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Solaris by Lem Stanislaw
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Solaris (original 1961; edition 2003)

by Lem Stanislaw

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3,535691,495 (3.88)1 / 183
Member:tribalwolf
Title:Solaris
Authors:Lem Stanislaw
Info:Faber and Faber (2003), Edition: Tie-In - Film, Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**
Tags:Science fiction

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Solaris by Stanisław Lem (1961)

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English (54)  Spanish (3)  Italian (3)  French (2)  German (2)  Portuguese (1)  Dutch (1)  Russian (1)  Hungarian (1)  Slovak (1)  All languages (69)
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
Solaris combines dense, wonderfully imaginative, fictional science with philosophical musings on the human condition, particularly on the topic of loss. My own inexperience with loss made large swaths of the book emotionally inaccessible. Thus, the mediocre rating. It would be worth re-visiting this book later in life. ( )
  The_Kat_Cache | Jul 23, 2014 |
The Tarkovski film has haunted me for 30 years so when I managed to get both the book and film simultaneously I thought I'd read the book first.
At over 3 hours the Tarkovsky film felt longer than the book, but I was absorbed and intrigued by both. John skimmed the book and dropped the film after 2 hours. He says it took the film for him to realise the book was an analogy of the Soviet state (the planet). I think there's much more to it than that and like most good things, they are not spelled out directly. Both the book and film are likely to resonate within me for ages - too soon to pronounce yet. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jun 17, 2014 |
This is the classic gothic horror haunted house story revisited with an SF twist. It's a testament to the obtuseness of mankind, particularly unemotional, Cold-War era, scientific man. Three scientists on the remote planet Solaris seek contact with the lone enormous sensate creature occupying it -- the ocean. All sorts of experiments are tried over a century or more, but the planet and the humans never achieve, at least to the humans' satisfaction, adequate evidence of a measurable intellectual exchange. The ocean busies itself morphing into these massive shapes -- geometic, organic, and otherwise -- which strike the reader as expressive, but which are nevertheless inarticulate in human terms. When the scientists start bombarding the ocean with xrays, for lack of a better idea, the planet sends to each of them a visitor from an emotionally charged period of their own lives. The simulacra are derived from their memories and dreams. Kris Kelvin has just arrived on the planet. In his case, the simulacrum assumes the identical physical appearance and personality of his late wife, Rheya, who took her own life years before. The simulacra obviously constitute contact of a very high order, an enormously rich opportunity, it seems to me, to communicate one on one with the entity. But the horrified scientists never see that. They never talk to their visitors. They never come clean. Their fear drives them, purely fear, so all they can think of is a way to destroy the visitors. Therefore, they miss their chance. How sick and sad is that? This reader came to understand what was necessary after about page 100 or so. Yet the book drones on for another hundred pages. The novel is imaginative, certainly, but it runs out of ideas far too soon. The scientists never get it. One grows disgusted with them. The book never seems to end. ( )
  William345 | Jun 11, 2014 |
Reading this in 2014 I just couldn't get into it, did not care enough to finish the book. ( )
  Tom_D | May 21, 2014 |
3 stars instead of 4 because...I liked the book and the story but, there were some very dry, text-like sections, that made me lose interest and kinda, zone-out. ( )
  CaliSoleil | Mar 5, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (138 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stanisław Lemprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bolzoni, E.Translatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cox, SteveTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kilmartin, JoannaTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnston, BillTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Juliani, AlessandroNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Olszewski, JanuszCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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At 19.00 hours, ship's time, I made my way to the launching bay.  The men around the shaft stood aside to let me pass, and I climbed down into the capsule.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Telling of humanity's encounter with an alien intelligence on the planet Solaris, the 1961 novel is a cult classic, exploring the ultimate futility of attempting to communicate with extra-terrestrial life.

When Kris Kelvin arrives at the planet Solaris to study the ocean that covers its surface, he finds a painful, hitherto unconscious memory embodied in the living physical likeness of a long-dead lover. Others examining the planet, Kelvin learns, are plagued with their own repressed and newly corporeal memories. The Solaris ocean may be a massive brain that creates these incarnate memories, though its purpose in doing so is unknown, forcing the scientists to shift the focus of their quest and wonder if they can truly understand the universe without first understanding what lies within their hearts.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0156027607, Paperback)

A classic work of science fiction by renowned Polish novelist and satirist Stanislaw Lem

 

When Kris Kelvin arrives at the planet Solaris to study the ocean that covers its surface, he finds a painful, hitherto unconscious memory embodied in the living physical likeness of a long-dead lover. Others examining the planet, Kelvin learns, are plagued with their own repressed and newly corporeal memories. The Solaris ocean may be a massive brain that creates these incarnate memories, though its purpose in doing so is unknown, forcing the scientists to shift the focus of their quest and wonder if they can truly understand the universe without first understanding what lies within their hearts.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:54 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"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 hs 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?" -- back cover.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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