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Author: Muth, Jon J.
In this graphic adaptation of a story by Stanislaw Lem, a meteoroid damages astronaut and space traveler Ijon's spaceship, and he finds himself caught in a time loop, contending with past and future versions of himself.
Kirkus Reviews (08/01/19)
School Library Journal (08/01/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2019 Muth, a long-standing fan of Lem’s sf stories, here offers a lushly illustrated adaptation of one of the Polish author’s many Ijon Tichy adventures. Tichy, alone on his ship, is trying to repair a broken rudder, but a design flaw means he can’t do it himself. He’s hurtling through space with little control, so what’s he to do? A somewhat fortuitous trip through a field of gravitational vortices presents a solution, albeit a very complicated one: as time folds over on itself, new versions of Tichy appear, though he’s not as cooperative as he hoped he might be. Muth’s atmospheric watercolor artwork gives an astounding sense of space. Vast expanses of darkness dotted with pale stars are the backdrops for Tichy’s retro, tin-can-like spaceship, and Tichy himself, rendered in aqueous watercolors, has a charmingly limber look, which becomes increasingly comical as more and more Tichys appear at various ages. While this is a bit more sophisticated than the usual middle-grade graphic novel, space-mad kids who love arguing about the paradoxes of time travel will likely be wholly on board. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2019 Gr 4–8—Ijon Tichy is traveling through deep space when his ship's rudder breaks. He realizes he'll need two people to repair it, but he is alone. That is, until his ship enters a field of gravitational vortices that create time loops (which reverse time and duplicate the present), and he finds himself on a ship full of his own doppelgangers. If only he can convince another of his selves to cooperate, fixing the rudder will be simple. But tragically, and comically, all the Ijon Tichys do is argue with one another about everything from free will and the fixed nature of time to who gets the omelet and the last of the chocolate. This is a parody of paradoxical time travel, a deep space slapstick story, illustrated in delicate watercolors. The panels vary from full- and double-page layouts of dramatic cosmic scenes to multipaneled action shots that highlight the protagonist's confusion and anxiety. Most pages have both descriptive explanations and occasional, well-placed speech bubbles, but the vocabulary and sentence structure of the text may be difficult for some readers—Lem often plays with words and writes elaborately and idiomatically, which can be a challenge to translate. VERDICT A sly commentary on human social inadequacies that, depending on readers' tastes and insight, will be either totally hilarious or a bit perplexing and tedious, since readers end up learning about the same events again and again, from different perspectives. A colorful introduction to a brilliant science fiction author—Lem's visions of the future and Muth's art are a perfect match.—Kelley Gile, Cheshire Public Library, CT - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.