I’m reading Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris, where we follow psychologist Kris Kelvin as he arrives at the research station on planet Solaris, on a mission to investigate the death of one of the three scientists manning the station. This is a truly haunting and interesting psychological drama, at the same time as it is a fascinating and intriguing portrayal of mankind’s first attempt at communicating with an alien species.
And the alien species in this story is a sentinent planet, covered by a vast biological ocean unlike anything we can imagine. How does one communicate with a being so different from us? Can a human being ever grasp the ideas or motives of such a massive entity? The staggering and sometimes fatal attempts at understanding Solaris are re-told as the story progresses, but meanwhile mankind has been observing Solaris, Solaris seems to have been observing the humans visiting it as well.
I’ve still got some pages to go, can’t wait to see how this will end. I’ll post a full review once I’ve finished it. Apparently Lem has written other novels with similar themes, titled His Master’s Voice, Fiasco and The Invincible.