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The Invincible

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,611 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
The interstellar cruiser Invincible lands on Regis III, which seems bleakly uninhabited, to investigate the loss of sister ship, Condor. The crew discovers a form of quasi-life born through evolution of autonomous, self-replicating machines. Individually or in small groups they are harmless and capable of only simple behavior. When bothered they form huge swarms displaying ...more
Paperback, 223 pages
Published August 23rd 1973 by Sidgwick & Jackson (London) (first published 1964)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Thomas Beekers
Aug 10, 2013 Thomas Beekers rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Aleksandar Trapara
Luckily, I read the book in Serbian translation which was fairly good, so I didn't have to bother about it having been originally translated into German and then into English.

Brilliant little book and such a sad story. It aroused so many conflicting emotions in me. At one point, I was infuriated by the crew's insistence on staying on Regis III and meddling with its ecosystem, and yet I was so startled when their plan to use the Cyclops backfired on them. Once again, Lem successfully sets out the
Krešimir Mecing
Jun 21, 2015 Krešimir Mecing rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf
Umjesto "dobro, ovdje nismo dobrodošli, nije naš planet, idemo kući.", ovo djelo nam donosi "s koliko bojnih glava još raspolažemo?" Mehanički "Pitch black", u kojem je autor odlično dočarao osjećaj nelagode, nemoći i straha od nepoznatog. Definitivno vrh sf-a.
Ivan Lutz
Jul 14, 2015 Ivan Lutz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Razmišljajući o Lemu čovjek se zaista upita:“ Kako netko može tako dobro pisati? „ Još ni jedna knjiga koju sam pročitao nije imala zamjerke na izričaj i atmosferu te superiorne opise jedinstvene u cijelom svjetskom SF opusu. Tu ubrajam i navikane američke i britanske SF magove koji su marketinški uvijek bolje stajali od Stanislava.
Da je Nepobjedivog napisao, štajaznam, npr. Clarke ili Heinlein, već bi bilo nekoliko filmova na temu ove knjige,jer je po meni ovo knjiga s najviše akcije, što se na
Auf dem Planeten Regis 3 ist der mächtige, schier unbesiegbare Raumkreuzer Kondor verschollen. So wird das Schwesterschiff Der Unbesiegbare zu dem Planeten entsandt um das Rätsel über das Verschwinden der Kondor zu lösen. Als die Kondor gefunden wird, bleibt zunächst alles so unerklärlich wie zuvor. Regis 3 war ganz offenbar einmal belebt und dennoch gibt es keine organischen Überreste der vergangenen Zivilisation. Auch von der Besatzung der Kondor fehlt jede Spur. Bald findet man jedoch eine un ...more
Oct 14, 2013 Danijel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scf-fi
Science-fiction u punom smislu riječi, i to čak sa starog kontinenta. Sram me priznati što se prvi put susrećem s ovim poljskim velikanom, SF-a Stanislawom Lemom; no zadovoljstvo i čast upoznavanja je bilo moje. Tema je prvi susret, krstarica Nepobjedivi dolazi na naizgled pusti planet Regis III, u potrazi za nestalom krstaricom Kondor. Polagano počinju upoznavati ovaj neobičan svijet, sudbinu nasukanih i neobičan smjer evolucije životnih oblika na ovome planetu. Lem koristi niz zanimljivih tema ...more
Apr 02, 2011 Mark rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf
The starship Condor never returned after landing on Regis III, so its sister ship Invincible is dispatched on a rescue mission. The sf portions are classic 60s hard science fiction, a gradual exploration of an alien planet and the threat that defeated the first crew. However what I really love is the sparse but effective characterization of the Invicible's crew. From the beginning there is an undercurrent of tension implying that the crew has been together in space a little too long. There is th ...more
Dec 25, 2014 Andrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
One of my favourite Lem novels, it possible worries me that it is one of those with the least amount of quirky strangeness and the most predictable plot arc. Two of my favourite quotes:

Man -- he saw in a flash of insight -- had not yet reached the true pinnacle; he had not yet appropriated that galactocentric idea, praised since antiquity, whose real meaning could not consist in searching only for similar beings and learning to understand them, but rather in refraining from interfering with alie
Nov 20, 2014 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Para la tercera edición del Club de Lectura Otto eligió uno de sus libros favoritos de ciencia ficción. Como sabía lo importante que es este autor para ella tenía muchas ganas de que me gustara, pero no pude entrar en sintonía. Es la primera vez que leo un libro de este tipo y me di cuenta que la charla tecnológica no es lo mío. Me costaba concentrarme y mi mente se encontraba vagando por los aires mientras iba avanzando con la lectura. Por eso avancé muy lento y en varios momentos se me hizo pe ...more
J.j. Metsavana
Mar 18, 2015 J.j. Metsavana rated it really liked it
Üks ulme põnevamaid teemasid ja esitada võivaid küsimusi on minu arvates seotud kohtumisega tundmatuga. Võõraste arusaamatute rasside ja olendikooslustega ja selles osas on Lem suurepärane autor. Ka antud teoses on ta loonud pööraselt veidra ja üsnagi negatiivse pildi ühest inimkonna kohtumisest millegagi mida nad ei suuda mõista. Lemi tegelastele (ja üleüldiselt ka inimkonnale) omaselt püütakse kummalist nähtust suruda teadlaste poolt teooriatesse ning alistada seda pommide ning antimateeriaga, ...more
Nov 02, 2014 Lucia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
**Leído para el Club de Lectura**
En la tercera entrega del Club de Lectura fue mi turno elegir el libro, y me decidí por El Invencible, de Stanisław Lem.

(Review in english to come soon! don't read the Goodreads synopsis, it spoils the whole plot o__o)

Considero a Lem mi autor favorito de Ciencia Ficción y quería elegir alguna de sus obras para compartir con el Club. A pesar de que ya había leído dos veces este libro, tenía buenos recuerdos de él y me pareció que contenía todo lo que me gusta de
Dec 18, 2014 Tracey rated it liked it
Checked out The Invincible by Stanislaw Lem as my November Amazon Prime Lending Library book... Lem is an author I feel I should have read as a SF fan, so am finally getting around to his works.

Is it just me, or is naming your starship Invincible kinda asking for it? Especially when you're heading toward an apparently lifeless planet on which another ship has already disappeared?

While the characters are pretty much one-dimensional standins, that's not what this novel is about. Rather, it's an
D. Scott Meek
Apr 07, 2014 D. Scott Meek rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to D. by: no one
Classic sci-fi! Stanislaw Lem takes us back to the sci-fi days of yore with a tale of eerie and epic proportions. While most authors then, and even now, explore alien civilizations and bring us a daunting "bad guy" or alien race to contend with, making it almost cliche, Stanislaw Lem takes a very original track and brings the reader a mysterious tale that will not end as expected - my favorite kind of book.

The story surrounds the disappearance of a space ship, more rocket ship since this is the
Aug 03, 2012 Hugo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This book has a very interesting concept, the necroevolution, an evolution of inorganic beigns, that were abandoned on planet Regis III by their creators. The plot is fluid and keeps in with the expectative by his unusual concept that in the sci-fi tradition is viewed in a very original way. There is normally life in other planets as organic and semi-rational beings. (view spoiler) ...more
May 29, 2015 Daveski rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
Really fantastic classic sci-fi. The only other novel by Lem that I've read is Solaris, which is something I'm trying to fix. This one is a more straightforward adventure story, where a spaceship and its crew are investigating an unexplored planet where a previous craft had disappeared. The "inhabitants" of the planet are so alien that they aren't even "alive" by the standards of man, and the most interesting parts of the novel are the attempts to study and understand them. Lem explores the idea ...more
Van Choojitarom
Jun 20, 2008 Van Choojitarom rated it liked it
Another rip-roaring space adventure from Lem; like "Eden," "Fiasco" or "Solaris" Lem's astronauts boldly go through a glass darkly to thrilling encounters with insanity, meaninglessness, all-too human motives and the sheer unintelligibility of the universe on anthropomorphic terms. For Lem, the problem is never the horror of unfamiliar alien intelligence; it's that the encounter reveals to us how little we mean by the word "intelligence." Something for the Spinozist in all of us.
Łukasz Wikierski
Aug 09, 2014 Łukasz Wikierski rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, favorites
Skusiłem się na audiobooka, mimo tego, że łatwiej koncentruję się na tekście pisanym jak czytanym, ze względu na formę słuchowiska. Nie zawiodłem się! Wspaniała tematyka - kontakt ludzi z nieziemski bytami, pełna dylematów, grozy, niewiadomych. Do tego oprawa dźwiękowa, aktorzy, a nie sam suchy lektor.
Innymi słowy: Lem w najlepszej formie i wykonaniu.
May 26, 2014 Mathew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easily one of Lem's best novels, tense and gripping — I found myself reading it at 3AM because I wanted to know what would happen next. Cinematic, would make a good SF movie. Unusually rich characterization for Lem, too. Boggles my mind that it had no available direct English translation until this year.
James F
Apr 26, 2016 James F rated it really liked it
Another great science fiction novel by Stanislaw Lem. The basic premise is similar to that of Solaris: an exploration ship, The Condor, is lost soon after landing on a seemingly desert planet, and another ship, The Invincible, is sent to investigate the disappearance. Like Solaris, the novel is told from the perspective of one member of The Invincible's crew, the first officer Rohan, and is essentially a puzzle novel investigating another phenomena which may or may not be a radically different k ...more
Nov 21, 2009 Roger rated it really liked it
A short, raw, tight novel from Lem, dealing, in his inimitable manner, with an investigation of a ruined spaceship on a planet that holds a truly disturbing secret. One of Lem's best, this is true Verne-style futurizing.
Adam Metzner
Feb 06, 2016 Adam Metzner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Not everything is for us." This quote sums up the message of this classic Science Fiction novel. A theme in Lem's work is that man has the urge to control or destroy what he doesn't or can't comprehend. In this novel, the crew of human's aboard the "Invincible" travel to a planet that contains a danger that is rooted in a scientific theory that is beyond their comprehension. Even though the danger is self-contained by the planet, and no threat to other living beings existing in the cosmos, the ...more
Marek Pawlowski
Feb 14, 2016 Marek Pawlowski rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jednym z czołowych tematów przewijających się u Lema jest bezradność podczas spotkania z obcą cywilizacją lub jej pozostałością. Podobnie jest i w tym przypadku: gdy posiadamy tak potężny statek kosmiczny jak „Niezwyciężony” oraz stoimy u szczytu rozwoju technologicznego. Lem jest mistrzem wzbudzania wątpliwości, kreowania w czytelniku postawy sceptycznej wobec tego, jak dobrze rozumiemy nasz świat czy też jak wiele będziemy w stanie osiągnąć z naszymi zdolnościami intelektualnymi. Powieść „Niez ...more
Jan 23, 2013 Miguel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Este libro ha caído en mis manos (metafóricamente hablando ya que en realidad lo he leído en el Kindle ;-)) después de oír hablar de él en el podcast Verdhugos donde lo recomendaban como una lectura interesante para empezar a leer algo de este autor, cuya obra mas conocida, Solaris, es quizás más árida.
He de decir que desde hace años la lectura de esta obra, Solaris, esta en mi “pila” de pendientes y normalmente suelo descartarla cada vez que empiezo una nueva novela porque tengo un mal recuerdo
Aug 24, 2015 Tim rated it liked it
This is an aggressively detailed book - everything is written with a militarist's precision. Characters aren't so much built as dissected with a cold laser. But Lem uses this to create an epic, ominous and authentic world and to ask questions about the nature of humanity that are rare in the science-fiction genre. It's a fascinating book, but not gripping nor emotionally involving.
Agnieszka Kalus
Jul 06, 2015 Agnieszka Kalus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Słuchałam audiobooka - słuchowisko na podstawie tej powieści i jestem zaskoczona, że aż tak mi się podobało. Jestem zadowolona z siebie, że dałam szansę gatunkowi literackiemu, który omijałam zawsze szerokim łukiem.
Jun 19, 2015 laskavka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Ze začátku jsem se těžko dostávala do děje, ale pak se to rozjelo a jedna akce nasledovala druhou, až jsem to nakonec musela přečíst rychle v kuse! Super sci-fi!
Sudeep Agarwal
I really liked the hard science. The philosophical undertones dealing with human perception of life and evolution as well as the said and unsaid reasons behind every decision made in the book is very impressive and thought provocative.

Lem tried very hard to make the reader visualise the fictional planet, and he succeeded. Unfortunately, I was a bit lost in the description. I thought it could have done with fewer descriptions as this did not seem to be the focus. But it made sense later as it ga
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Arek Trzepacz
May 26, 2015 Arek Trzepacz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literature
Great book, one of the best short s-f story.
Plamen Nenchev
Apr 07, 2016 Plamen Nenchev rated it it was amazing
Stanislaw Lem tends to be unrivalled when it comes to philosophical insights into first contact with alien intelligence. Unfortunately, as philosophising for Lem often tends to spill over into over-philosophising, 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 – m ...more
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Stanisław Lem (staˈɲiswaf lɛm) was a Polish science fiction, philosophical and satirical writer of Jewish descent. His books have been translated into 41 languages and have sold over 27 million copies. He is perhaps best known as the author of Solaris, which has twice been made into a feature film. In 1976, Theodore Sturgeon claimed that Lem was the most widely read science-fiction writer in the w ...more
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