"The Astronauts", one the most famous novels by Lem, was initially published in 1951; since it had to comply with the schematics of the so-called socialist realism in communist Poland, Lem was reluctant to authorize reissues. His first novel dedicated to interstellar travel presented author's exceptional imagination and faith that reason eventually would overcome political madness. The story of Earth attacked by Venus, previously destroyed in a fratricidal battle, remains a moving vision of results of primitive practicism and struggle for power.
Lem is both a polymath and a virtuoso storyteller and stylist. Put them together and they add up to a genius... He has been steadily producing fiction that follows the arcs and depths of his learning and a bewildering labyrinth of moods and attitudes. Like his protagonists, loners virtually to a man, his fiction seems at a distance from the daily cares and passions, and conveys the sense of a mind hovering above the boundaries of the human condition: now mordant, now droll, now arcane, now folksy, now skeptical, now haunted and always paradoxical. Yet his imagination is so powerful and pure that no matter what world he creates it is immediately convincing because of its concreteness and plentitude, the intimacy and authority with which it is occupied... read Lem for yourself. He is a major writer, and one of the deep spirits of our age.
Theodore Solotaroff "The New York Times Book Review"