Book Discussion: Solaris by Stanislaw Lem

  • Oct 24, 2013 · 7:00 PM
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The BSFW book club will be reading "Solaris" by Stanislaw Lem.

Here's the Amazon link, it is available as an ebook.

Solaris is the most famous book by Polish SF author Stanislaw Lem, who's famous for combining hard SF with a satirical sense of humor.  In this book humans come into contact with an alien intelligence which takes the form of people from their own memories, requiring them to confront their own pasts at the same time they confront the unknown.  It's also only 224 pages so it's not a difficult read.


There are two translations of Solaris, one from 1970 and one from 2011.  All print editions use the old translation, which was translated from Polish to French and then French to English, and which got some criticisms as pretty poor.  The new translation is available only in audio book and ebook (the ebook is $4.61 on Amazon).

The following Guardian article describes some of the differences:


We read the book, show up, and have a friendly discussion.

Everyone there is a writer, so you're in good company to talk about writing technique. Any book club talks about what people liked or didn't like about the book, and what was most interesting about the ideas in it. We also talk about why and how it worked.

We choose books to read by asking a different member each month to bring 4-5 choices, and voting on the best choice. The choices are listed in the Discussion section of the meetup page.  (Usually, anyway.  Sometimes we choose books at the meetings if there's a clear consensus).

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  • Cameron

    I have a deadline tonight, sorry everyone, time isn't my friends these days

    October 24, 2013

  • Arielle

    Also -- I never did get the ebook, only the print version, so it will be interesting to discuss the differences in the translations.

    October 22, 2013

  • Arielle

    Hi everyone! I just emailed everyone who RSVPed YES with my address for Thursday. Please let me know if you didn't get it or need more directions. See you Thursday! :)

    October 22, 2013

  • Ian M

    I just updated the description because I learned there's a new translation of Solaris that's only available electronically.

    1 · September 14, 2013

    • Arielle

      Ian, great to know. I ordered the paperback. I didn't know about the translation, thanks for the info! I'll try to get the ebook then too somehow -- I may have to finally break down and get a kindle.

      September 14, 2013

  • Cameron

    Really gonna push to be at this one.

    1 · September 14, 2013

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