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The Invincible Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1973


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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, German, Polish (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Books (1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044137171X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441371716
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,387,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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

Customer Reviews

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See all 16 customer reviews
Great novel that could make an excellent science fiction movie.
LD
I am very excited to see it in Kindle format and I am purchasing a copy right now.
T98
Might be a good book to get someone with an interest in hard sf into Lem's work.
Tom Rhoads

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Tom Rhoads on March 30, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I have read this book twice, once several years ago and again very recently. It's a bit more viscerally exciting and not nearly as abstruse as the other Lem novels and stories I have read. It was originally published (if memory serves) in the 60's and so I suppose it's a relatively early work (it certainly has a strong early-60s flavor). The story concerns a powerful space warship sent to a remote planet to learn the fate of an identical ship which disappeared there. The central figure of the book is Rohan, the ship's navigator (and first officer, more or less); Lem's usual attention to the psychology of his characters is evident in his excellent treatment of Rohan's uneasy relationship with his commander and his observations on the scientists and spacers who make up the crew. However, the book is not as psychologically complex as the other Lem novels I have read.
The tone of the book starts out in a very '60s hard-sf vein, veers towards horror a bit in the middle, then eventually focuses on the technical and moral dilemma faced by the crew as they try to avoid their predecessors' fate. The main theme of the book is the futility of humans' hubristic attempt to conquer (or at least understand) the universe which surrounds them; the quality of the writing (just) saves it from being heavy-handed.
It's a pretty good read and more approachable than some of Lem's other books (an interesting contrast for fans, I would say), such as _Solaris_, which draws on some of the same ideas. Try to find a version which was translated directly from Polish if you can (one US edition was translated from an earlier German translation!). Might be a good book to get someone with an interest in hard sf into Lem's work.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Darth Maciek TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 2, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Here is a little known masterpiece of SF. I read it so many times but I still discover something new, which is astonishing because this is actually a mini-novel or if you prefer a long short story.

I will not reveal much about the content, but just a hint: the title "Invincible" is of course referring to the name of the proud space cruiser exploring planet Regis III, but NOT only to it. This story is really trying to stick to some scientific probability (sub gender hard-fiction). It was also written in the late 50s and sometimes the climate is similar to the one in "The Forbidden Planet" movie. But this is NOT a monster story - what awaits the crew of "Invincible" (and especially its First Officer Rohan) on the planet Regis III is MUCH worse (and much better) than any monster. Curious already? Buy it, read it, love it, never forget it.

And try to think - what the perfection could look like?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By SkyGerbil on April 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
The crew of SS Invincible lands on the planet Regis III to learn the fate of its sister ship Condor which disappeared without a trace. Without spoilers, the fate of Condor is the least important part of the book. The important part is where the author asks the questions: who is "the Invincible" one? What is the place of the humankind in the universe? Is victory at all costs moral? Is revenge justified? Is mercy to a helpless always the right choice?

This book will remain a timeless classic read as long as there is one person who seeks answers to those questions.
In short, put this book on top of your must-read list. If you thought that OSC's Ender's Game is the best Philosopical Sci Fi story ever, this book will nudge it to the second place for you. Enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book by the famous eastern European sci-fi author Lem. An Earth spacecraft explores a previously unknown world and finds a very alien presence. Lots of science here, and evolutionary theory applied in an unusual manner, as humanity tries to understand the exotically alien universe (a major Lem theme throughout his works). A good adventure story as well. I read it as a teenager and occasionaly reread it- it was a mind-expander.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on June 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's shameful that it has taken so long for a proper English translation of this novel. It's one of Lem's most gripping, tense and readable stories. It could even make a good movie, which isn't something you can say about many Lem novels.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Juliet on January 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The invincible is a great story about a ship, the invincible, that has a crew of about 80 people, armed to the teeth with nukes and superior shields. It is on a mission to Reigis III to find out what happened to their sister ship, the condor. Part of the story has to do with exploring the barren planet that contains some seas and metalic ruins, finding the condor and then dealing with what happened and why. Lem is a great writer of hard SF, trying to be very factual and makes sense. The book has been written some time ago though so some points are a little dated such as the warship the invincible being a huge rocket, but this really doesn't detract from the whole story. What happened to the mighty sister ship the condor? This may have been the first book to deal with this type of enemy! Very advanced for the time of this book. Great chapter on the theory of how this enemy evolved on the planet. Recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T98 on April 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I read a paperback copy of The Invincible in the 1980s and was thrilled with what is essentially a hard sci-fi / mystery / adventure novel. When I say 'hard sci-fi', I mean it is technology-oriented, not hard to read ;-) On a desolate planet, a rescue mission finds a baffling and deadly mystery. I am very excited to see it in Kindle format and I am purchasing a copy right now. This is my favorite Lem book!
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