Solaris

Solaris

"Solaris" is the most famous of Lem's novels.  It had been reviewed many times in various countries and in various languages.  It belongs – probably as no other Polish literary work – to the core of its genre, to the canon: a novel about contact with aliens cannot be omitted  in discussions of world science fiction.  Why has "Solaris" achieved this status?  Probably because the book not only present the most original vision of the alien world known to science fiction, but in the most interesting and emotional way present the drama of cognition and its entanglement in literature, in telling stories that is so inseparable for human culture.

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Stanislaw LemYet his writing reached far beyond the borders of the genre. In addition to many novels and stories, he composed a huge philosophical treatise on the relation of human beings and machines, a good deal of pungently argued literary criticism, a volume of reviews of nonexistent books, a stochastic theory of narrative fiction, an experimental detective novel, speculative essays dealing with artificial intelligence, cybernetics, cosmology, genetic engineering, game theory, sociology, and evolution, radio plays and screenplays. Such staggering polymathic curiosity over such a vast range of material, all of it explored with lucidity and charm, gives his writing a unique place on a Venn diagram in which the natural sciences, philosophy, and literature shade into one another with mutually intensifying vividness and fascination.

Paul Grimstad, The New Yorker, January 6, 2019