"Return from the Stars" tells the story of an Astronaut returning to Earth after a long flight. Because of Einstein's time paradox one and a half centuries have passed on Earth. The Astronaut tries to understand and accept the unfamiliar Earthly civilization that gave up risk for the sake of safety and prosperity. We are presented with a fascinating vision of “Earth as an alien planet” - in order to live there, the protagonist has to experience anew the problems of the meaning of existence, good and evil, freedom and captivity, aggression and love.
As always, Lem is dealing with an interesting theme in an absorbing was. First-rate in all aspects, Return from the Stars is more intellectual science fiction from a very gifted writer.
Lewis Beale, Philadelphia Inquirer
"As a doctor, I really have nothing more to tell you, Bregg; however... "
"You are coping in our . . . present way of life?"
"Your hair is gray, Bregg."
"That means something?"
"Yes. Gray hair signifies age. No one turns gray now before eighty, and even then, rarely."