By: Stanislaw Lem - Read: April 23, 2024 - Rating: 4/10

Unique alien-contact sci-fi with great ideas that suffer from incomplete execution. Explores the possibility of true communication with alien intelligence and highlights the futility of academia trying to fit the incomprehensible into boxes understandable by humans.

Many interesting themes that aren't fully explored to their potential, like the nature of identity, and the definition of intelligence.

Great perspective on the covert closed-mindedness of humans to true space exploration, summed up well by this sentence from the book - “we don’t want to conquer the Cosmos, we simply want to extend the boundaries of Earth to the frontiers of the Cosmos.”

Lem also loves to write long expositions about the history of science around Solaris, which are great for world-building but are a painful read. I also read the original English translation, which the author himself dissaproves of which may have contributed to my dislike. Reading the new translation may change my opinion.