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Anybody who likes a tight, increasingly tense plot-line rising to a scene of dramatic violence will be satisfied. Anybody who likes a mystery will find it here — and its solution.
Ursula K. Le Guin

invincible_cover

A classic science fiction thriller by the author of “Solaris” for the first time translated directly from the original — now available as an e-book. In the grand tradition of science fiction narrative represented by the best of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, Stanisław Lem describes the story of a space cruiser sent to an obscure planet to determine the fate of another ship whose communications with Earth have abruptly ceased. On Regis III, Navigator Rohan and the crew of the Invincible encounter the classic quandary: what course of action can man take once he has limits of his knowledge? The question of inexplicable, the bizarre, the problem that lies just beyond analytical reach are woven into a science-fiction plot that sustains excitement to the last.

User Rating: 4 / 5

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„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.

 

The Invincible is an elegant, tragically beautiful story filled with technology and strangeness - all things a reader might expect from a novel by Pould Anderson or Andre Norton at their best.  But when the story reaches its logical development, when we have learned everything we can about what has been happening to the starship Invicible's crew, and what has happened to the previous expedition to Regis III, a planet where evolution has taken a mechanical-cybernetic direction, then Lem continues to climb, making painfully real to the reader the sight of humankind and its values confronted with an alien, mechanical system.

George Zebrowski, The Magazie of Fantasy and Science Fiction
The Invincible  is a quite well written "narrative machine" based on a fictitious problem. Rohan is confronted with a strange world where he is surrounded by "dead machines". This is a very realistic novel, perhaps a bit more "modest" than Solaris.

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invincible lem The Invincible, a class II cruiser, the largest vessel of the fleet stationed at the base in the Lyra constellation, was moving in photon sequence across a quadrant on the very edge of that cluster of stars. The eighty-three men of the crew were sleeping in the tunnel-shaped hibernation chamber on the main deck. Since the journey was relatively short, rather than full hibernation they had been put into a deepened sleep in which body temperature did not drop below fifty degrees. Only automatons were working on the bridge. In the crosshairs of their field of vision was the disk of a sun that was not much hotter than a regular red dwarf. When it filled half the width of the screen the annihilation reactor was turned off. For some time, throughout the ship there was a dead silence. The air conditioning and digital instruments went on functioning without a sound. There was no longer the faint vibration accompanying the shaft of light that had previously been streaming from the stern and, like a sword of infinite length thrust into the darkness, had been propelling the ship forward. The Invincible continued to move at close to the speed of light: inert, mute, and seemingly deserted.