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Rückkehr von den Sternen

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  3,972 ratings  ·  183 reviews
Nach einer zehnjährigen Weltraumexpedition kehrt Hal Bregg auf die Erde zurück. Zehn Bordjahre aber bedeuten 123 Erdenjahre. Die Gesellschaft, der er sich nun anpassen muss, hat sich bis zur Unkenntlichkeit verändert. Aber nicht nur der technische Fortschritt hat eine völlig neue, verwirrende Welt geschaffen. Mittels einer Droge wurde eine der folgenreichsten menschlichen ...more
Paperback, 308 pages
Published 2002 by List (first published 1961)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  3,972 ratings  ·  183 reviews


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BlackOxford
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, slavic
Cosmic PTSD

Shell shock was a condition of the First World War; battle fatigue of the Second; but the condition we now know as PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, was unknown and undefined after those conflicts. Each is a distinct syndrome befitting the circumstances of the time, including the prevailing technology. And I think there’s a good case to be made that the literature of each period created the ability to differentiate each development. Specifically I think Lem invented PTSD; and Retu
...more
Glenn Russell


Holy cyberspace, robotics and zero-gravity! Stanislaw Lem took me completely by surprise with his 1961 novel of American astronaut Hal Bregg’s returning to Earth 127 years into the future. I was expecting the acclaimed Polish author's time traveler to be another introverted nerd like Ijon Tichy. He’s anything but - exceptionally tall, rugged, muscular, athletic, Hal is an American adventurer along the lines of Indiana Jones. Likewise, I was anticipating the focus of the novel to revolve exclusiv
...more
Michael
A pretty haunting portrayal of a utopia which is really a dystopia, putting it in the same sphere as “Brave New World”, written 30 years before. Hal Bregg is a space navigator who has just returned from a trip to a nearby star system. He has been through hell on his long, heroic mission to look for alien life and new knowledge of the universe, the dangers of which took the lives of several of his comrades. Because of relativity, his 10-year journey corresponds to some 127 years of Earth time. It ...more
Anna
Feb 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely one of my favourite books written by one of my favourite authors. However sci-fi, it actually tells a story of a lonely man. A man that cannot find himself in the new world... Didn't it happen to all of us at least once in a lifetime? Absolutely a masterpiece!
Lynne King
I cannot rate this book as I absolutely loathed it. I didn't like the main character Hal Bregg who has returned to earth after 127 years, even though only ten biological years have passed for him.

The book seemed to be all over the place. The procedure known as betrization completely threw me until I eventualy found out what it meant. No books in bookshops - insane; robots and then finally Hal falls in love with Eri and well that was the end of the book for me. I had a quick skim through and just
...more
Bria
Nov 25, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: old-fashioned date rapists
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vit Babenco
Feb 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The middle of the last century – the time of dystopias, every thoughtful science fiction writer considered it to be his obligation to write one. Return from the Stars is a mutiny against the total conformity and insipid living in the entirely uniform society.
“Beneath a dome supported by cracked, crumbling columns stood a woman, as though she had been waiting for me. I saw her face now, the flow of sparks in the diamond disks that hid her ears, the white – in the shadow, silvery – dress. This wa
...more
Spacewanderer
I'm not sure what to think of "Return From The Stars." At times I liked it and at other times I felt indifferent to it. Nothing jumps out as bad, exactly. The novel follows the main character, Hal, through the hardships of returning to Earth from a deep space exploration after nearly 130 years--only ten to him. And, of course, the world has changed and he goes through this huge cultural shock and people see that he's different straight away and he can't adjust so he goes on vacation after like t ...more
Melanti
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book, 2013, sci-fi
A couple years back, I read the first James bond book (Casino Royale) and was appalled by Fleming's allusions to "the sweet tang of rape." Even more horrifying was my conversation with a male friend afterwards, who claimed that every man wants to be just like James Bond, and continued with this claim even after I read passages to him (including the rape passage) and explained how much of a misogynistic asshole Bond is in the books. For the sake of our friendship, I'm forced to assume he wasn't p ...more
Carl Mayo
This book could have been edited for clarity. Yes, I'm aware that it's a translation, but I'm talking about the overuse of one particular device:

"Too many lines of dialogue ending in..."
"Leaving the reader to fill in the..."
"Which is fine if you've already given enough..."
"Information...?"
"Yeah..."

Half the conversations in this book had 3-dot dialogue like this. There's such a thing as leaving TOO MANY things unspoken. At some point, the reader is left adrift, wondering what the author meant, wi
...more
Paul Samael
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I agree with most of the positive comments by other reviewers here. In the hands of the right director, “Return from the Stars” would make an excellent film – more in the tradition of thoughtful, art-house sci-fi like “Gattaca” than as a blockbuster Hollywood movie (although someone like George Clooney would be ideal for the part of Hal – he should have filmed this novel instead of remaking “Solaris”). If you are keen on the Lem of “Futurological Congress” then maybe this book won’t be so much t ...more
Williwaw
Nov 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent! If you are looking for thoughtful, poetic science fiction, this is it! If you are looking for an accurate prediction, well, Lem basically anticipates the disappearance of books and their replacement by something like the iPad.

In a nutshell, this is the story of an astronaut who returns to earth after a ten year voyage. Because of time dilation, 127 years have passed on earth. The story depicts the astronaut's disorientation and (partial?) reintegration into a wholly changed world. It'
...more
Juan del Desierto
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sad, melancholic tale in Lem's best vein that has haunted me since teenage years, about the impossibility of heroics and bravery in a meek world made safe for convenience. A swansong that hails the probable outcome for the next centuries of our times obsessed with peace and safety.
Ming Wei
A very enjoyable book, reminds me of certain science fiction TV series from the past, (can't remember the name). Love this type of story, well writen, the story line kept me interested right until the end, will had this author as a fav, and look for other works.
Ernest Hogan
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite themes, by a master. The future, the universe is always more than your were ready to imagine, and utopia sucks.
Sara
Nov 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting ideas presented with complexity and depth. The description of Hal's arrival on earth and the disorientation he feels was definitely impressive. The story examines social conditioning and consent, the impacts of being an outsider when the world has changed around you, and the importance of connection not only to society but also to your self and your personal story/identity. Also, it introduced cool technology that may not have appeared in earlier works (electronic books, "holodeck" s ...more
_inbetween_
The depressing scene with the condemned discarded robots was of course later stolen by Spielberg, but sadly even Lem didn't do anything with it. Unlike Futurological Congress, there is no grey horror reality behind the shiny peaceful wellfare state.

Hals relationship with Olaf, esp. the scenes in which they are naturally naked or wrestling, is even closer to m/m than works of this genre usually are - since women only serve one purpose - und that is the last remaining place for him, since neither
...more
Jason Bergman
The premise of this book is terrific. An astronaut returns home from a voyage to the stars after hundreds of years (thanks to time dilation) to find a world that's not only totally different, but a culture that has decided space exploration is a waste of time. That's great! And a good chunk of this book is great too.

Where it lost me was with its treatment of its female characters (of which there are only two). I'm sure there's a paper somewhere about Stanislaw Lem, post-war Poland and feminist t
...more
Cyan Wisp
Sep 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A unique view of the future on earth. I can only say that I read this book with a growing sense of loss - like visiting the home of your childhood and finding a glistening shopping mall in its place filled with detached youths that you will never relate to. Actually, that is almost exactly the theme of the book!

Our hero, a space traveller and Einsteinian time traveller (by virtue of acceleration) is a gorilla among the latest generation of humans on earth. Machines run the world, leaving humani
...more
Jon Stout
Nov 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fatalists and futurists
Recommended to Jon by: Bill Dennis
Shelves: scifi
The only other Stanislaw Lem novel that I have read, recommended by a friend, was a Scotland Yard mystery, with a quirky reflective bent to it. This novel, about an astronaut returning from an interstellar trip to an earth 127 years more advanced, is completely different, except for the quirky reflective bent. I tend to think of these novels as escape reading, but they are entertaining, with the descriptions of both scenery and thought processes elaborate enough to hold my attention.

The earth to
...more
Sycobabel
Jan 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought the story was funny, sad, thought provoking, and enlightening. It's really an interesting idea. A man goes on a 10 year space expedition, it’s just that back on earth it lasts 127 years for everyone else. He returns not as a man from the future but a man from the past: a neanderthal. His knowledge of all things is no longer relevant to society. Stanislaw Lem combines a scientific perspective with a sense of humor akin to Kurt Vonnegut.
Dan Tong
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another seriously thought provoking book from Lem, that deals with violence, wars, and alienation. The alienation in this case is because by the time the cosmonauts return to Earth all of the people they knew have died, and technology has advanced so much that transportation, cities, and of course the culture is unrecognizable.

This is an excellent book for anyone who ponders where we may be going in the next hundred years.
Larissa
I read this last year and didn't even remember I gave it 3 stars. It's a complicated book, but one that has kept me thinking, especially during this election cycle. I'm writing this review so some friend feels compelled to read the book and so we can talk about :)
Michał/Michael Hołda/Holda
Astronaut returns to earth, in the future & explores the world of crystal books and mankind wishing the youth(to be young) where robotics help people in daily life and through exertions called "Betryzacja" people cannot "kill". ...more
Adi
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a story of how people conquer the stars, and how they need to face the new reality on Earth once they make their way back home.
The main protagonist of the book is Hal Bregg, an astronaut, who with a team of fellow astronauts go on space expeditions to different stats in different galaxies. Once he returns to Earth, only 10 biological years have passed for him, however due to time dilation 127 years have passed on Earth. Hal arrives in a completely unknown and bizarre world, and needs to
...more
mon!ka
Apr 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
picked this up after a friend recommended it for the "silence of space" described in the story as well as the curious world that an astronaut returns to after being in orbit for 10 years and returning to Earth and finding it has aged 127 years into the future.. he's out of touch with this new culture (a culture whose people are free from war, any form of violence, stress, risk taking, competitive sports, accidents, etc..) and his adventures in this world were amusing and interesting and definite ...more
librarianka
Feb 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: polish-authors, sf
This book is an interesting read and fun, too. Keep in mind that it was written and published in 1960s, so it must have been one of the early books that offered futuristic vision of our society. It's amusing to read about
technologies that we have now embraced and integrated into our lives. It is also interesting to take a look at the money free society that Lem has created. It is something that people are willing to talk about nowadays.

Lem's vision is not quite positive though, as carefree and v
...more
Pacyfa
This books starts where most sci-fi books finish, a group of astronauts comes back to Earth after a long lasting 127 years cosmic journey. The main theme is that the astronauts are in their early 40s and the Earth they knew is no longer here. People left behind are no longer around and life has literally moved on. There are many themes here and as always with Lem's book every re-read will uncover something knew. The main theme is of belonging. Nobody waited and nobody cares. During the 127 years ...more
James F
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a better than average science fiction novel. Hal Begg has returned from a space expedition 127 years after leaving Earth; because of time dilation, he is only forty. The novel shows his difficulties in reintegrating himself into a culture that has changed almost beyond all recognition. The first chapter is astonishing; it really manages to project the sense of a believable real future, rather than just transferring the present or some past into the future with a higher technology. Of co ...more
Nevaeh
Sep 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My absolute favourite Lem book ever! I love the story itself, a man returning to earth from a deep space mission only to find the familiar place strange and unknowing, since after his departure ten years ago, over hundred years have passed on earth due to time dilatation.

The beginning of the book is the part, most people dislike but I love it. The protagonist is absolutely lost in a world that is not at all recognizable for him, even the language has become so strange and different, he has no id
...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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