- "His Master's Voice is one of Lem's most polished and fully realized novels. It is told in the voice of Peter Hogarth, an eminent mathematician, who admits in the initial chapter that "the fundamental traits of my character I consider to be cowardice, malice, and pride." Hogarth recounts how he was conscripted to join the secret Master's Voice project -- several hundred scientists and researchers on an isolated desert base who are attempting to interpret an extraterrestrial message encoded in neutrino emissions. Despite some early and partial successes the efforts of the scientists to understand the message prove futile. Hogarth is drawn into intrigues between various research groups, and the unnervingly increasing influence of the Pentagon. He is eventually made aware of clandestine research into a potential side-effect of HMV, one that has the potential for a weapon of unimaginable power. Originally published in 1968, His Master's Voice holds up a mirror to Cold War politics, the alignment of military power and scientific knowledge, and human hubris. It also reflects on how unlikely it is that we could ever comprehend a message from another civilization: "Given that our civilization is unable to asilimate well even those concepts that originate in human heads when they appear outside its main current, although the creators of those concepts are, after all, children of the same age -- how colud we have assumed that we would be capable of understanding a civilization totally unlike ours, if it addressed us across the cosmic gulf?""--
- 9780262538459 paperback
- Translated from the Polish.
Originally published as Głos Pana in 1967.
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