Read Return From the Stars by Stanisław Lem Barbara Marszal Online

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Hal Bregg is an astronaut who returns from a space mission in which only 10 biological years have passed for him, while 127 years have elapsed on earth. He finds that the earth has changed beyond recognition, filled with human beings who have been medically neutralized. How does an astronaut join a civilization that shuns risk? Translated by Barbara Marszal and Frank SimpsHal Bregg is an astronaut who returns from a space mission in which only 10 biological years have passed for him, while 127 years have elapsed on earth. He finds that the earth has changed beyond recognition, filled with human beings who have been medically neutralized. How does an astronaut join a civilization that shuns risk? Translated by Barbara Marszal and Frank Simpson. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book...

Title : Return From the Stars
Author :
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ISBN : 9780156765930
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Return From the Stars Reviews

  • AnnaGortat
    2019-03-29 20:43

    Definitely one of my favourite books written by one of my favourite authors. However sci-fi, it actually tells a story of a lonely man. A man that cannot find himself in the new world... Didn't it happen to all of us at least once in a lifetime? Absolutely a masterpiece!

  • Ivan Bogdanov
    2019-04-26 02:09

    Отпуската ми тече добре, чета на ден по три книги и съм много доволен."Завръщане от звездите" е реално първата книга от Библиотека Галактика. Първите книжки Синият тайфун и Двойната звезда тогава бяха неоткриваеми, тази се появи през 1979 г по книжарниците. Бях на 13 и книгата ме впечатли силно. Тогава бяха една славни години на космическата експанзия.И в разгара на масовата истерия Лем задава въпроса - и за какво е всичко това?Книгата реално е писана преди полета на първия космонавт. Във времена когато всички са вперили поглед към Спутник и чакайки полета на Гагарин.Всъщност темата за безмислието на дългите космически полети Лем развива и в "Магелановият облак".Развитието на съвременната космонавтика до голяма степен показва, че е бил прав - хората нямат работа в космоса!Всичко това може (а и се върщи) по-добре от роботите.Но ние имаме нужда от Космоса! Ако не се опитваме постоянно да надскочим границите си, спираме да се развиваме.Нито полюса ни е трябвал, нито Еверест - трябва ни предизвикателството - какво още можем да направим.Накратко за тия, които не са чели книгата - една експедиция се връща след 127 години във съвсем различен свят на Земята, сред хора, които не могат да разберат защо са направили това.Хората на Земята са вече други, едни укротени... "бетизирани". Няма я агресията, но ги няма и мечтите. "Всъщност ние не се грижим за роботите, а те се грижат за нас".Като четях книгата си дадох сметка, че нещата са се променили много от тогава и в някаква сметка и ние сме "бетизирани". Мечтите са си заминали, а е останало само търсенето на материално благополучие. Което е изродило всичко в най-лошата му форма.С падането на социализЪма не остана и мечта, която да следваме. А едно общество умира без мечти.В книгата Лем (Великият Лем) предрича доста неща от развитието на технологиите, независимо че стъпва на ужасно остаряла техническа база. Описани са електронните книги и четци и то почти във варианта, в който съществуват днес (е не е предвидил Интернет затова се разпространяват не файлове, а кристали). Но останалата структура е същата.Романът завършва с една любовна история. И с една любов - нагоре към Звездите!

  • Spacewanderer
    2019-04-05 00:06

    I'm not sure what to think of "Return From The Stars." At times I liked it and at other times I felt indifferent to it. Nothing jumps out as bad, exactly. The novel follows the main character, Hal, through the hardships of returning to Earth from a deep space exploration after nearly 130 years--only ten to him. And, of course, the world has changed and he goes through this huge cultural shock and people see that he's different straight away and he can't adjust so he goes on vacation after like two days back on Earth. Mind you, none of this is his fault or anyone else's fault and nobody's mistreating him because maltreatment no longer exists because people are chemically altered at birth to be non-aggressive. And the whole story until the end stems from this. So there's no antagonist, as such. Just a bunch of conversations where he can't get across what he's thinking and he can't really grasp what anyone else is saying, although they're all nodding at one another like "Yeah, I think I get your meaning." Slowly he adjusts to or does better at hiding from society, which is, again, not clear. He also wrestles with all these demons from his past that haunt him but aren't really tied in well to the rest of the story, which he does discuss with some of his fellow explores about and they all say "Shut up. You're making mountains from ant hills." So, it all become these repetitive pointless discussions. And then it ends with this whole cyclical journey hooey that does not read a prophetic as I think the author intended. And I don't think it's a matter of meaning being lost in translation. Still, the book has its moments. The characters are all likable, it's well thought out, and, aside from the dialog, it's well written. The discussions of the space exploration Hal just returned from are interesting, but they make up such a small portion of the novel I was left feeling a little short-changed. So, read it if you got it, but don't break your neck rushing out the door to get it. It has a higher review average on GR than I've given it, which could mean I'm dense. However, Lem stated himself that he didn't think it was very good and relied on too many SciFi cliches.

  • Bria
    2019-04-19 02:07

    I generally adore Stanislaw Lem, but what the shitting shit hell is this? A man returns from a cosmic voyage, over a century has passed on Earth and so of course the culture is entirely different. And the sticking point with him is that people have voluntarily decreased their aggression, so that there is no murder, rape, assault, or war. True, he can see the benefit of it - but what about boxing? There's no real sport left! And really the main problem is now you can't just acquire a woman. So his reaction is to forcibly kiss one lady, then go batshit insane another poor soul, decide that he's in "love" with her or something, and basically abduct her and coerce her into staying with him. Yes, he somehow realizes days later that maybe, just MAYBE she was going along with him because she was afraid. WHAT DID YOU THINK WAS HAPPENING? God it was just unbearable. Anything else potentially commendable about the book is just completely destroyed by all this garbage.

  • Melanti
    2019-04-08 20:07

    A couple years back, I read the first James bond book (Casino Royale) and was appalled by Fleming's allusions to "the sweet tang of rape." Even more horrifying was my conversation with a male friend afterwards, who claimed that every man wants to be just like James Bond, and continued with this claim even after I read passages to him (including the rape passage) and explained how much of a misogynistic asshole Bond is in the books. For the sake of our friendship, I'm forced to assume he wasn't paying attention and was thinking of the movies.Hal may not be quite to the James Bond level - he doesn't seem comfortable with rape as a concept - but he's definitely not shy about forcing himself on women who are incapable of fighting him off! He keeps assuming that if people don't say "no" then it must mean "yes". Unfortunately, in this alternate future, with people incapable of aggression or conflict, the women are saying "no," but not in a way that Hal can recognize. There's a lot of interesting ideas here, but I this is one case where a biased narrator leads to a biased opinion of the book. It's disturbingly ambiguous at times, but I don't think Lem himself believed that all men are rapists at heart, just like I don't think that he believed that space exploration was pointless.(Additionally, the formatting/editing on the Kindle edition is dreadful. There's OCR errors everywhere, and even a couple of pages that are in the wrong order!)

  • Vit Babenco
    2019-04-22 21:04

    The middle of the last century – the time of dystopias, every thoughtful science fiction writer considered it to be his obligation to write one. Return from the Stars is a mutiny against the total conformity and insipid living in the entirely uniform society. “Beneath a dome supported by cracked, crumbling columns stood a woman, as though she had been waiting for me. I saw her face now, the flow of sparks in the diamond disks that hid her ears, the white – in the shadow, silvery – dress. This was not possible. A dream? I was still a few dozen paces from her when she began to sing. Among the unseen trees her voice was weak, childlike almost, I could not make out the words, perhaps there were no words.”Even in the kingdom of the uniformly blind there should be the one bold enough to dare…

  • estel
    2019-04-09 19:44

    chciałabym przeprosić siebie z przeszłości za te straszne uprzedzenia do Lema spowodowane lekturą "Bajek robotów" w podstawówce. przeczytałam w jeden dzień (a raczej dzień i noc), bo trudno się oderwać od tej książki. jest doskonale napisana, przybijająca atmosferą wyobcowania i samotności, prowokująca do myślenia o człowieczeństwie i sensie wychylania się poza strefę bezpieczeństwa i wygody. i jeśli to podobno całkiem przeciętna powieść Lema, jedna z wielu, to już nie mogę doczekać się całej reszty.

  • Monika
    2019-04-24 01:08

    Kapitalna książka, w której bohater wraca na ziemię po latach podróży międzyplanetarnej. Na Ziemi upłynęło wiele wody w rzekach, zmieniło się wszystko, ludzie, miasta, zasady społeczne. Bohater ze swojego punktu widzenia ma ciekawe spostrzeżenia, trochę filozofuje, rozważa na tematy socjologiczne. Już w poprzednich recenzjach pisałam, że Lem to mistrz słowa - do tej pory poznałam go, jako kreatywnego twórcę nowych słówek, gier słownych, a w tej książce odkrył swoją inną zaletę. Opisy w książce są niezwykle poetyckie, barwne, plastyczne. Jedyne, co mi się nie podobało - to wątek romansu. Ale to chyba trudne wątki w ogóle.

  • Paul Samael
    2019-04-16 17:48

    I agree with most of the positive comments by other reviewers here. In the hands of the right director, “Return from the Stars” would make an excellent film – more in the tradition of thoughtful, art-house sci-fi like “Gattaca” than as a blockbuster Hollywood movie (although someone like George Clooney would be ideal for the part of Hal – he should have filmed this novel instead of remaking “Solaris”). If you are keen on the Lem of “Futurological Congress” then maybe this book won’t be so much to your taste, as at least one other reviewer has found – but personally, I prefer Lem novels like “Solaris”,“His Master’s Voice” and “Fiasco” and for me, this one bears comparison with all of those books.Hal’s alienation faced with a population which has been “betrizated” (a process which removes aggressive, risk-taking tendencies) reminded me of Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”, but with betrization taking the place of eugenics. For a novel written in 1961, a time when space exploration still had a hold over the public imagination, it is eerily prescient – because even without betrization, we seem – like the civilisation depicted in the novel - to have largely lost interest in manned space missions. Instead we have become far more interested in networking amongst ourselves – and in that sense, we are (again, just like the world depicted in the book) a civilisation which is increasingly turned in on itself, rather than outward looking. That may sound like quite a negative characterisation, but one of the things I particularly liked about the novel was its readiness to acknowledge that things aren’t necessarily quite so black and white – that there are aspects of this future world which, although they seem alien and even somewhat repellent to us now, may well be superior to our current civilisation.For a longer review including some thoughts on how this relates to communism and whether it works well at a basic story-telling level (I think it does – it’s much more than just a novel of ideas), see:http://paulsamael.com/blog/holiday-re...-

  • Williwaw
    2019-03-31 23:56

    Excellent! If you are looking for thoughtful, poetic science fiction, this is it! If you are looking for an accurate prediction, well, Lem basically anticipates the disappearance of books and their replacement by something like the iPad.In a nutshell, this is the story of an astronaut who returns to earth after a ten year voyage. Because of time dilation, 127 years have passed on earth. The story depicts the astronaut's disorientation and (partial?) reintegration into a wholly changed world. It's both psychologically and technically convincing. Lem's descriptions are detailed and colorful. It's a bit slow moving in places, but if you are willing to pace yourself and enjoy the scenery, it's well worth the trip!

  • Daniel
    2019-04-01 01:48

    No es extraño que un adolescente se enamore de este libro en concreto y de Lem para toda la vida. El astronauta Bregg vuelve de una misión con desfase temporal a un mundo futuro que ya no le reconoce y en el que él se siente un bicho raro. Releída unos 30 años después, el hombre sigue viendo un dinosaurio que no sabe moverse dentro de un mundo castrado por fuera. Este Lem refleja como pocos la soledad interior. Alcanza en algunos momentos un lirismo poco habitual en la cf. En este caso, el extraterrestre que no se entera es el astronauta que vuelve a casa.

  • Бранимир Събев
    2019-04-16 19:07

    — Най-добре ни е сред такива древни старчета. С еей такива дълги бради. Само като си помисля за това и чак ме втриса. Знаеш ли какво? Да си купим кафез с кокошки, от време на време ще им извиваме вратовете.

  • Juan del Desierto
    2019-04-09 20:58

    A sad, melancholic tale in Lem's best vein that has haunted me since teenage years, about the impossibility of heroics and bravery in a meek world made safe for convenience. A swansong that hails the probable outcome for the next centuries of our times obsessed with peace and safety.

  • Ernest Hogan
    2019-04-18 01:59

    One of my favorite themes, by a master. The future, the universe is always more than your were ready to imagine, and utopia sucks.

  • Vít Kotačka
    2019-04-13 18:10

    Zajímavá sci-fi, která mě částečně nadchla a částečně zklamala. Celkově převládá dojem určité nedotaženosti, říznuté jednou obskurností.Dobře zpracovaný je primární námět, popsaný v syžetu - astronaut se vrací "domů". Domů na odcizenou planetu, která opustila důvody, proč vlastně původně odletěl. Nejen to, navrátilci jsou de facto jemně a skrytě ostrakizováni.Nejlepší části popisují nový, těžko pochopitelný svět. Na to, že novela byla napsaná v r. 1960, neztratila nic ze své futurističnosti, není tam nic zastaralé. Velmi dobře! Výborně je také popsané postupné odkrývání pravdy o beatrizaci a uvědomování si, jak se tato promítá do fungování aktuálního světa.Slabší částí jsou postavy. Hlavní hrdina, Hal Bregg je nekonzistentní. Nerozumím jeho psychologii. Co ho pohání? Proč se chová daným způsobem? Paradoxně, v tomhle ohledu je mi víc cizí, než lidé z budoucnosti. Hal nezúčastněně, analyticky popisuje ženy, se kterými se potkává a pak, z čista jasna, má návaly těžko zvladatelné vášně. To samé s násilím. Kde se to v něm bere?Ostatní mužské postavy - většinou Halovi kolegové - jsou pouhými nosiči dialogů, žádná psychologie. No a ženské postavy jsou takové "beatrizované puťky" a v podstatě jen hodně zastřené sexuální objekty.A pak průšvih: romantická linka. Jak ze špatné červené knihovny. Zcela postrádající emoce, navíc s opravdu otřesnými dialogy, kdy postavy nedoříkávají věty a furt všechno chápou, aniž by něco pochopily. Slabota.Na závěr zmíním věc, která je opravdu divná. Kniha obsahuje scénu (view spoiler)[podivného, obskurního, futuristického znásilnění (hide spoiler)]. Nevím, co si o tom mám myslet. Je to poplatné době? Má to něco společného s Halovými zážitky během mezihvězdných letů? V dnešní době mi to přijde eklhaft.

  • Dominika
    2019-04-22 00:45

    Wg mnie to arcydzieło. Mistrzowsko napisane, pełne poetyckich niedomówień, zawiłych myśli i smutku, melancholii, której ciągle w książkach szukam.Strasznie mnie ta książka poruszyła, wzruszyła i poszarpała.Człowiek to samotna istota, zawsze i bez względu na okoliczności.

  • Liberius
    2019-04-11 00:08

    Hodně působivé ,a na socialistickou literaturu i nečekaně pesimistické, čtení o jedné společnosti, které se v sobě podařilo zničit lidství. Lem jako obvykle nezklamal.

  • Elena Davidson jones
    2019-04-10 19:06

    Una buena zambullida en lo que puede ser la mente de un astronauta. Un hombre que vuelve de una misión devastadora para sí mismo e inútil para la humanidad y que, para colmo, retorna a una Tierra en la que han cambiado las reglas del juego: una utopía ataráxica, hipertecnológica e incomprensible para él, en la que no encajará fácilmente.Resulta muy creíble el fluir mental que el autor a ficcionalizado para este personaje. La terminología que se inventa para hablar de los cuerpos celestes no es real, pero es muy sugerente y evocadora. Aunque, sobre todo, con lo que uno empatiza es con los miedos de Hal y su desconcierto.Me gusta mucho cómo articula los diálogos este autor... casi parecen conversaciones transcritas; obligan al lector a desentrañar la información que se omite o se sobreentiende. Muchísimo mejor que en esos diálogos en los que te acompañan cada réplica con la emoción con la que va dicha.El libro tiene algunas frases como losas... una de ellas dice "el hombre siempre vuelve con las manos vacías". Sea de las estrellas o de cualquier otra empresa. Pero la conclusión es positiva: en verdad, el fin último es demostrar que los límites se exploran sólo por el puro gozo de explorarlos.

  • Lucia
    2019-03-30 23:47

    Ya había leído este libro hace años, y recordaba que me había gustado mucho, hace poco volví a conseguirlo y realmente no entiendo qué fue lo que me pareció tan genial la primera vez.Hal Bregg regresa de una misión espacial que duró 10 años, pero mientras tanto en la Tierra transcurrieron más de 100 años desde su partida. Hal encuentra una sociedad extremadamente diferente a la que dejó atrás, y la novela narra sus dificultades para adaptarse a ella.La idea de la historia me parece muy interesante, pero da demasiadas vueltas para llegar a lo que intenta contar. De hecho, siento que tiene 150 páginas de más, y que tranquilamente podría haberse salteado casi todo lo que le pasa a Hal en la primer mitad del libro. Hacia el final se pone más interesante, pero igualmente sigue dando vueltas inútiles. Algo que no me gustó para nada fue la forma en que están escritos algunos diálogos, y no creo que sea un problema de traducción: hay paginas enteras de frases sin terminar y palabras entrecortadas, parecían conversaciones de locos, en que ningún personaje decía nada concreto pero igual se entendían, por más que yo ciertamente no entendí nada.

  • Cyan Wisp
    2019-04-26 02:10

    A unique view of the future on earth. I can only say that I read this book with a growing sense of loss - like visiting the home of your childhood and finding a glistening shopping mall in its place filled with detached youths that you will never relate to. Actually, that is almost exactly the theme of the book! Our hero, a space traveller and Einsteinian time traveller (by virtue of acceleration) is a gorilla among the latest generation of humans on earth. Machines run the world, leaving humanity to be superficial little gadabouts. This may be reminiscent of Logan's Run, but these humans are barely recognisable in their character - which added to my sense of loss. It is a foreign, alien place and the traveller's despair is quite understandable.Interesting science-fiction read that focuses on psychology rather than technology. Worth a look.

  • Eugene Pustoshkin
    2019-04-07 23:49

    Многоплановая книга, к которой можно подходить с самых разных сторон. Есть много векторов восприятия, которые можно было бы выделить, разных ракурсов, разных эпизодов. Можно поразмышлять о прогрессе, об эволюции общества, об отчуждении, о превращении в чуждость, об эпизоде с агонией кибернетических организмов, о странно страстных и при этом неосознанных отношениях с героя с женщиной, о не менее странном — по нынешним меркам — вырисовывании образа женщины со стороны Лема, о белитризации, о стремлении к поиску, риску и путешествию, о травматическом стрессе галактических астронавтов… Понравилось, как происходящее на планете с героем становится фоном, из которого вырисовывается фигура его воспоминаний. Сам настрой, передаваемый книгой, задумчив и ностальгичен.

  • Sycobabel
    2019-04-06 22:55

    I thought the story was funny, sad, thought provoking, and enlightening. It's really an interesting idea. A man goes on a expedition to the stars that last 10 years for him, but 127 years for everyone else on earth. He returns not as a man from the future but a man from the past, a Neanderthal. His knowledge is no longer relevant. Stanislaw Lem combines a scientific perspective with a sense of humor akin to Kurt Vonnegut.

  • Michael Hołda (Holda)
    2019-04-08 18:45

    Astronaut returns to earth, in the future & explores the world of crystal books and mankind wishing the youth(to be young) where robotics help people in daily life and through exertions called "Betryzacja" people cannot "kill".

  • Larissa
    2019-04-13 17:44

    I read this last year and didn't even remember I gave it 3 stars. It's a complicated book, but one that has kept me thinking, especially during this election cycle. I'm writing this review so some friend feels compelled to read the book and so we can talk about :)

  • keskese
    2019-04-17 20:07

    Lubię motyw eksploracji kosmosu i problemów, na jakie możemy się natknąć. Czarne dziury, paradoksy czasowe... Książki opowiadające o tym skupiają się zazwyczaj na podboju planecie X, miej lub bardziej udanym, matkę Ziemię skazując na wymarcie bądź też poświęcając jej kilka, kilkanaście akapitów. Nie tutaj.Nie mogę nie wspomnieć o PIĘKNYCH okładkach nowego Lema. Gdybym była kolekcjonerką fizycznych książek, żarłabym tynk ze ścian i czokoszoki, by móc sobie na nie pozwolić. Na cały komplecik.Blurb mówi nam: "Powrót z gwiazd" to historia astronauty, który na skutek paradoksu czasowego Einsteina powrócił z wyprawy w Kosmos na Ziemię, gdzie tymczasem minęło półtora stulecia. Astronauta próbuje zrozumieć i zaakceptować ziemską cywilizację, która zrezygnowała z podejmowania ryzyka na rzecz bezpieczeństwa i dostatku.Fascynująca wizja Ziemi jako „obcej planety”, na której – by żyć tam dalej – trzeba na nowo doświadczyć na sobie problemów sensu egzystencji, dobra i zła, swobody i zniewolenia, agresji i miłości."I właśnie ta wizja Naszej planety jako tej nowej, niezbadanej i nierozumianej wzbudziła we mnie najwyższy podziw. Z chęcią przewracałam kolejne strony, by czuć się tak zagubiona, jak i główny bohater. Muszę przyznać, że w wielu momentach książka nadwyrężyła moją wyobraźnię, ale to zaliczam zawsze na plus; lubię mieć mózgowe zakwasy.Ciekawy jest także motyw pozbawienia ludzkości tego, co czyni nas ludźmi; instynktów, paradoksalnie, zwierzęcych. Przemocy, dominacji, tl;dr - ludzkości pod pantoflem chemii zwanej brytowaniem. Podobnie jak jeden recenzent, którego parę zdań przytoczę niżej, przy opisywanej przez Lema panoramie miasta nie mogłam wyzbyć się skojarzeń z bardziej cyberpunkowym Dubajem."Bowiem na ojczystej planecie zastają społeczeństwo kompletnie odmienione. Pokojowe i idealne. „Betryzowane” w procesie chemicznym aplikowanym każdemu noworodkowi, pozbawione instynktu walki, nie znające żadnych niebezpieczeństw, niedoświadczające strachu: dziś nie ma już tragedii. Nie ma nawet jej szansy. Zlikwidowaliśmy piekło namiętności, a wtedy okazało się, że za jednym zamachem i niebo przestało istnieć.Główny bohater, Hal Bregg, choć zagubiony w niezrozumiałym świecie, zgodnie ze swą naturą nieustępliwego eksploratora cały ten ogrom nowości próbuje pojąć i oswoić. I znajduje ocalenie w miłości."To już "Mechaniczna pomarańcza" Burgessa podejmowała problem, czy człowiek niegodny wybierać może być ludzki, może być dobry,Bardzo szanuję taką literaturę.

  • Sara
    2019-04-13 19:56

    Interesting ideas presented with complexity and depth. The description of Hal's arrival on earth and the disorientation he feels was definitely impressive. The story examines social conditioning and consent, the impacts of being an outsider when the world has changed around you, and the importance of connection not only to society but also to your self and your personal story/identity. Also, it introduced cool technology that may not have appeared in earlier works (electronic books, "holodeck" style entertainment) - it was published in 1961 in Poland, not sure whether these ideas had been presented before that?But there was a layer missing in this world. Production is supposedly accomplished by robots (and the scene in the robot scrapyard was pretty awesome!), but the relationship to resources and nature wasn't explored at all. Treatment of food was very cursory, and maintenance and repair wasn't dealt with other than to indicate that a self-managed world of robot producers took care of all that (hmmm, a novel about that robot world would be pretty interesting...). There are people who work, but it is not clear why (most things are free) - some of it was probably because people wanted to or enjoyed the work, but I didn't get a motivation for the travel agent or the bookstore staff. We encounter non-white people only as holograms when Hal enters an entertainment complex where he experiences a boat trip down an African River where Black boatmen do all of the work (and it is hard work as they travel down rapids). Also, women are a separate category of people here and Hal's "romantic" coersions are definitely problematic (although I think Lem did attempt to add some complexity and agency to Eri's part in the relationship and the social norms in this future allowed for things like polyamory and shorter-term commitments to a partner rather than the lifetime vows of marriage).In general, there wasn't a sense of how the world beyond Hal's immediate surrounding are faring, with the exception of a description of how betrization was implemented/accepted around the world. I couldn't help feeling like there was a hidden underclass (besides the robots) somewhere. I think it would be interesting to explore the ways in which betrization would exacerbate and/or diminish social divisions. Would people be less likely to rebel against existing social orders? Or would people find less meaning in hierarchies?

  • Ed Hatfield
    2019-04-09 22:47

    Having only read Solaris previously I was not sure what to expect from another work by Stanislaw Lem, but I am thoroughly impressed and am once again struck by how fascinatingly Lem works with a concept.If you've read The Forever War you'll be familiar with the concept of close to speed of light travel and relativity's impact on humans that travel out and back - years for them, centuries for humanity. This isn't even the crux of the novel, however - that is instead the concept of 'betrization' a medical procedure reducing to almost nothing the human power to be aggressive or to use force. Hal Bregg, a pilot away for ten years, returns 127 later to a world post-scarcity but also post freedom.A bizarre read that prompts you to reflect on our animal nature and what it contributes to us as individuals and to society. Would highly recommend!

  • Héctor Toledo
    2019-04-20 18:41

    Interesante, aunque, la verdad, bastante irregular. Cuenta esencialmente el shock cultural de un hombre que vuelve a la tierra tras un viaje a la velocidad de la luz. Para él han pasado 10 años, pero en la tierra han sido más de 120. La sociedad y la tecnología han avanzado tanto que él se siente como un hombre primitivo en un mundo incomprensible.El tema es genial, pero lo cierto es que el desarrollo se convierte en una sucesión de anécdotas que no parecen apuntar a ninguna parte en concreto. El personaje pega unos vaivenes difíciles de seguir, y cuesta entender a dónde pretende llegar el autor, cuál es el tema del libro.Por lo demás, es una lectura amena.

  • Jason Bergman
    2019-04-01 00:07

    The premise of this book is terrific. An astronaut returns home from a voyage to the stars after hundreds of years (thanks to time dilation) to find a world that's not only totally different, but a culture that has decided space exploration is a waste of time. That's great! And a good chunk of this book is great too.Where it lost me was with its treatment of its female characters (of which there are only two). I'm sure there's a paper somewhere about Stanislaw Lem, post-war Poland and feminist theory, but I'm hardly able to communicate that. I'll just say that it's...icky. Not quite as bad as the risible Lord Foul's Bane, or the hilarious Tarnsman of Gor, but it's pretty bad. And worst of all, it basically occupies most of the back half of the book.I like Lem, and I like a lot in this book. But it's a hard one to recommend.

  • Andres
    2019-04-11 00:56

    Aasta lõpus kiputakse ikka tulevikku vaatama, nii et see raamat sobis 2016 viimaseks lugemiseks kui rusikas silmaauku. Tegelikult oli seda keerukas hinnata. Oli peatükke ja lõike, millele oleksin võinud panna julgelt ka 6/5, ent ka neid, mis napilt 3/5 välja vedasid. Minu jaoks nõrgim oli just lõpp (tegelikult kõik, mis puudutas peategelase Hali suhteid naistega). (view spoiler)[Ole sa mitmesaja aasta tagusest ajast tahes, sellist valimatut rabamist ja vägistamist on ikka keeruline õigustada... (hide spoiler)]Üldiselt aga väga huvitava nurga alt kirjutatud raamat. Soovitan igal juhul.