Him as wild barbaric barely a notch above *neanderthal betrization is the major philosophic issue for *Betrization is the major philosophic issue for and indirectly for Stanislaw Lem BLACK BOXESStunning scientific breakthrough gravity is neutralized to eliminate risk and danger Hal sees black boxes all over the place in elevators and in sleek black automobiles gleeders that look like pencils sharpened at both ends So when there is high speed collision the black boxes completely absorb the impact and passengers walk away without a scratch Bye bye to all those highway fatalities Now that s an improvement WORKMen and women no longer perform drudge work all is done by robots that are beautifully styled semitransparent and have long delicate arms Hal tells us I had noticed that I had no difficulty conversing with robots because absolutely nothing surprised them They were incapable of surprise A very sensible uality Further a physician informs our time TRAVELING ADVENTURER THAT MATERIAL FACTORS HAVE CEASED TO EXIST adventurer that material factors have ceased to exist are freed up to live harmonious tranuil lives of leisure The doctor admits society has softened in the last one hundred years Reading this passage I was reminded of 19th century German philosopher G F W Hegel projecting how at some future point in history the continual thesis antithesis tug of war will evaporate and level out into a final synthesis ARCHITECTUREMany city buildings are a single immensity a mountain of glassy rock The Hal sees the he comprehends future architects freuently use nature mountains rivers valleys as the model for their own creations They must have understood that in going beyond certain limits they had to abandon symmetry and regularity of form and learn from what was largest intelligent students of the planet ART In the center rose a column high transparent as glass something danced in it purple brown and violet shapes unlike anything I new like abstract sculptures come to life but very amusing First one color then another swelled became concentrated took shape in a highly comical way this melee of forms although devoid of faces heads arms legs was very human in character I ve never seen anything like it Everywhere in the city Hal is surrounded by a dazzling array of lights colors and shapes Very appealing to the eye it appears these future city dwellers have a refined and highly developed aesthetic sense Beauty is everywhere The entire city took on the appearance of a gigantic art exhibit FILM AND THEATER Movies are three dimensional vivid holographs and even impressive entirely interactive The viewer himself by his own choice determined whether he would see a close up or the whole picture Also Stanislaw Lem anticipates wide screen television Hal is astonished at all the giant images and faces on flat TV screens the size of walls Also theme parks a close cousin to theater are holographic extravaganzas for example there s white water rafting where the raft and the water are all swirls of light created in a way where rafters can experience the thrill without the danger BOOKSHal is stunned there are no paper books in the bookstore Stanislaw Lem anticipates the Kindle and audio books Over the next days as he becomes familiar with the future world s literature Hal is upset with the lack of social criticism and the complete absence of anything resembling satire which prompts the tall astronaut to muse There is never good without evil Hal can also see the entire cultural heritage has undergone a radical re evaluation sexuality social s attitudes toward war have little in common with the way people viewed such things in the 20th century FASHION Suits socks sweaters underwear everything were sprayed on In one respect this future US world is a vast enhancement men and women are trim well built and attractive And youthful thanks to a number of health cures for aging things like a cream instantly removing wrinkles Contact sports hockey and football bloody sports boxing and rodeo have disappeared swimming diving and hiking are the prevailing sports and modes of exercise LOVEHal meets lovely Eri and falls deeply in love Meanwhile the space mission offers Hal the opportunity for time travel and adventure Hal has a critical decision to make stay with Eri in this betrization world or move on What will Hal choose Keep in mind Hal is now a strapping man of forty and has been on a space mission for ten years without women Also have a good long look at Eri and take a guess which way Hal with go BETRIZATION REDUX Again the major philosophic conundrum in this future world is betrization Conjoined with this radical biological procedure the prime subjects of education for all toddlers school age children and adolescence are the principles of tolerance peaceful coexistence and respect for others of all races Ancient history epochs prior to betrization including the 20th century are portrayed as times of animality and barbaric uncontrolled procreation of catastrophe both economic and military Judging from the number of Goodreads reviews less than 200 I think it is fair to say Return From the Stars is an overlooked classic In my humble judgement this future world is one of great beauty and magnificence However I can detect many readers would take exactly the opposite view I encourage you to read for yourself and formulate your own opinions One of the greatest writers of science fiction Polish author Stanislaw Lem 1921 2006We traveled a long time in silence The buildings of the city center gave way to bizarre forms of suburban architecture under small artificial suns immersed in vegetation lay structures with flowing lines or inflated into odd pillows or winged so that the division between the interior of a home and its surroundings was lost these where products of a phantasmagoria of tireless attempts to create without repeating old forms Stanislaw Lem Return From the Star. H human beings who have been medically neutralized How does an astronaut join a civilization that shuns risk.
Stanisław Lem Ø 4 Free readThis book could have been edited for clarity Yes I m aware that it s a translation but I m talking about the overuse of one particular deviceToo many lines of dialogue ending inLeaving the reader to fill in theWhich is fine if you ve already given enoughInformationYeahHalf the conversations in this book had 3 dot dialogue like this There s such a thing as leaving TOO MANY things unspoken At some point the reader is left adrift wondering what the author meant without enough context clues to figure it out for himself A good story but a confusing read The middle of the last century the time of dystopias every thoughtful science fiction writer considered it to be his obligation to write one Return from the Stars is a mutiny against the total conformity and insipid living in the entirely uniform society Beneath a dome supported by cracked crumbling columns stood a woman as though she had been waiting for me I saw her face now the flow of sparks in the diamond disks that hid her ears the white in the shadow silvery dress This was not possible A dream I was still a few dozen paces from her when she began to sing Among the unseen trees her voice was weak childlike almost I could not make out the words perhaps there were no words Even in the The Man Without a Face kingdom of the uniformly blind there should be the one bold enough to dare Definitely one of my favourite books written by one of my favourite authors However sci fi it actually tells a story of a lonely man A man that cannot find himself in the new world Didn t it happen to all of us at least once in a lifetime Absolutely a masterpiece Cosmic PTSDShell shock was a condition of the First World War battle fatigue of the Second but the condition we nownow as PTSD post traumatic stress disorder was unknown and undefined after those conflicts Each is a distinct syndrome befitting the circumstances of the time including the preva A couple years back I read the first James bond book Casino Royale and was appalled by Fleming s allusions to the sweet tang of rape Even horrifying was my conversation with a male friend afterwards who claimed that every man wants to be just like James Bond and continued with this claim even after I read passages to him including the rape passage and explained how much of a misogynistic asshole Bond is in the books For the sake of our friendship I m forced to assume he wasn t paying attention and was thinking of the moviesHal may not be uite to the James Bond level he doesn t seem comfortable with rape as a concept but he s definitely not shy about forcing himself on women who are incapable of fighting him off He eeps assuming that if people don t say no then it must mean yes Unfortunately in this alternate future with people incapable of aggression or conflict the women are saying no but not in a way that Hal can recognize There s a lot of interesting ideas here but I this is one case where a biased narrator leads to a biased opinion of the book It s disturbingly ambiguous at times but I don t think Lem himself believed that all men are rapists at heart just like I don t think that he believed that space exploration was pointlessAdditionally the formattingediting on the Kindle edition is dreadful There s OCR errors everywhere and even a couple of pages that are *in the wrong order I generally adore Stanislaw Lem but what the shitting shit hell is this A man returns *the wrong order I generally adore Stanislaw Lem but what the shitting shit hell is this A man returns a cosmic voyage over a century has passed on Earth and so of course the culture is entirely different And the sticking point with him is that people have voluntarily decreased their aggression so that there is no murder rape assault or war True he can see the benefit of it but what about boxing There s no real sport left And really the main problem is now you can t just acuire a woman So his reaction is to forcibly iss one lady then go batshit insane another poor soul decide that he s in love with her or something and basically abduct her and coerce her into staying with him Yes he somehow realizes days later that maybe just MAYBE she was going along with him because she was afraid WHAT DID YOU THINK WAS HAPPENING God it was just unbearable Anything else was afraid WHAT DID YOU THINK WAS HAPPENING God it was just unbearable Anything else commendable about the book is just completely destroyed by all this garbage A pretty haunting portrayal of a utopia which is really a dystopia putting it in the same sphere as Brave New World written 30 years before Hal Bregg is a space navigator who has just returned from a trip to a nearby star system He has been through hell on his long heroic mission to look for alien life and new nowledge of the universe the dangers of which took the lives of several of his comrades Because of relativity his 10 year journey corresponds to some 127 years of earth time it feels ironic that his uest time It feels ironic that his uest find intelligent aliens succeeds in a strange way the aliens he struggles to comprehend are the new humans occupying his home world At first Hal can t help but admire how there is no war or violent crime in global society he is now a citizen of Medical advances have garnered long disease free lives for humans A plethora of robots take care of much of the drudgery of work A conuering of gravity and inertia makes routine travel about the globe by very fast automated vehicles both free and safe Hal seems to make friends among the intelligent gregarious people he meets But soon Hal begins to feel worthless and depressed over his inability to adapt to this society First of all they have no interest in his journey so the sacrifices of his crew go unrecognized The people have been modified during development by a treatment called betrization which abolishes aggressive behavior but in the process many other aspects of human character have changed The latter discoveries come out from Hal s attempt to forge a love relationship The woman s married status is not a barrier to their. Hal Bregg is an astronaut who returns from a space mission in which only 10 biological years have passed for. Pairing in this society of labile relationships However Hal s untreated potential for violence makes him a source of fear among any who learn of his status He fears he appears to the new humans like a Neanderthal The woman who submits to his lusts out of curiosity seems incapable of loving him with the same ind of feelings he nurtures A ancient doctor with extra insight explains his situation all too well You fail to appreciate how many factors once decisive in the erotic sphere have vanished Consider for example something you have become accustomed to so accustomed that you no longer see the exceptional nature of the phenomenon risk It does not exist any Bregg A man cannot impress a woman with heroics reckless deeds and yet literature art our whole culture for centuries was nourished by this current love in the face of adversity Orpheus went to Hades for Euridice Othello Threads Of The Shroud killed for love We eliminated the hell of passion and then it turned out that in the same sweep heaven too had ceased to be Everything now is lukewarm Bregg Thus in many ways this story serves as a thought experiment and precautionary tale on the dangers of the power of future science to improve upon human nature Many sci fi fans will not be impressed with the low levels of dramatic action associated this rather philosophical narrative the same is true of his most popular novel Solaris In my case Iept asking myself as a former brain scientist how much of our capacity to love and create art and science advances would be changed if the developing neural circuits for aggression were somehow suppressed As I m not sure what to think of Return From The Stars At times I liked it and at other times I felt indifferent to it Nothing jumps out as bad exactly The novel follows the main character Hal through the hardships of returning to Earth from a deep space exploration after nearly 130 years only ten to him And of course the world has changed and he goes through this huge cultural shock and people see that he s different straight away and he can t adjust so he goes on vacation after like two days back on Earth Mind you none of this is his fault or anyone else s fault and nobody s mistreating him because maltreatment no longer exists because people are chemically altered at birth to be non aggressive And the whole story until the end stems from this So there s no antagonist as such Just a bunch of conversations where he can t get across what he s thinking and he can t really grasp what anyone else is saying although they re all nodding at one another like Yeah I think I get your meaning Slowly he adjusts to or does better at hiding from society which is again not clear He also wrestles with all these demons from his past that haunt him but aren t really tied in well to the rest of the story which he does discuss with some of his fellow explores about and they all say Shut up You re making
Mountains From Ant Hills So Itfrom ant hills So it all these repetitive pointless discussions And then ends with this whole cyclical journey hooey that does not read a prophetic as I think the author intended And I don t think it s a matter of meaning being lost in translation Still the book has its moments The characters are all likable it s well thought out and aside from the dialog it s well written The discussions of the space exploration Hal just returned from are interesting but they make up such a small portion of the novel I was left feeling a little short changed So read it if you got it but don t break your *NECK RUSHING OUT THE DOOR TO *rushing out the door to it It has a higher review average on GR than I ve given it which could mean I m dense However Lem stated himself that he didn t think it was very good and relied on too many SciFi cliches I cannot rate this book as I absolutely loathed it I didn t like the main character Hal Bregg who has returned to earth after 127 years Holy cyberspace robotics and zero gravity Stanislaw Lem took me completely by surprise with his 1961 novel of American astronaut Hal Bregg s returning to Earth 127 years into the future I was expecting the acclaimed Polish author s time traveler to be another introverted nerd like Ijon Tichy He s anything but exceptionally tall rugged muscular athletic Hal is an American adventurer along the lines of Indiana Jones Likewise I was anticipating the focus of the novel to revolve exclusively around futuristic science technology and culture Return From the Stars is all that but something a tale of passion intrigue and most unexpectedly a love story We follow Hal as he recounts dozens of his intriguing encounters and discoveries to list several airplane seats expanding into egg shaped cocoons as a way of providing the ultimate in privacy to my mind a splendid invention a woman wearing a dress with large peacock eyes that blink an airport terminal smelling like a thousand scented soaps a white cake that instantly foams turns brown and hardens and has the taste of a freshly baked roll conversations with a physician and a mathematician recounting the advances made in their respective fields in the last one hundred years So much to report I m forced to pick and chose Below are highlights from Explorer Bregg s astonishing odyssey I judge among the most provocative BETRIZATIONNo doubt about it the procedure nown as betrization is the most important change in this future world a procedure all children are obliged to undergo Betrization permanently alters human nature neutralizing all traces of aggression nastiness mean spiritedness and the need to dominate along with engendering an aversion to risk taking Predictably with such a profound transformation the men and women society and culture Hal encounters bear little resemblance to life back in the 20th century Thus when all those denizens Hal meets realize he has not been betrizied they recoil viewing. Him while 127 years have elapsed on earth He finds that the earth has changed beyond recognition filled wit. ,