The Magellanic Cloud
|Original title||Obłok Magellana|
|Cover artist||Jan Młodożeniec|
|LC Class||PG7158.L399 O2|
|Preceded by||The Astronauts|
Major literary tropes include interstellar travel, "first contact", with a good deal of psychological fiction, and most of all, Communist utopia complete with the criticism of the capitalist militarism, which Lem himself characterized as an "extract of the times of Socialist realism".
Fragments of the novel were published earlier, in 1953-1954, in the magazine Przekrój.
After almost eight years of travel, they find signs of organic life on a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, possibly originating on another planet within the Centauri system. One of the planets orbiting Alpha Centauri turns out to be inhabited by an advanced civilization.
The expedition meets the lifeless human ship "Atlants", which turns out to be an old artificial war satellite of the United States and its NATO allies, carrying still active biological weapons and nuclear warheads, which had accidentally left Earth orbit and got lost in space during the Cold War era.
Censorship and criticisms
When the novel was first published, parts of it were censored by the Communist authorities. Lem denounced the censored version, calling it too optimistic about Communism. At the time, this demonstrated Lem's confidence that his singular status as a Polish author of international renown would protect him from state repression. A complete version was published in the 1990s in post-Communist Poland.
- Sim, Krystal (16 September 2013). "Ikarie XB-1 DVD review". SciFi Now. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- O'Neill, Phelim (31 August 2013). "This week's new DVD & Blu-ray Ikarie XB-1". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- Information about the novel on the website dedicated to Stanislaw Lem
- Владимир Борисов, "Голос жителя Земли", Новое литературное обозрение (М.). – 2006. – № 82. – С. 315-325. (online) (in Russian)
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