Fwd: Notes on Solaris and Lem

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Ricardo Tovar

Oct 4, 2014, 2:44:59 PM10/4/14
to ciberiada

De una lista de correo sobre Lem. Enjoy.

---------- Mensaje reenviado ----------
De: "John Everett Branch Jr." <jbra...@verizon.net>
Fecha: oct 4, 2014 12:44 p.m.
Asunto: Notes on Solaris and Lem
Para: "LEM List" <le...@lists.rpi.edu>

Two notes.

One: By chance, I discovered today what may be well known to many on the list, that there are three film versions of Lem’s Solaris, not (as I had believed) two. The first version was a Russian made-for-TV movie, about which there’s a Wikipedia entry, which includes a link to what’s supposedly the entire film, with English subtitles no less. An IMDB entry for this 1968 version also exists and includes a user review that suggests various shortcomings compared to Tarkovsky’s version.

Two: The admirable online science magazine Nautilus recently posted Issue 017, for which the theme is Big Bangs. Among its contents is an article by list member Lee Billings on the subject of The Singularity and more particularly on Lem’s anticipation of that predicted event in Summa Technologiae. As a copy editor (which means professional nitpicker), I’d say it’s unfortunate that the magazine didn’t duplicate the diacritical marking in Lem’s first name—which in a sense is misspelled if it’s not rendered as “Stanisław”—but the only real shortcoming of the post is that it’s incomplete, a tantalizing excerpt. The full thing is available only in Nautilus's Fall 2014 print edition…

…except to readers of this list! Lee very kindly emailed me the full text, as a .doc file, and has given me permission to include it here. You should find it attached; it can be opened by anyone who has access to Microsoft Word or to one of the free programs that can open Word files. If anyone has trouble with that, let me know and I’ll send it as a PDF. I won’t try to describe it in full, since you can easily read it yourself, but among other things I see it as an argument why technologists should read ST. My personal impression of Lem differs somewhat from Lee’s position at the end, but I haven’t read enough (recently) to make a good counter-argument. See what you think. Enjoy! Discuss!

--John E. Branch Jr.
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Nautilus Fall 2014 (issue 017) On Lem, by Lee Billings.doc
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