Millionen Jahre, dann können wir miteinander reden."
At another location, nuclear war has destroyed everyone on the planet except for two robots, one of whom is so lonely that he is writing beautiful poetry (excerpt below):
"Kein Schuß wird fallen an meinem Grab,
Keines Freundes Träne, so linde...
Der Schnee wird grau, das Laub fällt ab,
Und nur der Tau perlt weinend herab
Auf mein zerbrochnes Gewinde."
In play number 3, "Der seltsame Gast des Professors Tarantoga" ("The Unusual Guest of Professor Tarantoga"), the professor receives a visitor from the future. The man has been locked in a mental institution because nobody believes him.
In Play 4, "Professor Tarantogas Sprechstunde" ("Professor Tarantoga's Consulting Hour"), the professor listens to inventors and their propositions.
Play number 6, "Der treue Roboter" ("The Loyal Robot"), is a creepy story about a robot gone amok, although it has its funny moments too.
This is the first book I have read by Stanislaw Lem. Despite its age, it is quite entertaining! As I stated above, it is in German, but if you can read German it is great reading. It would also be a good choice for a German literature class.
I thought that I would write something here because there was no description whatsoever about this book.