Eden

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From the author of Solaris, this novel of an encounter with an alien intelligence creates “a terrifyingly plausible picture of a world gone mad” (Kirkus Reviews).

Six explorers—the Captain, Doctor, Engineer, Chemist, Physicist, and Cyberneticist—crash land on a beautiful but strange planet, fourth from another sun. The landscape is bizarre, hosting acrid deserts, hissing trees, and thick spiderlike vegetation. But it is the signs of humanity that are most puzzling. In a labyrinth of plant-shaped buildings are dead ends, passageways, domes, vaulted ceilings, and giant statues. And everywhere there are images of death: mass graves, bodies in ditches and wells, clusters of egglike structures filled with skeletons.
 
Something is wrong with the inhabitants of Eden. But as the crew unlocks the secrets of this twisted society, the most haunting fact they must face is how similar it is to their own.
 
The Chicago Tribune lauded Stanislaw Lem as “not only a marvelous spinner of tales of the fantastic but also a challenging philosopher of the meanings and ramifications of technology.” Eden stands as a timeless and powerful examination of the conflict between human nature, human discovery, and all-too-human flaws.
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About the author

Stanislaw Lem is the most widely translated and best-known science fiction author outside of the English language. Winner of the Kafka Prize, he is a contributor to many magazines, including the New Yorker, and the author of numerous books, including Solaris.
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Additional Information

Publisher
HMH
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Published on
Oct 31, 1991
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Pages
276
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ISBN
9780547995069
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Science Fiction / Alien Contact
Fiction / Science Fiction / Hard Science Fiction
Fiction / Science Fiction / Space Exploration
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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The Polish writer Stanislaw Lem is best known to English-speaking readers as the author of the 1961 science fiction novel Solaris, adapted into a meditative film by Andrei Tarkovsky in 1972 and remade in 2002 by Steven Soderbergh. Throughout his writings, comprising dozens of science fiction novels and short stories, Lem offered deeply philosophical and bitingly satirical reflections on the limitations of both science and humanity.

In Summa Technologiae—his major work of nonfiction, first published in 1964 and now available in English for the first time—Lem produced an engaging and caustically logical philosophical treatise about human and nonhuman life in its past, present, and future forms. After five decades Summa Technologiae has lost none of its intellectual or critical significance. Indeed, many of Lem’s conjectures about future technologies have now come true: from artificial intelligence, bionics, and nanotechnology to the dangers of information overload, the concept underlying Internet search engines, and the idea of virtual reality. More important for its continued relevance, however, is Lem’s rigorous investigation into the parallel development of biological and technical evolution and his conclusion that technology will outlive humanity.

Preceding Richard Dawkins’s understanding of evolution as a blind watchmaker by more than two decades, Lem posits evolution as opportunistic, shortsighted, extravagant, and illogical. Strikingly original and still timely, Summa Technologiae resonates with a wide range of contemporary debates about information and new media, the life sciences, and the emerging relationship between technology and humanity.

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