Solaris

Solaris
Stanislaw Lem

In an age of digital literature there’s something comforting about an SF novel (albeit from 1961) that imagines a future awash in “an ocean of printed paper” and “seas of ink.” These are, in turn, metaphors for the liquid planet of Solaris itself, which is likened to “a library where all the books are written in an indecipherable language.” Apparently Lem was upset at Tarkovsky’s translating his tale of the impossibility of understanding a truly alien form of life into a romantic space opera, but I think that extension of his ideas is logical and the beauty of the film speaks for itself. In comparison the novel seems overly intellectual at times, though still deserving of its reputation as a masterpiece.