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4.5 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.50 (72 Votes)

„The Invincible” is a tailor-made screenplay for a great battle film telling the story of the clash of Earthly Astronauts with a spontaneously created population of microautomata destroying all intelligence. But it is mechanical devices – also those created by man – that are programmed for a reflexive fight until self destruction. Only beings that reason can understand the strangeness and free themselves from the fatalism of destruction.


4.50 out of 5 based on 2 ratings2 user reviews.
an excellent introduction to Lem for novice readers Reviewed by Plamen Nenchev on . Stanislaw Lem tends to be unrivalled when it comes to philosophical insights into first contact with alien intelligence. Unfortunately, as philosophizing for Lem often tends to spill over into over-philosophizing, this usually comes at the expense of accessibility and readability. "The Invincible" is a rare and rather successful exception to this, which makes it an excellent introduction to Lem for novice readers. And even if the underlying theme is the same as in a number of Lem's other works – man's understanding with alien intelligence is doomed from the start – the take on it in the Invincible, combining elements from the mystery, horror and action genres and offering a curious environmental angle is both rather unique and makes for a real page turner. The novel opens with the landing of a vast and powerful space ship, the Invincible, on Regis III. The Invincible is sent to investigate the loss of its sister ship, the Condor, on the desert planet. The discovery of the horrific disaster that has befallen the Condor and the first encounters with the mysterious force behind it gradually build a growing sense of terror among the crew, which turns into genuine bafflement and a feeling of powerlessness as the enemy is revealed and proves undefeated despite all of the crew's efforts. As the only realistic prospect of subduing the peculiar intelligence developed on Regis III is to cause planet-wide destruction with nuclear bombs, the crew come to the realization that this intelligence has become an integral part of the planet's ecosystem – just like the ocean or the wind. Seeking revenge on it for Condor's destruction would make just as much sense as nuking an ocean for wrecking a sailboat. The ending is anti-climatic. Humans have no place on Regis III. It is time for both man and the Invincible – now quite defeated – to go home. Rating: 5 5
Lem's visionary depiction of contact Reviewed by Thomas Beekers on . This science fiction tale by Stanislaw Lem is easily missed or dismissed as just a space romp, but it is much more than that. A crew land their gigantic, overbuilt and overpowered "Invincible" starship on a planet, trying to find out what happened to the previous starship that landed here. Soon they find out mankind with all their technology is not as Invincible as they'd hoped, and a "mystery" story begins as they try to find out what it is that lives on this planet. The latter part of the book deals with the confrontation with these beings. The mystery and action elements are solid enough and it's worth the read for that, but seeing this book as just a mystery/action book is - as said - selling it short. Like many of Lem's book, it is ultimately about challenging human's default conception of seeing themselves as the center of the universe, and what space travel could truly mean: encountering and dealing with beings who are so different in their genesis and evolution that we simply can not hope to understand them. In the Invincible, this lack of understanding leads to violent confrontation, which adds to the core message of "we can not understand everything" with "we can not conquer everything". Rating: 4 5