Author(s): Stanislaw Lem
"A fantastic book." --Steven Soderbergh
When psychologist Kris Kelvin arrives at the planet Solaris to study the ocean that covers its surface, he finds himself confronting a painful memory embodied in the physical likeness of a past lover. Kelvin learns that he is not alone in this and that other crews examining the planet are plagued with their own repressed and newly real memories. Could it be, as Solaris scientists speculate, that the ocean may be a massive neural center creating these memories, for a reason no one can identify?
Long considered a classic, Solaris asks the question: Can we understand the universe around us without first understanding what lies within?
"A novel that makes you reevaluate the nature of intelligence itself." --Anne McCaffrey
A psychologist, Kelvin, is sent to a station on the ocean-covered planet Solaris to determine whether to terminate the mission because of lack of progress and a high rate of insanity. The station is beset by strange occurrences and appearances, including, eventually, the presence of Kelvin’s dead wife. As the scientists futilely attempt to observe the planet, the sentient planet is seemingly probing their psyches, giving form to their fears and desires. Ultimately, no communication is possible: all interaction with the Other is nothing but reflection, all observation reveals nothing but the observer. Containing passages of weird beauty and compelling philosophical speculation, this science fiction novel makes provocative points about the insularity of our (largely illusionary) realities and the impossibility of experiencing anything beyond ourselves.
Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1972 film can be seen here. - Thomas
The classic sci-fi novel in a beautiful new edition.
Born in 1921 in Lvov, Poland, Stanislaw Lem is the prolific and versatile author of novels, short stories, literary criticism, philosophy, parodies and screenplays. Lem is the recipient of many literary awards, most notably the State Prize for Literature in Poland (1976) and the Austrian State Award for European Literature (1985).