Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Invincible

Rate this book
The Invincible (Polish: Niezwyciężony) is a science fiction novel by Polish writer Stanislaw Lem, published in 1964. The Invincible originally appeared as the title story in Lem's collection Niezwyciężony i inne opowiadania ("The Invincible and Other Stories"). A translation into German was published in 1967; an English translation by Wendayne Ackerman, based on the German one, was published in 1973.

An interstellar 2nd-class cruiser called Invincible, lands on Regis III which seems bleakly uninhabited, to investigate the loss of sister ship, Condor.

223 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1964

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Stanisław Lem

444 books3,619 followers
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 world.

His works explore philosophical themes; speculation on technology, the nature of intelligence, the impossibility of mutual communication and understanding, despair about human limitations and humankind's place in the universe. They are sometimes presented as fiction, but others are in the form of essays or philosophical books. Translations of his works are difficult and multiple translated versions of his works exist.

Lem became truly productive after 1956, when the de-Stalinization period led to the "Polish October", when Poland experienced an increase in freedom of speech. Between 1956 and 1968, Lem authored 17 books. His works were widely translated abroad (although mostly in the Eastern Bloc countries). In 1957 he published his first non-fiction, philosophical book, Dialogi (Dialogues), one of his two most famous philosophical texts along with Summa Technologiae (1964). The Summa is notable for being a unique analysis of prospective social, cybernetic, and biological advances. In this work, Lem discusses philosophical implications of technologies that were completely in the realm of science fiction then, but are gaining importance today—like, for instance, virtual reality and nanotechnology. Over the next few decades, he published many books, both science fiction and philosophical/futurological, although from the 1980s onwards he tended to concentrate on philosophical texts and essays.

He gained international fame for The Cyberiad, a series of humorous short stories from a mechanical universe ruled by robots, first published in English in 1974. His best-known novels include Solaris (1961), His Master's Voice (Głos pana, 1968), and the late Fiasco (Fiasko, 1987), expressing most strongly his major theme of the futility of mankind's attempts to comprehend the truly alien. Solaris was made into a film in 1972 by Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky and won a Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1972; in 2002, Steven Soderbergh directed a Hollywood remake starring George Clooney.

He was the cousin of poet Marian Hemar.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
3,817 (39%)
4 stars
3,929 (40%)
3 stars
1,599 (16%)
2 stars
286 (2%)
1 star
62 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 670 reviews
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
795 reviews3,615 followers
April 18, 2021
It´s important to know one´s sci-fi tropes on rescue and search missions with seemingly invincible human spaceships. It could help to avoid foreseeable debacles.

Some of the most fascinating sci-fi plot devices are united to one of Lem´s more action and tech focused than philosophical and funny novels, dealing with elements such as:

Nanotechnology in the form of the big, unknown, difficult to understand enemy nobody deems even possible, I don´t know if this is one of the first or the first kind of description of such a form of appearance in the history of sci-fi. There were similar ideas in mythology, but these were more fantasy and psi fueled than with a technological background.

What happened to them, will it happen to us too? Not knowing what, and later why, could have been done to the humans who landed before the protagonists arrived and not being sure where the danger on makes the fear, terror, and hence resulting explanation attempts a thriller whodunnit style adventure, a cosmic horror great old Cthulhu mystery.

Paranoia sets in and a seemingly primitive enemy is able to awake different feelings between existential crises and pure fear in the humans, showing that even the

I wonder a bit why Lem didn´t write more easygoing, definitively quicker to write and much less exhausting to read, novels that were more similar to movies than to sophisticated, philosophical debates and cynical views on any aspect of human nature and condition. It could be explained by the fact that Lem decided to completely stop writing ever so trivial novels and sci-fi in later life, because society was, is, and will be too lame to motivate ingenious prodigy writers to continue their groundbreaking work, and that he subconsciously somewhat already had the intuitive feeling of having to write as complex and astonishing before, to at least justify that he wastes his time and talent with high brow pulp.
Profile Image for Thomas Beekers.
16 reviews3 followers
August 10, 2013
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".
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,968 followers
February 18, 2021
This is a very surprising classic SF tale that reads as if it had been informed by years of modern SF including not only a standard planetary expedition, but swarm-intelligence, nanobots -- with an almost Stargate feel -- while being utterly serious and thoughtful about all the kinds of alien life they might encounter.

The big question is pretty simple, however.

When was this written? According to the postscript: 1961-2.

No matter how you look at this, this book is WELL ahead of its time, which isn't all that surprising. Solaris is a classic by any standard and I was knocked off my chair by Cyberiad, not only for the ideas but the cleverness of the writing and the sheer wit in the pages.

This one comes closer to Solaris, with their thoughtful examination of what they were encountering, but it is more like a high-class SF adventure with all the action, the tech, and the huge special effects.

I'll be honest: I don't read many golden or silver age SFs that impress me with not only accurate science (within the bounds set) or with believable characters (not a John Carter lookalike). This one manages to be quite modern, even fifty years after it was written, and I AM impressed.

Well worth the read and fun. :)
Profile Image for Stuart.
718 reviews266 followers
March 11, 2018
The Invicible: Early classic encounter with a swarm intelligence
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature

Stanislaw Lem was a Polish SF author, one of the most famous and successful writers outside the English language world, selling over 45 million copies in 40+ languages over five decades from the 1950s, but mainly in Eastern European communist bloc countries such as Poland, Germany, and the Soviet Union. However, despite his success he had a rocky relationship with the United States SF community, having a fairly low opinion of American SF fiction writers other than Philip K Dick’s works, and having his honorary membership with the SFWA taken away when he became eligible to become a regular member, which may have been intended as a slight and which he took as one. He refused to join.

Lem even translated PDK’s UBIK into Polish in 1972, but as PDK was already pretty eccentric as he neared his own personal 1974 religious experience, he wrote to the FBI saying that Stanislaw Lem was a name used as a cover for the Communist Party to influence Western public opinion (just a wee paranoid, I’d say). Basically he felt he got stiffed for payment for the translation and blamed Lem for this. So there was a lot of misunderstanding with Lem and the Western SF world. However, as time has passed there have been many more English translations of his works, including a number of retranslations and audiobook versions, which has brought his work to the attention of newer readers again.

His most famous book is Solaris written in 1961 in Polish (see my review of the book as well as the 1972 Tarkovsky film and 2002 Soderbergh film versions), which was not translated into English until 1970 (from the French edition, rather than the original Polish). It finally received a direct Polish-to-English translation from Bill Johnston and an audiobook version in 2011. Similarly, The Invincible was first published in Polish in 1964, then translated to German in 1967, but only received an English translation of the German version in 1973. Finally it received a proper Polish-to-English translation by Bill Johnston in 2015, so we have him to thank for bringing Lem’s works more skillfully and faithfully to English language readers. The audiobook has just become available from Tantor Audio, narrated by Peter Berkrot and based on the Bill Johnston translation, so it was a perfect opportunity to rediscover a classic Lem story.

Turning to The Invincible itself, it is a classic take of alien contact and rumination on the nature of human and non-human (in this case non-organic) intelligence, and the possible futility of trying to communicate with a truly alien intelligence at all. Rather than the simplistic and anthropomorphic aliens popularized by American SF pulps and films and TV shows like the Star Wars and Star Trek franchises, Lem’s thoughts on alien consciousness or machine intelligence was way ahead of its time. He was a pioneer when he wrote about encountering a sentient ocean in Solaris in 1961, and an artificial machine-based micro-bot swarm intelligence in The Invincible in 1964, almost a half century ago. One wonders how much more influence he might have had on the Western SF scene if his works had been translated more quickly and accurately than they were.

In any case, The Invincible is the story of an heavily-armed exploration ship that sets out to discover what happened to The Condor, a similar ship that landed on the uninhabited and desolate planet Regis III before losing contact without warning. The first half of the book focuses on the crew’s efforts to discover what happened to The Condor and its crew, and they soon discover a mysterious artificial city, which seems to have been abandoned long ago. They then discover The Condor, still intact and largely undamaged, hundreds of kilometers from the city. Then they have their first encounter with an ominous and metallic cloud that emits a strong electromagnetic field and interferes with their communications. Things quickly spiral downward as they realize they are dealing with an artificial machine intelligence that does not possess higher consciousness, but is perfectly capable of destroying human technology and mental functions, and even the mighty anti-matter weaponry of the Invincible.

There are various arguments among the crew, particularly the captain and the first navigator, Rohan, who is the main character in the story, about how to confront this implacable alien swarm intelligence, one that hardly seems aware of the pitiful human presence on the planet. However, unlike Kris Kelvin in Solaris, we really don’t get to know the human characters in The Invincible, as they seem largely lost in the face of an impossible situation. Ostensibly they are there to discover the crew of The Condor, but their whole mission comes into question, and by extension the whole justification for human exploration of strange and hostile worlds is also put under the microscope. Do humans really have a moral imperative to explore and conquer, and when they encounter an inorganic swarm intelligence that is perfectly adapted to its environment, but also perfectly uninterested in organic life, what possible gain can be had by trying to “communicate?”

Like many SF novels of the 1960s and 1970s, the ideas in Lem’s books take precedence over excessive characterization and plotting, which accounts for their welcome brevity (under 200 pages vs. the doorstoppers produced by Peter F. Hamilton or Alastair Reynolds), but Lem is very much a modern philosopher, ruthlessly stripping away the pretensions of the Western idea that humanity has a Manifest Destiny to explore and conquer the universe. The themes he prefers to explore are what intelligence and consciousness are, and what their role is in a large and uncaring universe. It is often a chilling vision, and may well have been influenced by his long exposure to the Soviet Union’s dominance over the communist bloc countries, including his homeland of Poland. Rather than the naive optimism of American SF, he painted an often bleak canvas of the limitations of human ambition.

Given that perspective, it is quite fascinating how popular his works became. I’ve only touched the surface of his books, and look forward to reading some with a more satirical slant, such as the stories of "Ijon Tichy: Space Pilot" (The Star Diaries, The Futurological Congress), along with his fable-like short stories exploring artificial intelligence (The Cyberiad, Mortal Engines). There is a depth of intellectual rigor and refusal to provide escapism in his books that appeals to me, and I hope he will find more readers thanks to the new translations and audiobook versions.
Profile Image for Ivana Books Are Magic.
523 reviews191 followers
February 23, 2021
What a fascinating read this book is! Simply ideal for a science fiction reader that enjoys thought-provoking novels. The Invincible is filled with so many interesting philosophical and scientific concepts that are still relevant. This is the third novel by Lem that I read (you might have noticed that I have been binge reading Lem this year).

The novel is named after a space ship that takes a crew to a surface of a planet they haven't visited before, but the title might have additional significance. The name of the vessel made me think of Titanic. The more I read the novel, the more the very concept of 'invincibleness' acquired ironic connotations. As humans we always assume that the latest scientific discovery and advancement will protect us from harm, but is it so? How many times have we witnessed that technology cannot save us from ourselves? It cannot be a solution in itself. Alas, as humans never learn. However, this novel isn't only about technology. Like many of Stanislaw Lem's work, this novel is a first contact story. Nevertheless, there is a different twist to it as the contact is not with 'biological' life.

The Invincible is another novel that makes its characters think hard. Similar to Lem's novel Eden and Solaris, the crew landing on this planet Regis III encounters a planet they do not understand. They do not comprehend much about the planet itself and are completely in the dark for a good portion of novel. Once again, Lem's pessimism about our human limitations ranks true. This writer is very good at observing and pointing out the limitations of human knowledge.

There is a lot of debate about what is going on between the characters. In comparison to Eden, the characters in this novel were better developed and you can get a decent feeling of what they are like. This is great because it engages you as the reader more. The thoughts of the protagonists show some character development. Moreover, the characters are mostly well rounded and credible personalities. Similarly to Eden, the profession of the character plays an important part in the novel but they are not limited to it, like I felt they were in Eden. The profession of the characters influences their thinking and opens space for an interdisciplinary scientific debates, but the characters are more developed than they were in Solaris. As the crew investigates the planet, more questions arise. They discover marine life, a kind of fish. However, this fish is afraid of technology. Why would fish be afraid of technology (and electromagnetic signals connected to it)?

That's not the only perplexing thing happening on the planet. The reason why the crew landed is pretty sinister as well. They are there to explore the disappearance of their sister ship Condor. They find the ship and the perished crew but they cannot comprehend what happened. What could have killed the crew? What could have brought about the destruction of such a powerful space ship? Obviously, the Invincible crew is put on edge. Something annihilated a crew that was no less skilled educated or capable than them. What should the crew of Invincible do? Should they just leave the planet? Can they? The thing is that there seemed to be civilization on this planet but it perished long ago. So, it is unclear what possibly could have hurt the crew of Condor. There are no traces of violence or anything like that, making the whole Condor tragedy even more complex.

Now, I don't want to get into too details because I want to avoid spoilers, but there is another interesting theme in this novel and it has to do with robotic wars and technology. As the crew learns more about this planet, they realize that there could have been necro-evolution taking place. I listened to this novel in Russian and if I recall well, the term it was used was reverse evolution. I found this concept very interesting. I think this novel was one of the first to examine such concepts as nanotechnology and reverse evolution. As biological organisms, we start as a single cell and we grew in complexity. What would happen to robots or machines if they were left on their own? What would happen to technology if the civilization that left it perished? Wouldn't the robots grow more simple since they started out as complex? Now, that's a very interesting question.

To conclude, I would definitely recommend this novel, especially to fans of Lem. It is a wonderful science fiction novel that has aged remarkably well. I enjoyed every minute of it!
Profile Image for Данило Судин.
492 reviews178 followers
August 15, 2022
Станіслав Лем - один з небагатьох авторів, який для мене витримав перевірку часом. Я читав його ще в школі, я перечитаю його через чверть століття - і він далі мене вражає. А після біографії Лем. Життя не з цієї землі, написаної Орлінським, я зрозумів, що є Лем, якого я не знаю. Але мова зараз про твір, який я читаю, мабуть, вчетверте. Хоча вперше українською. Для мене "Непереможний" - один з найкращих в доробку Лема. Сюжет тут наче простий - на тлі Соляріс чи Фіаско. На безлюдній планеті Регіс ІІІ зникає космічний крейсер "Кондор". Для з'ясування, що ж там сталося, на ту ж планету відправляють інший крейсер, але того ж класу, - "Непереможний". І далі твір рухається за звичайною рутиною: як знайти космічний корабель на безлюдній планеті, якщо екіпаж цього корабля не виходить на зв'язок. Далі переказувати сюжет - це вже спойлерити, тому одразу перейду до похвал.

По-перше, в цьому романі дуже чітка сюжетна лінія. Вона ніде не "провисає", ніде сюжет не прогальмовує. Наприклад, в "Соляріс" роман зупиняється посередині - і головний герой просто сидить в бібліотеці та читає результати наукових досліджень Соляріс. В "Едемі" взагалі початок млявий, бо головні герої потрапляють в аварію - і просто блукають довкола корабля в пошуках допомоги. Тут же ж дія наростає - і цілком логічно та без жодних манівців та зупинок.

По-друге, тут просто майстерно виписані персонажі. Лем для кожного має передісторію, але - і це просто шикарно! - не розповідає її нам. Ми хіба трохи дізнаємося про стосунки Рогана (старпома) та Горпаха (астрогатора, тобто капітана). Але з тексту можна "впіймати", що в Рогана була дружба з Ярґом, водієм всюдихода. Є інші персонажі, яких в тексті згадано на ім'я, і відчувається, що для Рогана вони не просто імена, але друзі, товариші чи знайомі. Але жодних тривалих розповідей, як і де вони з'їли свій "пуд солі" з Роганом. Ні, Лем робить все максимально економно. Ми зрозуміли, що ось в цих персонажів є спільна передісторія? Цього достатньо. Врешті-решт, в повсякденному житті ми не згадуємо всю історію стосунків з людиною кожен раз, коли її бачимо.

По-третє, деталі. Лем просто шалено майстерний в описі деталей. Як "Непереможний" прокидається після тривалої подорожі в космосі - це ж класика. Власне, в мене відчуття, що Рідлі Скот списував початок свого "Чужого" саме з Лема. Так само і далі в тексті: як розгортаються експедиції, як приймаються рішення, як виглядає власне "екшн". Описи техніки, побуту - все настільки правдоподібне, що здається, ніби Лем все це бачив на власні очі.

По-четверте, атмосфера. Лем майстерно змішує жанри, причому так непомітно, що весь текст здається, ніби читаєш тверду НФ. Але тут є і горор, і детектив, і мариністика ХІХ ст... Раніше в мене було відчуття, що я Лемові приписав невластивий стиль (вигледів ту мариністику під впливом інтенсивного читання Конрада), але з книги Орлінського цього року дізнався, що Лем десь тоді "підсів" на польську літературу ХІХ ст. - і жалівся, що скоро сам почне писати як автори того часу... Що ж, мій здогад не був аж таким хибним. Оця мариністика проривається в деталях. Наприклад, команда корабля, яка хоче зійти на "берег", коли крейсер приземляється. Боцман та матроси, які спілкуються на вахті - і говорять майже страшилки / байки про некросферу Регіса. (До речі, а на космічних кораблях потрібні боцмани?) Лем майстерно ці речі вплітає в текст - і вони працюють на загальну ідею.

А вона класична для цього Лема, тобто песимістичного циклу (Едем, Соляріс, Фіаско та Непереможний). Людство та Інший. Тільки в цьому романі фінал, все ж, позитивний: людство не зазнало поразки, тобто не піддалося "мавпі". Адже Лем вважав, що людство в своїй основі та сама мавпа, що й мільйони років тому, просто технології має сучасніші. Так от, людство таки змогло побачити іншість Іншого, побачити інший розум / цивілізацію / культуру. Перепрошую за такий спойлер.

П.С. Взагалі, химерно розуміти, що більшість творів Лема, які мені подобаються, він писав суто заради грошей. "Непереможний" - один з них.
Загалом Лемові було ліньки робити атмосферні та детальні описи. Він волів переходити одразу до ідей. А от ця частина художнього твору йому видавалася зайвою - марною тратою сил і часу. Десь він в листі зізнавався, що йому набридло починати текст з того, де прокинувся головний герой, що пив та їв, перш ніж вийшов з дому. Йому хочеться одразу переходити до ідей. І зараз я підозрюю, що саме комерційне замовлення (і непевний статус, адже на момент писання всіх творів песимістичного циклу Лем ще не мав чи статусу "зірки", чи потребував грошей, чи одночасно і те, й інше) змушувало його писати більш художньо. Як тільки він має змогу писати так, як йому хочеться, то одразу з'являються оповідання в стилі Казок роботів / Кіберіади, чи циклу про Ійона Тихого (тут багато творів, а тому всі не перелічуватиму), чи як рецензії на неіснуючі книги Апокрифи. Тобто твори, які є переказами. Лем пише від імені свого персонажа (чи усна традиція в казках, чи Ійон Тихий, чи вигаданий рецензент), який розповідає байки іншим персонажам чи уявним читачам. Тому йому нема потреби творити "картинку" - писати текст, в який ми занурюємося, який є поглядом на інший світ. (Тобто такий собі "невидимй наратор", який є, але його нема - і ми наче бачимо описуване безпосередньо). Ні, Лем просто пише "чужі" розповіді, а тому вони можуть бути до певної міри абстрактними. Адже ми слухаємо чужу оповідь, а тому не маємо уявляти, що людина бачить. В цьому жанрі правила інші.
І дуже шкода, бо художню літературу він писав просто неймовірно!

П.П.С. А от український переклад деколи дратує - причому через... складальника. В тексті двічі натрапляв на прикрі опечатки: "їх рани", хоча мало бути... "ліряни", "вкриті" замість "вириті". Складається враження, що Іван Сварник перекладав цей роман ще в радянські часи - але в шухляду. А потім рукопис приніс у видавництво "Богдан", коли почалося "П'ятикнижжя Лемове". І там його рукопис (машинопис?) сканували чи перенабирали. І ось трапилися такі прикрості. А критикуватимуть перекладача! Хоча видно, що це не його помилки: він би такого не пропустив, бо з контексту (!) видно, що там помилка. Тому дуже шкода...
Profile Image for Majeed Estiri.
Author 6 books483 followers
March 27, 2020
شاید بیش از بیست سال از وقتی که این رمان علمی تخیلی را خواندم میگذرد.
امروز در زادروز استانیسلاو لم نویسنده بزرگ روس گفتم ادای دینی به او بکنم. نویسنده ای که تارکوفسکی فیلم فلسفی و شاعرانه سولاریس را بر اساس رمان علمی تخیلی او ساخت.
لم تقریبا مهمترین نویسنده علمی تخیلی بلوک شرق بوده در دوران قدرت شوروی.
Profile Image for A. Raca.
729 reviews150 followers
October 12, 2020
Çok keyifli bir bilim kurgu okuması oldu Yenilmez.

Yenilmez adlı uzay gemisi mürettebatı Regis lll isimli gezegene gider. Oraya daha önce ulaşmış ve haber alınamayan başka bir uzay gemisi hakkında bilgi edinmek için yapılır yolculuk ancak çok farklı durumlarla karşılaşırlar çünkü burda yaşayanlar bir çeşit robot. İçgüdüyle mi hareket ediyorlar bilinçli mi yapıyorlar derken tüm mürettebat delirir, bir şeyler olur.
'Bulut' bir bilinç midir 🤔
Profile Image for Jamie.
1,159 reviews104 followers
June 7, 2019
"How many extraordinary phenomena like this, so foreign to human comprehension, might lie concealed in space? Do we need to travel everywhere, bringing destructive power on our ships, so as to smash anything that runs counter to our understanding?"

Fascinating, chilling and totally original first contact thriller set in deep space. Lem was an amazing out-of-the-box thinker, imaging aliens and alien concepts that go far beyond what most people can fathom. Aliens that are so different they're nearly incomprehensible, sharing no common ground with humanity.

The story focuses on a ship sent on a rescue mission, under mysterious circumstances, to a remote planet that proves deadly. They encounter non-sentient aliens in the form of a swarm of distributed micro machines, remnants of an ancient civilization on a desolate world that have evolved as a "Necrosphere", capable of clustering together to form a sort of hive intelligence. Lem provides some fascinating, solid, hard science underpinnings throughout, touching on evolutionary biology and cybernetics in particular.

This has the makings of an amazing movie. Incredible stuff for it's day (1964), and no less so today. Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Nikola Pavlovic.
276 reviews40 followers
November 14, 2017
Klasicno - fantasticno! Najbolji primer kako izgleda stari klasicni Sf roman. Potresna prica o clanovima posade dva svemirska broda blizanca Kondora i Nepobedivog nece vas ostviti ravnodusnim.
Profile Image for P.E..
761 reviews525 followers
March 30, 2020

The story :
Spaceship The Invincible is sent on unexplored planet Regis III to investigate on the unexplained silence of the crew of the Condor spaceship, sent there before. As they begin the searching, they discover neither amphibians nor land animals. Flora and fauna are found to stick to the oceans, as though they were wary of the continents...

My thoughts :
I particularly appreciate how you are made to discover the geology, the biosphere, the Condor wreck, little by little. This story stands as a prime example of information withheld and given oh so graudally. There is no way I close that book before I discover what exactly are these weird ruins... and these eerie glossy black clouds... and that unaccountable ecosystem...

At the end of the day, you have to piece it together by yourself : there is nowhere to look for a global, godlike vision of the whys and hows! For those who liked Solaris, please be my guest :)

Some of my reservations :
- The balance between action and theory can be a bit off at times.
- If it were up to me, I wonder whether I would have sent the same class of spaceship as the one lost to try and retrieve it... Come to think of it, isn't this giving a faithful image of mankind?
If you don't succeed, try again with the same setting, the same crew, the same line of action, and call an air strike too.

Buddy read with Tara - 29/03/2020


- Philip K. Dick's short stories on self-replicating machines (or Neumann machines).

⇁ Second Variety
⇁ War Game
⇁ Autofac
⇁ The Gun

About hives, eusocial and colonial lifeforms :

- Nimbus - by Peter Watts
- Ender's Game
- Empire of the Ants
- Niourk
- Solaris

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Suggested Soundtrack :
Music for a Distance - Rolf Julius : Soundtrack for immeuble Manny, 44200 Nantes

- L'immeuble Manny


L'histoire :
Le vaisseau l'Invincible est dépêché sur le monde vierge Régis III pour enquêter sur les causes suspectes de la disparition de l'équipage du Condor. En arrivant, ils découvrent un écosystème qui se cantonne aux océans, comme si les animaux, par réflexe atavique, craignaient d'approcher du rivage...

Mon avis :
On découvre peu à peu la géologie, la biosphère, les ruines, l'épave du Condor, on théorise sur les causes de la catastrophe... C'est une belle gestion de l'inconnu, on a envie d'en apprendre plus à chaque nouveau chapitre. à aucun moment on obtient une vision d'ensemble. Tout au plus un soupçon, c'est très fort.

Mes réserves :
- Un dosage parfois un peu inégal de l'action et de l'interprétation de la part des personnages.
- Je me demande si, à la place de l'autorité administrative de la Base, j'aurais envoyé le même type d'appareil pour chercher. Dans un sens, ça donne une certaine image de l'homme, qui n'est pas si fausse : si ça ne passe pas, reprenons le même cadre, les mêmes acteurs, les mêmes conditions et recommençons... Aux mêmes causes, les mêmes effets.

Buddy read with Tara - 29/03/2020


- Nouvelles de Philip K. Dick sur une machine de Neumann (machine autoréplicante)

Minority Report et autres récits
⇁ Nouveau Modèle (Second Variety)
⇁ Un jeu guerrier (War Game)

⇁ Autofab (Autofac)

Un vaisseau fabuleux et autres voyages galactiques
⇁ Le Canon(The Gun)

Sur des formes de vie en essaim/colonie :
- Nimbus Peter Watts in Utopiales 2013
- Ender's Game
- Les Fourmis
- Niourk
- Solaris

Le jour où la Terre s'arrêta (The Day the Earth Stood Still)

Bande-son :
Music for a Distance - Rolf Julius : bande-son de l'immeuble Manny, 44200 Nantes

- L'immeuble Manny
November 22, 2013
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 idea that any contact between two fundamentally different cultures/entities is highly unlikely to result in any form of meaningful communication and, knowing the nature of human beings, may prove disastrous.

A few reviewers complained about the apparent absence of women in the story. Well, we don't know anything about the culture of the period. Perhaps women had chosen to not be involved in interstellar travel for moral or health reasons. Or maybe Lem believed it wouldn't be a good idea to introduce female characters, because persons with reduced mental activity are naturally left alone by the swarms on Regis III, so the book wouldn't be fun to read whatsoever. Ever wondered why women are placed in a separate category whenever it comes to playing chess?
What's also amazing about this story is its profound alienness: like in "Solaris", the surroundings, events and creatures on the planet have a genuinely extraterrestrial touch which gives them an atypical authenticity.

5/5 stars, it is definitely worth reading even multiple times.
Profile Image for Sebastian Gebski.
952 reviews840 followers
June 4, 2022
Absolutna klasyka - nie ma co recenzowac, trzeba czytac :)

Ale w sumie jednym spostrzezeniem sie podziele. Konczac "Niezwyciezonego" sama przyszla do mnie mysl o tym dlaczego tak dobrze sie go czyta i co zostalo popsute w SF od czasow Gwiezdnych Wojen, Star Trekow, o roznych Marvelach nie wspominajac.

Otoz, panujaca obecnie papka absolutnie wszystko zhumanizowala. Nie czuc przestrzeni - podroz gwiezdna jest jak wyprawa do kiosku. Nie czuc skali. Nie czuc strachu przed nieznanym - wszakze napotkani (ewentualnie) przybysze/autochtoni z innych swiatow sa ludzcy az do bolu. To jest ... nudne. I banalne. I jest to po prostu apogeum lenistwa - zarowno ze strony tworcow, jak i odbiorcow (bo niczego bardziej zlozonego by nie zaakceptowali).

No i wlasnie dlatego "Niezwyciezonego" tak dobrze sie czyta. Jest przestrach przed nieznanym. Nie ma faktow, sa hipotezy. Jest obezwladniajaca skala i wynikajaca z niej samotnosc. To naprawde niesamowite, biorac pod uwage, ze ta ksiazka zostala napisana w 1964 (!!!) roku. Czapki z glow.
Profile Image for Javier.
182 reviews63 followers
November 11, 2022
El Invencible es un clásico que ha envejecido bien. A pesar de haber transcurrido más de medio siglo, podría perfectamente pasar por el guión de cualquier blockbuster producido hoy en día con solo meter algún personaje femenino. Es su principal baza y lo que hay que reconocerle, aunque no sea de lo mejor de Lem. Las críticas exageradamente buenas las interpreto así: se trata de una historia muy consumible, muy mainstream, de terror espacial. Con un final sobrecogedor. Se lee muy bien y es entretenida.

Recuerdo que lo último que leí del polaco fue precisamente la primera novela que escribió, ambientada en la Polonia rural durante la ocupación alemana. Se considera que El hospital de la transfiguración es una obra menor, pero después de leer El Invencible más bien pienso lo contrario. El estilo de Lem, si bien algo titubeante en aquella opera prima, luce mucho más actual y potente cuando el contexto no es fantástico. Tengo en cuenta la excepción de Solaris, pero el choque entre una realidad terrible que se va filtrando poco a poco en un goteo onírico, casi alucinatorio, lo veo un tanto desaprovechado en relatos de ambientación más clásicamente ci-fi. Si Lem es hoy un autor de culto, creo que de haber explorado más ese otro camino estaríamos hablando tal vez de un premio Nobel.
Profile Image for Lazar.
28 reviews10 followers
March 13, 2019
Znao sam da ima nesto u tvojim delima Stanislave! Drago mi je sto posle Solarisa nisam odustao.
Knjiga je pravi predstavnik svog zanra, za razliku od Solarisa. Zanimljivo je kako izgleda predvidjanje buducnosti i razvoja tehnologije iz 60ih, sto deluje na trenutke naivno i neuverljivo, ali meni jako simpaticno. Lem cesto detaljno objasnjava tehnoloska i tehnicka resenja sto je opet iz perspektive vremena u kome je roman nastao potpuno razumljivo. Mislim da je prevod malo problematican u nekim trenucima. Preporuka za sve koji su se razocarali Solarisom (no-spoilers book club)
Profile Image for Aylin.
170 reviews20 followers
October 19, 2020
Doganin, ortalama 70 senelik omru olan insan karsisindaki mutlak ustunlugu ile ilgili guzel bir alt metin olusturmusken ve bu alt metne politik gondermeler dahi sigdirmayi basarmisken finalde kafalari karistirip mesajini belirsizlestirmis.

Sonu haric, genel olarak yine etkilendim. Su kisim kitabin fikrini guzel ozetlemis:

"İnsan - şu anda gayet iyi anlıyordu ki - gerçek yüceliğe ulaşmış değildi, eskiden beri göklere çıkarılan galaktosantrik düşünceyi sahiplenmiş değildi ve bu düşüncenin anlamı sadece, kendine benzer yaratıkları arayıp anlamak olamazdı, tersine yabancı, insan dışı meselelere karışmamayı öğrenmek olmalıydı. Boşluğu fethetmek, neden olmasındı? Ama var olan, milyonlarca yıl içerisinde kendine ait, bağımsız, ışımanın ve maddenin güçlerinden başka hiç kimseye ve hiçbir şeye tabi olmayan bir varoluş dengesi yaratmış olana, hayvan ya da insan adı verilen protein bileşiklerinden ne daha iyi ne de daha kötü olan bir faal varoluşa saldırmak başka şeydi."
Profile Image for Sofija.
135 reviews
November 4, 2022
I think I read this at the wrong time bc this was underwhelming. I like the writing style but the plot was a bit too vague. I prefer Solaris.
Profile Image for George K..
2,367 reviews292 followers
August 1, 2020
Τέταρτο βιβλίο του Στάνισλαβ Λεμ που διαβάζω, μετά το ιδιόρρυθμο αλλά πολύ ωραίο "Χειρόγραφα που βρέθηκαν σε μια μπανιέρα" που διάβασα τον Ιανουάριο του 2012 και τα υπέροχα "Συνέδριο για το μέλλον" και "Σολάρις" που διάβασα τον Απρίλιο και τον Αύγουστο του 2013 αντίστοιχα, και δηλώνω για άλλη μια φορά εξαιρετικά ικανοποιημένος, τόσο από την πλοκή και τις ιδέες του συγγραφέα, όσο φυσικά και από την καταπληκτική γραφή του.

Το βιβλίο κυκλοφόρησε στα ελληνικά (επιτέλους!) φέτος τον Φεβρουάριο, αλλά έπρεπε να περιμένει τόσους μήνες αδιάβαστο στη βιβλιοθήκη μου, μέχρι να πάρω την απόφαση να το διαβάσω. Πιθανότατα ήθελα να πετύχω την κατάλληλη στιγμή, ώστε να το απολαύσω στον μέγιστο βαθμό. Και τα κατάφερα! Το βιβλίο είναι πραγματικά καταπληκτικό, ένα εξαιρετικό δείγμα "σκεπτόμενης" επιστημονικής φαντασίας, με μπόλικα τεχνολογικά μπιχλιμπίδια, ενδιαφέρουσες ιδέες, κάποιες φιλοσοφικές προεκτάσεις, αλλά επίσης δράση και μπόλικη αγωνία για την κατάληξη των ηρώων.

Το βιβλίο αυτό είναι σαφώς πιο ευκολοδιάβαστο και εξωστρεφές σε σχέση με το "Σολάρις", όμως δεν είναι καθόλου απλοϊκό, θέλει την προσοχή του, θέλει μια κάποια ησυχία για να το απολαύσει κανείς, μιας και υπάρχουν αρκετές περιγραφές τεχνολογιών και εξωγήινων τοπίων, οπότε για να κάνεις μια εικόνα όλων αυτών που διαβάζεις, θα έλεγα ότι είναι απαραίτητη λίγη αυτοσυγκέντρωση. Η πλοκή είναι ενδιαφέρουσα, διαθέτει λίγο μυστήριο και πολλή αγωνία, η οποία διατηρείται και κλιμακώνεται μέχρι το τέλος. Η γραφή είναι εξαιρετική, ίσως όχι με τόσο συναίσθημα αλλά αν μη τι άλλο με αφόρητα ρεαλιστικές περιγραφές που δημιουργούν μια παράξενη και σε σημεία κλειστοφοβική ατμόσφαιρα (έστω και αν σκηνικό δράσης είναι ουσιαστικά η επιφάνεια ενός πλανήτη).

Δεν το συζητάω, είναι από τα καλύτερα μυθιστορήματα επιστημονικής φαντασίας που έτυχε να διαβάσω τα τελευταία χρόνια. Βέβαια, ήταν κάτι που περίμενα, μιας και ο Στάνισλαβ Λεμ είναι από τους καλύτερους συγγραφείς του είδους εκεί έξω, αλλά φυσικά έπρεπε να το διαβάσω για να το επιβεβαιώσω. Φυσικά, σαν βιβλίο ίσως να μην είναι για όλα τα γούστα, μιας και ανήκει στο είδος της "σκληρής" επιστημονικής φαντασίας. Όμως, κατά τη γνώμη μου, πρόκειται για μια ιντριγκαδόρικη, καλογραμμένη και συναρπαστική ιστορία εξερεύνησης ενός πλανήτη, που άνετα μπορεί να καθηλώσει τους αναγνώστες.

Υ.Γ. Η μετάφραση είναι πραγματικά εξαιρετική, όπως επίσης και η επιμέλεια του κειμένου. Άψογη δουλειά από τις εκδόσεις Η Άγνωστη Καντάθ.
Profile Image for Lauren .
1,714 reviews2,308 followers
July 3, 2020
THE INVINCIBLE by Stanisław Lem, tr. from the Polish by Bill Johnston. 1964/2006 (Eng).

#ReadtheWorld21 📍Poland

Finally made my way to Lem! He's been on my "meaning to get to" list for about a decade, I'd heard many good things about his philosophical and hard science fiction style.

I got the Lem ball rolling with this 1964 work, about the crew of The Invincible, a research vessel on a reconnaissance mission to find their sister ship The Condor, lost on the planet Regis III. And what they find on Regis III... well #nospoilers ... But it's a fast-paced suspenseful ride around this planet! Really enjoyed it!

Lem's works are considered hard scifi because they don't shy away from technical details or descriptions, and operates within scientific logic and accuracy. His characters in this book are engineers, geologists, and biologists. Both nanotechnology and evolution are central scientific themes in The Invincible.

Interesting translation note: the first English edition of The Invincible was a two-degree translation, meaning it was the translation of the German text, that was translated from the Polish. It was only in 2006 that translator Bill Johnston translated Lem's original Polish directly into English.
Profile Image for Gianni.
252 reviews30 followers
January 10, 2021
Non sono un appassionato di fantascienza, ma devo ammettere che L’Invincibile è un libro meritevole. Lem ha combinato egregiamente e in modo credibile proprietà emergenti, auto-organizzazione, evoluzione inorganica, tutti riferimenti alla teoria della complessità che non possono non essere letti con attenzione ancora oggi che automazione e intelligenza artificiale sono una realtà consolidata e in espansione e dai risvolti un po’ inquietanti. È interessante come Lem faccia mantenere al protagonista principale la sua umanità, l’occhio attento alla comprensione della diversità, fosse anche in questo caso quella delle macchine, ”Di più, sentì che la sua presenza era inutile in quel mondo di morte perfetta, dove potevano perpetuarsi con successo solo le forme inanimate, per celebrare riti che nessun occhio vivente doveva guardare. Partecipando a ciò che era appena successo non aveva provato terrore, ma una stupita ammirazione. Sapeva che nessuno degli scienziati sarebbe stato capace di condividere questo sentimento; adesso voleva tornare non più per riferire sulla morte degli uomini dispersi, ma per esigere che il pianeta fosse lasciato in pace. ‘Non tutto è stato fatto per noi, e il nostro posto non è dappertutto’, pensò percorrendo lentamente la discesa.” Non l’uomo sopra di tutto, ma l’uomo parte del tutto.

Il mio primo incontro con Stanislaw Lem a Cracovia

Profile Image for Danijel.
169 reviews11 followers
October 14, 2013
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 znanstvene fantastike, i širi neke svoje vlastite konstrukte. Studiozno pristupa svemu, evoluciji, životu, tehnologiji, odnosima; i pritom rabi mnoštvom elemenata tvrdokuhanog SF-a.
Ovo su samo neke od tema koje istražuje - mikromašine, mrtva evolucija, polje sila, AI, susret s neopisivom stranim civilizacijama; plus kao da je čovjek pokupio desetak doktorata iz svih područja društveno-prirodnih znanosti. I sve je to ispričano takvom vjerodostojnošću i sigurnošću da čovjek jednostavno mora povjerovati da je sav taj technobabble istina.
Po meni roman završava već na 140. stranici, kad zapovjednik Rohan kontemplatira o ideji romana; ostalih pedesetak stranica samo je epilog, borba jednog čovjeka s nepoznatim u stilu starih pulp SF pričica… Budući da znamo u kojem je režimu nastao Nepobjedivi, mogu samo reći da odsutno socijalističko-utopijsko uljepšavanje stvari i propagandni nonsens. Lemov svijet opisuje stvarno stran oblik života i nepojmljiv ljudskom shvaćanju; može se boriti s njime, no nikad ga neće spoznati u potpunosti ili pobijediti. Ljudi su krhki i goli naspram tisućljećima evolucije nativnih oblika života na Regisu III, pokušavaju se sukobiti s tuđincima, u ovom slučaju više prirodnoj sili planeta. Ne pomažu niti razna tehnološka pojačanja ni demonstracije snage koja samo pokazuju oholost ljudske vrste koja misli da može samo tako narušavati prirodni poredak, svemirski poredak. Sličnu temu je obrađivao i Solaris, Eden ili Fijasko… To su definitivno romani s kojima ću nastaviti istraživati Lemov svijet!
"Koliko takvih nevjerojatnih, ljudskom shvaćanju stranih pojava možda krije u sebi Svemir? Zar trebamo svuda stići s razornom silom na brodovima, da bismo smrvili sve ono što je u suprotnosti s našim shvaćanjem? Čovjek se, shvatio je to sada bez riječi, još nije uzdigao na pravu visinu, još nije zaslužio tako lijepo nazvanu galaktocentričnu visinu, koja se, odavno proslavljena, ne zasniva na tome da treba tražiti samo sebi slične i samo takve shvatiti, nego na tome da se čovjek ne miješa u neljudske, tuđe probleme."
1 review648 followers
March 5, 2022
Comprato completamente d'istinto e non me ne sono pentito. Una storia di fantascienza basata su elementi molto "classici" di questo genere ma che a un certo punto si spinge oltre, cercando di porre una riflessione sulla perversione e ricerca di potere dell'uomo nell'universo. Lem ci aiuta nella lettura attraverso un protagonista con cui empatizzare. Un protagonista che si pone domande e riflessioni nonostante gli ordini che gli vengono impartiti e che ci permetterá di riflettere su storie che sentiamo nella vita di tutti i giorni. Se dovessi consigliarlo a un amico direi per prima cosa "Non è solo un romanzo di fantascienza."
Profile Image for Mark.
730 reviews58 followers
April 2, 2011
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 the subdued conflict between the captain who may be past his prime and his second in command. As the threat mounts there is a wonderful balance between the discipline of a highly trained crew and the panic and fear of facing something they don't understand and may not be able to fight.
Profile Image for Smassing Culture.
575 reviews72 followers
October 24, 2020
Κείμενο στο Smassing Culture

Μια περιπέτεια ενάντια στον εαυτό μας

Η φράση αυτή έχει συγκεκριμένη σημασία για το πλήρωμα του διαστημόπλοιου Ανίκητος. Έχει όμως και για εμάς , τους δυτικούς που έχουμε μάθει να θεωρούμε δικό μας «χωράφι» την επιστημονική φαντασία και πολύ συχνά αγνοούμε άλλες παραδόσεις που καταπιάστηκαν με τις ίδιες θεματικές και προκλήσεις , εφορμώντας όμως από ένα διαφορετικό κοινωνικό πλαίσιο. Η υποτίμηση της σοβιετικής επιστημονικής φαντασίας είναι ένα ��είγμα αυτής της τύφλωσης, την οποία και ως Smassing Culture θέλουμε το επόμενο διάστημα να διορθώσουμε. Κάνουμε την αρχή με τον Ανίκητο, ένα μυθιστόρημα του Πολωνού Στάνισλαβ Λεμ -γνωστός, μεταξύ άλλων, ��ια το βιβλίο του, Solaris– που μας έρχεται από τις εκδόσεις Άγνωστη Καντάθ για πρώτη φορά στα ελληνικά. Η εξαιρετική εισαγωγή του Μανώλη Πιτέλη βοηθάει πάρα πολύ τόσο στην κατανόηση του βιβλίου όσο και στην τοποθέτηση της συμβολής του Λεμ στην επιστημονική φαντασία αλλά και τις σχέσεις και τις τριβές με τους Αμερικάνους συγγραφείς του είδους κατά την περίοδο του Ψυχρού Πολέμου.

Ο Ανίκητος γράφτηκε το 1964 ανήκει στο είδος της αυστηρής επιστημονικής φαντασίας (hard science fiction) και θεωρείται πρωτοπόρος έργο για την εισαγωγή των μικρό ρομπότ και της νανοτεχν��λογίας. Αφού το αδερφό σκάφος του Ανίκητου, ο Κόνδωρ, εξαφανίζεται στον πλανήτη Ρέγκις ΙΙΙ, ο Ανίκητος στέλνεται να ερευνήσει τον πλανήτη και να διασώσει ό,τι μπορεί από το πλήρωμα της προηγούμενης αποστολής. Υπό τις οδηγίες του διοικητή Χόρπαχ, ξεκινάει η εξερεύνηση του Ρέγκις ΙΙΙ, ενός πλανήτη που δεν φαίνεται να φιλοξένει κάποια μορφή ευφυούς ζωής. Μετά την ανακάλυψη κάποιων κτηρίων που μοιάζουν με ερείπια πόλης, η πλοκή εξελίσσεται σαν μυστήριο. Οι αστροναύτες του Ανίκητου, επιστρατεύουν διάφορα επιτεύγματα μίας φουτουριστικής τεχνολογίας για να κατανοήσουν την εξέλιξη του πλανήτη και, ιδίως, τα μυστηριώδη φαινόμενα που φαίνεται να πλήττουν κάποια από τα μέλη του πληρώματος. Όμως, ο Ρέγκις ΙΙΙ κρατάει καλά τα μυστικά του και οι απειλές φαίνεται διαρκώς να πληθαίνουν.

Το πλήρωμα του Ανίκητου ψάχνει για έναν αντίπαλο που θα αντανακλά τα δικά του χαρακτηριστικά: μορφές ευφυούς ζωής που ανέπτυξαν εργαλεία και τεχνολογία για να κυριαρχήσουν στον πλανήτη και να επεκτείνουν τον πολιτισμό τους. Δεν θα βρουν τίποτα τέτοιο και ο χρόνος που έχουν στη διάθεση τους όλο και λιγοστεύει ενώ το πέρασμα από τα εργαλεία της επιστημονικής έρευνας σε αυτά του πολέμου δεν θα βελτιώσει τη θέση τους. Οι πρωταγωνιστές μας, πολύ γρήγορα θα βρεθούν σε αδιέξοδο το οποίο δεν προκύπτει από την τεχνολογική τους υστέρηση αλλά από την αδυναμία τους να συλλάβουν και να κατανοήσουν μία διαφορετική διαδρομή της εξέλιξης, έναν κόσμο τελείως διαφορετικό από τη Γη.

Όπως ήδη αναφέρθηκε, ο Ανίκητος ανήκει στην αυστηρή επιστημονική φαντασία και θα θυμίσει, από αρκετές απόψεις, έργα του Ισαάκ Ασίμωφ. Ο Λεμ δίνει μεγάλη σημασία στις τεχνικές λεπτομέρειες, τις δυνατότητες και περιορισμούς που καθορίζουν τη χρήση μίας εξελιγμένης τεχνολογίας. Το περιβάλλον του πλανήτη δεν είναι απόλυτα φιλικό προς τον άνθρωπο και αυτό θέτει συγκεκριμένα όρια στο πώς κινούνται οι χαρακτήρες, πόσο χρόνο μπορούν να διαθέσουν έξω από το διαστημόπλοιο άρα και στο πώς πρέπει να οργανώσουν τη ζωή τους. Η επιστημονική και ψυχολογική προετοιμασία του πληρώματος είναι τόσο κομμάτι της πλοκής όσο και το τι θα συναντήσουν και θα αντιμετωπίσουν στην επιφάνεια του πλανήτη. Καθώς η αποστολή του Ανίκητου είναι πρωτίστως επιστημονικού χαρακτήρα, η πλοκή περιγράφει διεξοδικά τόσο τη δουλειά των ερευνητικών ομάδων όσο και τη συνάντηση επιστημόνων διαφορετικών πεδίων για να αναλύσουν τα -πάντα ελλιπή- στοιχεία που έχουν στη διάθεση τους.

Ο Λεμ, χωρίς να γίνεται κουραστικός, ξέρει πώς να αποδώσει ένα σύνθετο μυστήριο επιστημονικής φαντασίας που δεν υπάρχουν εύκολες λύσεις: όποια γνώση «κατακτήσουν» οι πρωταγωνιστές μας θα έρθει μέσα από μεθοδική σκέψη και δοκιμές. Δεν λείπουν οι αντιπαραθέσεις μεταξύ των ειδικών όπου το γνωστικό υπόβαθρο του καθενός (βιολογία, φυσική, χημεία, ρομποτική), οι επιστημολογικές αφετηρίες του προσδιορίζουν τη δυναμική της σκέψης του αλλά και τα όρια του, το τι θεωρεί πιθανό να υπάρξει και τι όχι.

Φυσικά, ακόμα και έτσι, ούτε η επιστήμη είναι αρκετή για τους κινδύνους που θα αντιμετωπίσει ο Ανίκητος. Αν καταφέρουν να σωθούν, θα είναι επειδή μαθαίνουν να αποδεχθούν την ετερότητα, την ύπαρξη ενός Άλλου που παραμένει εκτός της δυνατότητας κατανόησης — μπορεί για την ώρα, μπορεί και για πάντα.

Στον Ανίκητο έχουμε μια περιπέτεια επιστημονικής φαντασίας όπου οι πρωταγωνιστές πολεμάνε χωρίς αντίπαλο. Καλύτερα : πολεμάνε απέναντι στη δική τους αλαζονεία και υπέρμετρη εμπιστοσύνη στον εαυτό τους και στην προηγμένη τεχνολογία που έχουν στα χέρια τους. Σε αυτή τη μάχη δεν υπάρχει κάποιο έξυπνο τρικ για να βγεις νικητής, δεν υπάρχει κάποια ανατροπή της τελευταίας στιγμής. Πρέπει απλά να κάνεις τη δύσκολη παραδοχή : Δεν είναι τα πάντα, παντού, δικά μας.
Profile Image for Ivan Lutz.
Author 29 books122 followers
July 14, 2015
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 naravno Lemovog opusa tiče. A da je kojim slučajem Lem pisao nešto drugo mimo znanstvene fantastike (iako je nakon Fijaska pod stare dane pisao čistu književnost i eseje), uz ovakve poruke i uz ovakvo shvaćanje ljudske psihe i kritike svega što je ljudski i nesavršeno - vjerojatno bi bio dobar kandidat za Nobelovu nagradu za književnost.

„Nepobjedivi“ je intergalaktička krstarica koja prati trag druge intergalaktičke krstarice „Kondor“, te ju dovodi na pješčani planet surovih vremenskih prilika - Regis III u zviježđu Lira, ako se dobro sjećam.
Zapovjednik Horpah (Astrogator) je neumoljiv i pravi vojnik starog kova kojemu je čast i služenje vojsci, te vjera u ispravne odluke jedino za čime žudi i jedino što ga zanima.
Njegov budući prvi časnik Rohan, koji je i glavni lik cijelog romana, predvodi skupinu do Kondora. Prolazeći kroz pješčani planet koriste razne uređaje i strojeve koji su i danas izvan svog vremena, pa tako i meni omiljeni Kiklop.
Kondor je devastiran a posade nema. Horor opis napuštenog broda od kojeg se i sada ježim kada se sjetim. Nalaze samo nepotpune podatke i nekoliko čudnih dokaza da su ljudi zapravo bili ovdje. Npr..najstrašnije što vide je sapun u kojemu se vide tragovi ljudskih zubi. Mislim, nije strašno, ali je jezovito.
Nešto kasnije kreću u potragu vođeni tragovima i nailaze na nekoliko „bića“ koja nisu prijateljski nastrojena. Rohan shvaća da su na ovom planetu strojevi u nekoj vrsti evolucijske promjene i da se bore za svoje preživljavanje. Evolucija strojeva kao nekoliko vrsta koje su zavladale planetom je nesvakidašnja i jedina takve vrste u cijelom opusu znanstvene fantastike. Strojevi su prikazani kao neinteligentni, hladni i instinktivni. S njima je komunikacija zapravo nemoguća. Horpah uvidjevši da ih ne može pobijediti, ni obuzdati naređuje Rohanu povratak sa ekspedicije iz koje se vraća potpuno sam jer su ostali njegovi suborci pobijeni u mističnoj potrazi za članovima Kondora. Na kraju ipak uspijeva doći do Nepobjedivog, ali gorak okus koji knjiga daje na samom kraju može se uopćiti s onom starom Einsteinovom:“Dvije su stvari beskonačne: Svemir i ljudska glupost, mada za ovo prvo nisam siguran.“ Nepobjedivi je tiho pobijeđen, a strojevi su nastavili svoj evolucijski razvoj.
September 1, 2017
Yazardan indiyədək oxuduğum ən təsirli kitablardan birisi oldu deyə bilərəm. Lem qeyri- müəyyən olan qarşısındakı insanın çarəsizliyini təsvir etmədə çox böyük ustaddır, bundan əmin oldum bir daha.

Roman uzaq gələcəkdə qalaktikanın bir başqa sistemində Regis III planetində uzun müddət əvvəl əlaqənin kəsildiyi və taleyinin müəmmada qaldığı "Condor" gəmisinin axtarışı ilə başlayır. Axtarış eyni tipdə "Məğlubedilməz" kreyseri və təcrübəli kapitan Horpach və onun birinci müavini Rohan rəhbərliyində aparılır. "Məğlubedilməz" yüzə yaxın müxtəlif sahələrdən mütəxəssislər, işçilər heyətindən ibarət olduqca böyük, ən yüksək texnologiyalarla təchiz olunmuş və yüksək effektivliyə sahib silahlarla təmin olunmuş kosmik gəmidir. İllər əvvəl "Condor" Regis III planetinin araşdırılması zamanı qəfildən gəmi ilə rabitə itir. Orbitdən planetin ətraflı araşdırılması və "Condor" heyətinə nə olduğunun öyrənilməsi mümkün olmadığından "Məğlubedilməz" sistemə göndərilir və Regis III' ə enir. Texnoloji imkanlara baxmayaraq planetin dəmir tərkibinin yüksək olmasına görə gəmini cihazlarla axtarmaq mümkün olmur. Daha sonra kapitan Horpach heyətini üç hissəyə bölür; birisini "Condor" un axtarışına, birisini planetdə həyatın varlığını araşdırmaq məqsədilə sahil bölgəsinə, digərini isə şəhərə bənzətdikləri xarabalığı tədqiq etməyə göndərir. "Condor" tapılır və heyətinin məlum olmayan səbəblərdən ölmüş olduğu aşkara çıxır. Heç bir qarşıdurmanın baş vermədiyi məlum olur, sahib olduqları enerji, qida və texnologiya baxımından uzun müddət planetə və onun təbii şəraitinə davam gətirəcək heyətin başına gələnlər bir müddət sirr olaraq qalır. Endikləri dünyanı araşdırarkən "Məğlubedilməz" heyəti Yer bənzəri təkamüllə qarşılaşırlar. Suda həyat var. Atmosfer nisbətən dünyamız atmosferinə yaxın dəyərlərdədir, mövcud metan faizini çıxmaqla (4%).
Canlıların sudan quruya nə üçün çıxmadıqları, ya da çıxmışlarsa, qarşılaşdıqları təhlükənin nə olduğu barədə bir müddət baş sındıran tədqiqatçılar yavaş- yavaş Regis III' ün dünyaya oxşarlıq parametrlərinin nə qədər də az olduğunu anlayırlar. Planetdə canlı həyatın qarşılaşdığı təhlükə ilə qarşılaşan "Məğlubedilməz", gəminin öz adı ilə ironik olaraq bir çox hadisə qarşısında şüursuz varlıqların bizim qarşımızdakı acizliyi vəziyyətinə düşür. Qarşılaşdıqlarının şüurlu olması da vacib deyil; yad bir təkamül, bizə yad həyatda qalma mübarizəsi, təşkil olunduğumuz həyatda qalma sistemlərinin fərqliliyi iki qrup arasında avantaj və dezavantajlara çevrilir. Bir növ olaraq heç də bütün biliklərə sahib deyilik, kosmos barəsindəki bildiklərimiz bilmədiklərimizin yanında ancaq zərrədir. Və yaratdığımıza "Məğlubedilməz" adı verməklə, onun ən son texnoloji silahlarla təchiz olunması ilə kosmosun qaranlıq sahillərində əmin addımlar atacağına əmin olmadan əvvəl bir daha düşünmək lazımdır.
Profile Image for Sonia.
145 reviews
August 31, 2022
L’incrociatore Invincibile è inviato sul pianeta Regis III della costellazione della Lira alla ricerca di una precedente spedizione di cui non si hanno più notizie. Il pianeta a prima vista appare del tutto desertico e disabitato, e quindi innocuo. Presto però gli uomini dell’equipaggio si troveranno ad affrontare una realtà sconvolgente e fortemente pericolosa.
Mi è piaciuto com’è stato tratteggiato il protagonista, Rohan, l’ufficiale in seconda, che nel corso della storia esce dall’ottica della conquista e della vendetta, tanto che a un certo punto arriva ad ammirare ‘il nemico’, l’alieno, e a chiedersi perché l’uomo ha sete di conquista: “Dobbiamo proprio andare ovunque, con la potenza distruttrice delle nostre astronavi, per ridurre in frammenti tutto ciò che è contrario alla nostra comprensione?” “Com’era insieme folle e ridicola quella ‘conquista a ogni costo’, quella ‘eroica resistenza dell’uomo’.” “Non tutto è stato fatto per noi e il nostro posto non è dappertutto.”
Come in Solaris, anche in questo romanzo Lem pone alcune domande sulla vita, sulla mente, sulla possibile esistenza di una vita su basi non biologiche. Ma a mio avviso in questo romanzo prevalgono i temi del rapporto dell'uomo con l'universo e con il diverso. Solaris però è di un altro livello.
Consigliato a tutti gli amanti della Fantascienza.
Profile Image for Mathew.
129 reviews3 followers
May 26, 2014
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.
229 reviews5 followers
August 24, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Meryem.
29 reviews9 followers
October 20, 2020
Regis III Gezegenine kayıp gemi Kondor'a ne olduğunu araştırmaya giden Yenilmez'in karanlık ve esrarengiz öyküsü.

Solaris daha çok insanın iç dünyasına bir yolculuk olmuştu. Yenilmez'de ise başka bir gezegende insan aklının sınırlarını zorlayan, mekanik bir evrim söz konusu. Şöyle ki;
"Gezegenin yüzeyi bir çöl çünkü bu sistemler hiçbir şey kurmuyor, hiçbir uygarlıkları yok, kendilerinden başka hiçbir şeyleri yok, hiçbir değer yaratmıyor; bu yüzden bunlara doğal bir güç muamelesi yapmalıyız. Doğa da ne bir okyanus ne de bir değer yaratır. Bu mahlûklar sadece kendilerinden ibaret, varlıklarını sürdürüyor ve varlıklarını sürdürmek üzere hareket ediyor..."

Dünya'dan onca ışık yılı uzakta ne adına bu gezegende duruyorlar? Bulutu neden yok etmek bu kadar önemli? Amaç bir fetih mi yoksa bir direniş mi? Evrendeki her yer ve her şey insan için mi?

Lem yine bize sorular soruyor ve cevapları bizim bulmamızı istiyor.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 670 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.