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Соларис
Print Edition
ISBN
978-954-529-510-2
Price
12.00 lv.
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Rating (1)
5 1
Format
Paperback
Size
13/20
Weight
270 gr.
Pages
234
Published
30 May 2007

Solaris

The novel is about the ultimately futile attempt to communicate with an alien life-form on a distant planet. The planet, called Solaris, is covered with a so-called "ocean" that is really a single organism covering the entire surface. The ocean shows signs of a vast but strange intelligence, which can create physical phenomena in a way that science has difficulty explaining. The alien mind of Solaris is so inconceivably different from human consciousness that all attempts for communication are doomed (the "alienness" of aliens was one of Lem's favourite themes; he was scornful about portrayals of aliens as humanoid).

The novel begins with the arrival of the protagonist, Kris Kelvin, at a scientific research station hovering above the surface of Solaris. Research has been ongoing for years, but scientists have been unable to do more than observe the highly complex phenomena on the surface of the ocean, all the while classifying them into an elaborate nomenclature without understanding what they actually mean. When the protagonist and his colleagues become more aggressive in trying to force contact with Solaris, the experiment becomes psychologically traumatic for the researchers themselves. The ocean's response, such as it is, lays bare their own personalities, while revealing nothing of the ocean's. To the extent that the ocean's actions can be understood, the ocean begins experimenting with the researchers' minds by confronting them with their most painful and repressed thoughts and memories through the materialization of complex human constructs: the protagonist is confronted with memories of his deceased wife and his guilt over her suicide. What torments the other researchers is only hinted at (as they are careful to conceal it) but it appears to be much worse.

About the Author
Stanisław  Lem

Stanisław Lem (September 12, 1921 – March 27, 2006) was a Polish science fiction, philosophical and satirical writer. His books have been translated into 41 languages and have been sold in over 27 million copies. At one point, he was the most widely read non-English-language science fiction author in the world.

His works explore philosophical themes; speculation on technology, the nature of intelligence, the impossibility of mutual communication and understanding, despair about human limitations and humankind's place in the universe. They are sometimes presented as fiction, to avoid both trappings of academic life and limitations of readership and scientific style, but others are in the form of essays or philosophical books. Translations of his works are difficult; Michael Kandel's translations into English have generally been praised as capturing the spirit of the original.

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Print Edition
Print Edition
ISBN
978-954-529-510-2
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Price
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(12.00 lv.)

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