I rate books base 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 11 11 11 Update Reflected on it a bit , 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 absorbof the book, I may bump up the rating Solaris is beautifully written, and the message behind the book is chilling if not eye opening In most sci fi, humans interact with non humans violently, peacefully, symbiotically, or however else we communicate with them the key words being interact and communicate However, Lem pushes us to think waaaay outside our comfortable, boxy way of thinking and makes us wonder what if there were beings so inherently different from us that we couldn t even
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 kind of memories we develop, so it turns into a kind of circle or wave movement.
To me, this book was scary And I don t mean the science fiction ideas in it I mean the idea that my unresolved feelings of earlier times could come back and haunt me literally On a deeper level, they do haunt me in any case, but the idea of them coming alive is terrifying That made me think that we embrace passing 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.
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 stimulating the promise of other planets and other species, of being whisked away from his humdrum life, must have been pretty appealing While I too wanted to somehow escape the situation I found myself in, the prospect of other worlds or beings never fired my imagination I found it difficult enough to get my 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 , but the planet and the humans never achieve, at least to the humans satisfaction, adequate evidence of a measurable intellectual exchange The ocean busies itself morphing into these massive shapes geometic, organic, and otherwise which strike the reader as expressive, but which are nevertheless inarticulate in human terms When the scientists start bombarding the ocean with xrays, for lack of a better idea, the planet sends to each of them a visitor from an emotionally charged period of their own lives