With its riveting plot, enduring symbolism, and powerful, Hemingwaysparse style, The Invincible may not strike the reader as being in any way atypical.
Yet it would be difficult to isolate ordinary social concerns in this science-thriller, unless it is the broadly understood interest in the future of humankind, determined by the scientific and technological present. Not that there have ever been any doubt about the centrality of cognition in Stanislaw Lem's writings. In a 1979 interview, appropriately entitled "Knowing Is the Hero of My Books," the writer mentions a Swiss critic who suggested that in Lem's books problems of knowledge play the part that love and erotic adventures do for other writers.
Agrees Lem: "To me science, not sex, is the problem."
If his works are multiple variants on the problems of knowledge, The Invincible, from the middle of Lem's golden phase of 1959-1968, is...