The author of this extraordinary creative, technological and imaginative book Powrot z gwiazd is Stanislaw Herman Lem. Lem, a Polish writer, published remarkable works and these stories also became translated into many languages. The world-famous metaphysical and technical book “Solaris” remains his lifetime achievement and opted as a feature film over 3 times. The works of Lem build a major pillar in the genre of science fiction, and Powrot z gwiazd contributes its part in the construction thereof. Barbara Marszal and Frank Simpson assisted with the English translation of this book.
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Author: Stanislaw Lem
Genre: Science Fiction
Page count: 400
Good reads rating: 4 of 5
My Ratings: 7.9 of 10
Published: 1961, 1980 (English publication)
Publisher: Literackie; 2 edition (January 1, 2016)
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Powrot z gwiazd Polish for “ Return from the Stars” is a science fiction book that differs slightly from the rest of Lem’s book. The individual human point of view of this book makes it different from the rest as they present a collective outlook of the planet. This book is not only a work of metaphysics, geography, and astronomy but it carries a deep, philosophical, artistic and satirical theme that is neither an insignia of an absolute utopia or an absolute dystopia.
The story of Powrot z gwiazd revolves around society and especially around its people. The protagonist of this book is an astronaut Hal Bregg, who along with his other space voyagers returned to their planet Earth. This happened after a 127-year mission to Fomalhaut the brightest star in the constellation of Pisces. The time-dilation phenomenon makes a huge difference of about a hundred years on earth, so in space, this mission lasted for around 10 years.
Bregg and his companions were shocked to see the condition of their planet, which transformed into a world of peace and harmony not naturally but by the technological expertise of science. In this society, every individual man and woman experienced biological mutation by altering their genes through a process of Betrization. They followed a procedure and experimented to eliminate all the natural forms of aggressiveness and anger from a person. So that no harm, no risk, and no violence happens to anyone or anything. The individual, cultural and social aspects of life no longer exist. The trendy ideas of virtual peace, dominance, and fake happiness prevailed.
Women paint their nostrils red, wear bells in their shoes and dress peculiarly. The author made a touch of feminism in synchronization with technology by picturing a concept that existed in this future world that any women who do not want any kind of sexual intimacy from any men can give that man a glass of milk. Like a drink that will reduce or suppress his sexual desires and actions. This culturally and morally collapsed society develops a feeling of shock and alienation in Bregg and other voyagers. All this fakeness and artificial happiness were like the murder of a man in man. It forced them to either leave the planet or undergo Betrization.
As the story proceeds the other space voyagers return to another constellation Saggitarius hoping when they return to the Earth things may change. Meanwhile, Bregg falls in love with a local girl-Eri and makes the difficult decision of staying in this virtual world of happiness and prosperity despite missing the adventures of space.
This novel receives my rating of 7.9 out of 10 because it is an excellent work of creativity and scientific descriptions. An amazing picturization of the future with a virtual and superficial utopia, but a deep-rooted dystopia is a unique style of Lem’s work. The sarcasm, philosophy and scientific details of this book remain incredible. This book is not something you can finish in a day as it requires levels of concentration because of its deep, powerful, interesting and hidden meanings. But, after you finish it, you will re-read it because of its catchiness and philosophical fiction. Am I glad I read it? Yes. Would I read it again? Yes.
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