Return from the Stars by Stanislaw Lem – Dystopian Books Review

Not everything made you stronger. It was possible to survive, yet still be crippled for your trouble. Sometimes it was okay to run away, to skip the test, to chicken out. Or at least to get some help.
Scott Westerfeld Dystopian Author Quotes#85
February 29, 2020
No matter how far from the war we run, it always catches up with us.
Scott Westerfeld Dystopian Author Quotes#86
February 29, 2020

Review, Synopsis, and Summary of Science Fiction Novel Return From The Stars

Published in the Polish language in 1961, Return from the Stars is a science fiction marvel by Stanislaw Lem. It is basically a story of a cosmonaut who returns home after a mission. When he reaches Earth, he finds difficulty in adapting because of the changing world. They translated the novel into English in the year 1980.

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Author: Stanisław Lem

Genre: Science Fiction

Pages: 247

Good reads rating: 3.99 of 5

My Ratings: 8.1 of 10

Published: 1961

Publisher: Czytelnik (first Polish edition) Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

Language: Polish

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Review and Summary of Science Fiction Novel Return From The Stars

***Warning Spoilers Below This Point***

The story is about a cosmonaut named Haul Bregg. He returned to Earth after completion of a mission of 127 years to Fomalhaut. Although the mission only calculated to 10 years long for him because of time dilation. When he returns to Earth, he becomes culturally shocked. According to him, the world transformed into a real utopia. There are no wars, no violence, no crime, not even accidents in the world.

After Haul returns to Earth, it remains difficult for him to live there, because the world is way more comfortable and too safe for him. According to him, the planet Earth is not a home anymore, instead, it is an alien planet. Even the human population changed because they had gone through a procedure known as betrization. With this procedure aggressive impulses become neutralised, hence there are no risks now. Since Haul is an astronaut, he cannot agree to the opinion of space travel and exploring it is a dangerous adventure. As Haul says, in the current world, a man inside the man died. He and his colleagues who have returned to the earth remain untrustworthy. They are also under social pressure to take part in betrization. The other option for these astronauts is to leave the Earth and come back after several years when the planet would be a little more adaptable.

Meanwhile, to adapt within the society, Haul marries Eri, who is a local girl and starts seeing the world from her eyes. As he falls in love with Eri he disapproves of space expeditions. He also comes to know that his ex-colleagues are joining a mission to reach Sagittarius, but he leaves everything behind for his love for Eri.

Final Say on Science Fiction Novel Return From The Stars

The central idea of the novel depicting the elimination of social evils from the society is brilliant. The way the author wrote the narrative makes it even more interesting. The novel covers many topics including science fiction, social alienation, dystopia, and culture shock. Return From The Stars receives my ratings of 8.1 out of 10 because it is an incredible read.

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Max Atlas
Max Atlas
I am Max Atlas; my only mission is to raise awareness of Dystopian fiction and share in a collective awakening. Together we will explore not only the best Dystopian Novels ever written but also new and upcoming Authors, giving future greats a platform to share their Dystopian Worlds.