The Invincible - a novel by Stanislaw Lem
The Invincible is a science fiction novel dated from and published in 1964. - A powerful military space ship, a second-class cruiser called Invincible, lands on the planet Regis III to investigate the loss of sister ship, Condor. During the investigation, the crew finds evidence of a new form of life, born through evolution of autonomous, self-replicating machines.
The evolution was controlled by "robot wars", and the only form that survived were swarms of minuscule, insectlike machines. Individually, or in small groups, they are quite harmless to humans and capable of only very simple behavior. However, when bothered, they can assemble into huge swarms displaying complex behavior arising from self-organization, and are able to defeat an intruder by a powerful surge of EMI. Some members of the spacecraft crew suffered a complete memory erasure as a consequence. The angered crew attempts to fight the enemy, but eventually recognizes the meaninglessness of their efforts in the most direct sense of the word.
The novel turns into an analysis of the relationship between different life domains, and their place in the universe. In particular, it is an imaginary experiment to demonstrate that evolution may not necessarily lead to dominance by intellectually superior life forms.
Lems work in general
His work displays several recurring themes.The first major grouping of his fiction falls into a more traditional understanding of science fiction, with elements including speculation on technological advances, space travel and alien worlds. This group includes such works as Eden (1959), Return from the Stars (1961), Solaris (1961), The Invincible (1964), His Master's Voice (1968), and Tales of Pirx the Pilot (1968). Fables of a dark nature make up the other grouping. These include The Star Diaries (1957), Memoirs Found in a Bathtub (1961), and The Cyberiad (1965).
One of Lem's primary themes was the impossibility of communication between humans and profoundly alien civilizations. His aliens are often incomprehensible to the human mind, be they swarms of mechanical insects (in The Invincible) and a living ocean (in Solaris) or strangely ordered societies of more human-like beings in Fiasko and Eden, describing the failure of the first contact. To read more details about his life and work click -> this.
Lems influence on my music
Regarding my music I can say, that Lem´s exuberant creativity put the “space” aspect into my music. His description of space- or timetrips, alien worlds and alien species where awakening my fantasies in the most enriching way. – Ahead of all these writings is to mention The Invincible, a story wich is dealing with an astoundingly ageless topic: artificial intelligence and swarm-intelligence. Keeping in mind, that this book was written in 1964 … Lem was dealing that topic with an unbelievable foresight.