Saturday, February 06, 2010

10.05 The Invincible by Stanislaw Lem

The Invincible (1964) by Stanislaw Lem
Pbk., Penguin, 186 p.


Most of the Lem books that I have read have something just slightly inaccessible about them. He is an amazing writer but I think sometimes his ideas get lost somewhat in the translation from the Polish. He really does have an incredible imagination though.

The Invincible is a much more straightforward science fiction novel than others of his that I have read. The spaceship Invincible wakes its complement of hibernating crew and lands on a dusty and inhospitable planet. It turns out that several years earlier, the Condor, another ship, came before and contact was completely lost. The Invincible is here to find out what has happened.

Lem writes from the perspective of the Navigator who is sort of second in command to the Astrogator, an older, steady type man. As more and more of the fate of the Condor is revealed the Navigator becomes much more invested, emotional and thrown off balance by their fate.

This really was a fun novel to read. The science is so kooky but the way it's written is entirely believable. This was a cool book.

1 comment:

WalkerP said...

"Most of the Lem books that I have read have something just slightly inaccessible about them." That's really well put and part of the reason I haven't actively pursued Lem. The Futurological Congress is one that is on the more accessible side and it really was tremendous. This one sounds really promising as well. Great cover, too!