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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  91,272 ratings  ·  5,440 reviews
El astronauta Kelvin se enfrenta con una nueva modalidad de agresión, una especie de enorme inteligencia oceánica que ocupa en el planeta Solaris...

Solaris tiene varios niveles, y es a la vez un rompecabezas psicobiológico, una parábola acerca de la relaciones y emociones humanas, y una demostración de que los criterios antropocéntricos son inaplicables en el mundo moderno
Paperback, 238 pages
Published December 2002 by Minotauro (first published 1961)
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Thomas Dachsel Not at all an easy question, because Lem wrote in very different subgenres of Science Fiction; some of his more theoretical works are not Science Fict…moreNot at all an easy question, because Lem wrote in very different subgenres of Science Fiction; some of his more theoretical works are not Science Fiction at all (although they are still published under that label). My all-time favorites are the Ijon Tichy books as they are sufficiently "light" and quite humorous, and prepare the reader for the tougher rides of his other books. "The Star Diaries" is a breath-taking joyride through a number of SF tropes, but the most captivating is "The Futurological Congress" (and it is not too long). This would be a great starting point.

"The Invincible" and "His Master's Voice" are great works, but I think his more "short-story-oriented" works are more easily accessible. Lem tends to meander in purely theoretical realms for whole chapters in a lot of his books, and this can become rather tiresome for a number of readers. "Solaris" is no exception to this, e.g. the chapter on the history of the research on Solaris, and the whole library of books written about it.(less)

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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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2012 first read:

Many sci-fi authors think that they write about aliens. The truth is, they really don't. Instead, they essentially write about humans. Most sci-fi aliens are little more than an allegory for humanity, a mirror through which we can see ourselves - maybe slightly different-looking, with more (or fewer) appendages, different senses, funny names, different social structures - but still unmistakably human.

And so, when we think of aliens as shown in popular literature/ cinematography
Mario the lone bookwolf
Lems´most famous work, but definitively not the best, because his satires own everything

So read them instead
There is not much funny sci-fi, or even general satire, that comes close to his incredible
The Ijon Tichy novels such as The Star Diaries
And The Futurological congress
A perfect Vaccum
and Tales of Pirx the Pilot

Now back to the
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
I rate books based on my enjoyment and while this was an very interesting take on the whole "alien/first contact" I can't say I had a lot of fun reading it.

I do recommend it if you love that premise and are intrigue about a sentient ocean but it won't be for everyone!
"We have no need of other worlds. We need mirrors. We don't know what to do with other worlds. A single world, our own, suffices us; but we can't accept it for what it is."

Bizarrely, being on a strange, different planet sometimes is what it takes to discover our inner cosmos. The way Lem describes it in Solaris, our memories rule our perception of what is real, regardless of external circumstances. On the other hand, the external circumstances of any given time are actively impacting on what ki
Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This science fiction novel seemed very modern, especially for the questions it raises.
Three men find themselves isolated in a space station on a single planet were two suns, one red and the other blue, alternately rise; a ubiquitous and omnipotent ocean reigns.
Kris, the main character, arrives at the station, discovers at the same time as the reader what's happening (a colleague's suicide who had called him in reinforcement) and does various experiments to understand what is going on. In the gri
Vit Babenco
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I consider Solaris by Stanisław Lem to be one of the key works in science fiction of the twentieth century…
Simultaneously I noticed the violet-flushed furrows of the ocean, which betrayed a faint motion; the clouds suddenly rose high up, their edges marked with dazzling crimson, the sky between them grew distant and flat, dull orange in color, and everything became blurred: I’d entered a spin. Before I could utter a word, a brief impact returned the capsule to a horizontal position, and the ocea
Dec 06, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm afraid I'm a philistine. I liked the Soderberg remake of the movie most, then the book, and last the original Tarkovsky movie. If you're cultured and sophisticated, I think that you're supposed to have the exact opposite ordering. Oh well.

In my defense, I recall that, when I watched the Tarkovsky version, I looked around at one point and discovered that the people on both sides of me had fallen asleep. As far as I can remember, this is the only time I've ever see it happen.
Bill Kerwin
May 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction

The premise of Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris (1961) is not unusual: on a small isolated planetary research station, scientists exploring the nature of alien life begin to suspect they are being threatened in some way. What makes Solaris unique are three things: 1) Lem’s treatment of the premise (nuanced, philosophical, detailed), 2) the nature of the threat (lifelike simulacra from the scientists guilty pasts have begun to appear at their sides), and 3) the nature of the planet Solaris (it is uninhabi
This is the classic gothic horror haunted house story revisited with an SF twist. It's a testament to the obtuseness of mankind, particularly unemotional, Cold-War era, scientific man. Three scientists on the remote planet Solaris seek contact with the lone enormous creature occupying it -- the ocean. All sorts of experiments are tried over a century or more, but the planet and the humans never achieve, at least to the humans' satisfaction, adequate evidence of a measurable intellectual exchange ...more
11/11/11 Update: Reflected on it a bit more, and bumped up the rating to 5 stars. Darn those coercive, psychic ocean mind waves!


Despite work, an appalling lack of sleep, work, life, work, copious amounts of laundry, work, and MORE WORK, I finally finished this little gem of a book. I am giving it four stars for now, but depending on how I feel after I absorb more of the book, I may bump up the rating.

Solaris is beautifully written, and the message behind the book is chilling if not eye-openin
What I did expect before starting this classic work of science fiction:

🏴Developing boredom over the sci-fi stuff
🏴 A yawning session because 💅🏻classics💅🏻
🏴 A ruthless attack of severe headache as a result of braincells' overstimulation
🏴 Coming to the realization one more time that I'm soundly stupid

But the reality proved to be so much worse:

🟣 Me on the brink of drinking myself into mental aberration so that my mind can deal with all the philosophical themes raised in this book with the right amo
Stjepan Cobets
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Although the book was written back in 1960, the last century, I must admit that I did not notice it at all. This book is a timeless masterpiece of science fiction. Everything we know about the universe in the book there is a review, not to speak of the human psyche that the writer brought to the last hidden parts of humanity. The book examines all. At the end of what we know about the universe, only tiny details and the man is not at all aware of what hidden in the vastness of the stars. The who ...more
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bitchin
When I was a kid my dad was obsessed with the idea of UFO’s and alien contact. He made me and my brother watch endless episodes of trashy American documentaries about sightings and abductions. In fact, I sat through so many of these that I started to have nightmares about bug-eyed extra terrestrial beings entering my room at night. I guess that for my dad – who did not have a partner, whose children were emotionally, if not physically, estranged from him, and whose job was not exactly stimulatin ...more
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
“Man has gone out to explore other worlds and other civilizations without having explored his own labyrinth of dark passages and secret chambers, and without finding what lies behind doorways that he himself has sealed.”

- Stanislaw Lem, Solaris


I'm kinda giddy about both starting and finishing this on June 5, 2012 (Transit of Venus). I figure if I can measure how long it takes me to read this novel in English and French and Polish, I might be able to figure out the exact distance from Solaris to
Mar 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever watched a reputed champion for the first time - a Muhammed Ali, a Michael Schumacher, an Andre Agassi by reputation - and been disappointed? Have you heard so much, been expecting something so great, and then watched the title fighter hit the mat in round three, the pole position driver stall on the second bend or the top seed play a dull match with only tantalizing flashes of the brilliance you’ve heard so much about?

That experience is how Solaris felt for me.

Solaris has a big rep
Jul 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is unfortunate that Lem is labeled as an author of "science fiction", but really only because of what the american traditions for that genre have imprinted on our culture. Solaris is a deeply philosophical look at the notion of "otherness", a meditation on the hard limits at the edges of human cognition, and science's inability to look outside of problems that science can describe.

Read this book instead of watching either of the films derived from it. Tarkovsky's Solaris is brilliant for it'
John Mauro
Solaris is Stanislaw Lem's classic 1961 science fiction novel about a researcher, Dr. Kris Kelvin, who lands on the planet Solaris after an 16-month journey from Earth. Solaris raises very interesting astrobiological questions about whether a planet that orbits two suns can support life. In the case of Solaris, the two suns that it orbits have vastly different intensities. Hence, the climate on Solaris varies drastically depending upon which of the two suns it is currently near. These climatic v ...more
Spencer Orey
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoughtful classic psychological sci fi! I found the language here to be excellent, striking a solid mix of scientific-sounding jargon with flowing descriptions of the station and the raw feelings of the scientists. It's a short book but feels evocative of a much larger galaxy and of humans who are still trying to find their place and their purpose within it.

It ain't perfect. The personal psychological journey of the main character feels dated. Very little from the past can hold up to our politi
What I like about this is that Lem throws away what for another writer might have been the central reveal of the story - the sentienancy of the planet. Instead he is relentlessly focused on showing us the one implication of that idea.

Very well says Lem, intellectually we can imagine all kinds of crazy things - travel to distant planets, strange unexpected forms of life, but psychologically can we cope with them, can we cope with ourselves, and what we have done in our lives? Probably not very we
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(I will review this properly after re-read, but I can say that this book was fantastic; I've seen the newer movie - which was good - and will watch the older at some point. Not action-packed, but more pondering kind of a book.) ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Jan 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 501, sci-fi
Who could have thought? Who could have thought of a planet, almost covered by ocean and that the ocean is in reality an organism enveloping the planet? Where the waves are actually muscle contractions of that organism? And that organism can "communicate" to the mind of human beings and has the ability to probe and analyze people's mind and manipulate it innermost secrets (guilt included)? And this can lead human beings to lunacy and commit suicide?

I am already at the stage of my life when I alre
Aug 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001, short, fantasy-sf
It is very hard for me to rate this since I was mesmerized by the first half of the book and fell a bit out of love in the second part.

I was fascinated by the idea of an "alien" ocean. Most of the times when people think of aliens they see beings more or less similar to humans, at least possessing some characteristic that humans can relate to. One of the ideas of Solaris is that we hardly accept that something cannot be understood or explained by the existing human laws.

The problem with the bo
Matt (Fully supports developing sentient AGI)
As Solaris, the planet, presents a mirror to humanity, so too does the novel hold a mirror to the reader. How does one react to the unknowable? According to Mr. Lem, we marvel for a moment and then withdraw back into the limited experience of being human.

On discovering the living ocean on Solaris, humanity devotes years of intense study and speculation creating competing schools of theory developing their own schisms within. Many years later, Solaris fades to the mundane and intense curiosity ha
Ahmad Sharabiani
448. Solaris, Stanislaw Lem
Solaris is a 1961 philosophical science fiction novel by Polish writer Stanisław Lem. The book centers upon the themes of the nature of human memory, experience and the ultimate inadequacy of communication between human and non-human species. In probing and examining the oceanic surface of the planet Solaris from a hovering research station the human scientists are, in turn, being apparently studied by the sentient planet itself, which probes for and examines the thoug
Solaris: Can we communicate with an alien sentient ocean?
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
Solaris is an amazing little novel with a colorful history. First written in 1961 by Stanislaw Lem in Polish, it was then made into a two-part Russian TV series in 1968, before being made into a feature film by famous Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky in 1972. It only reached English publication in 1970 in a Polish-to-French-to-English translation. And just when you thought it had faded from attention
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating novel.

From the creepy set-up, with definite sf-horror-vibes, to the truly alien life form. From the failed attempts at making contact to the fictional history of a whole scientific field.

Anthropomorphising is a main feature of the story, but not of the author's writing. This novel doesn't make it easy for the reader and certainly not for its characters. It's a back and forth between chapters of scientific exploration and the effects of something on the human mind that is basically
Infinite Within, Infinite Without

- Soviet postcard illustrated with a painting by Alexei Leonov, The Sun Rising Over the Earth 1975, found and bought at the Utopiales Science-fiction Festival in 2018 / Carte postale soviétique avec une peinture d'Alexeï Leonov trouvée aux Utopiales en 2018, Le soleil se lève au-dessus de la Terre, 1975

'We take off into the cosmos, ready for anything: for solitude, for hardship, for exhaustion, death. Modesty forbids us to say so, but there are times when we th
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
A uneven book, with nice and original ideas marred by lots of pseudo scientific narration, stopping the story. The topic in itself is quite exciting, being a bit of a scifi horror story on a nearly deserted station.

Kris as an uptight narrator is caught off guard by the sentient ocean which recreates from his memories a long lost loved one. He feels like a character in a Kafka story, disorientated and with quite weird interactions with the other residents of the space station. He even reflects if
Lori - I'm back (with a lot to catch up on)
I was enraptured by Solaris, the planet much moreso than the book. Solaris, planet with two suns, covered by an ocean. And it is this ocean that human scientists have determined is the sentient life form on Solaris.

The ocean transforms, creates, recreates, reforms itself into enormous (I don't know the word for it) -- expressions. In the book the scientists have categorized many of them and they're called, among other things, symmetriads and mimoids and rapidos. I was mesmerized by this alien, t
After being the victim of constant mockery from friends for never having watched Tarkovsky over the years, I finally decided it was about time. Of course, there's no watching the film without having read the novel first, not in my books. First stop, Solaris.

Mixed feelings is what I have about this one, I must admit. At first, I was so hooked, I almost lost my sleep over it. I loved the atmosphere. During the first half, there's this constant, unnerving feeling of dread like the one you get when
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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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“We have no need of other worlds. We need mirrors. We don't know what to do with other worlds. A single world, our own, suffices us; but we can't accept it for what it is.” 329 likes
“On the surface, I was calm: in secret, without really admitting it, I was waiting for something. Her return? How could I have been waiting for that? We all know that we are material creatures, subject to the laws of physiology and physics, and not even the power of all our feelings combined can defeat those laws. All we can do is detest them. The age-old faith of lovers and poets in the power of love, stronger than death, that finis vitae sed non amoris, is a lie, useless and not even funny. So must one be resigned to being a clock that measures the passage of time, now out of order, now repaired, and whose mechanism generates despair and love as soon as its maker sets it going? Are we to grow used to the idea that every man relives ancient torments, which are all the more profound because they grow comic with repetition? That human existence should repeat itself, well and good, but that it should repeat itself like a hackneyed tune, or a record a drunkard keeps playing as he feeds coins into the jukebox...

Must I go on living here then, among the objects we both had touched, in the air she had breathed? In the name of what? In the hope of her return? I hoped for nothing. And yet I lived in expectation. Since she had gone, that was all that remained. I did not know what achievements, what mockery, even what tortures still awaited me. I knew nothing, and I persisted in the faith that the time of cruel miracles was not past.”
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