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For other uses, see Invincible (disambiguation).

The Invincible (Polish: Niezwyciężony) is a hard science fiction novel by Polish writer Stanisław Lem, published in 1964.

The Invincible
First edition (Polish)
AuthorStanisław Lem
Cover artistPiotr Borowy
CountryPoland
LanguagePolish
GenreHard Science Fiction
PublisherWydawnictwo MON (original)
Seabury Press (English-language)
Publication date
1964
Published in English
1973
Media typePrint (Hardcover, Paperback)
Pages316 pp (first edition, paperback)
OCLC488362 (English-language edition)

The Invincible originally appeared as the title story in Lem's collection Niezwyciężony i inne opowiadania ("The Invincible and Other Stories"). A translation into German was published in 1967; an English translation by Wendayne Ackerman, based on the German one, was published in 1973. A direct translation into English from Polish, by Bill Johnston, was published in 2006.

It was one of the first novels to explore the ideas of microrobots, smartdust, artificial swarm intelligence, and "necroevolution" (a term suggested by Lem for the evolution of non-living matter).

Contents

A heavily-armed interstellar spacecraft called Invincible lands on the planet Regis III, which seems uninhabited and bleak, to investigate the loss of her sister ship, Condor. During the investigation, the crew finds evidence of a form of quasi-life, born through evolution of autonomous, self-replicating machines, apparently left behind by an alien civilization ship which landed on Regis III a very long time ago.

The protagonists come to speculate that a kind of evolution must have taken place under the selection pressures of "robot wars", with the only surviving form being swarms of minuscule, insect-like micromachines. Individually, or in small groups, they are quite harmless and capable of only very simple behavior. When threatened, they can assemble into huge clouds, travel at a high speed, and even to climb to the top of the troposphere. These swarms display complex behavior arising from self-organization and can incapacitate any intelligent threat by a powerful surge of electromagnetic interference. Condor's crew suffered a complete memory erasure as a consequence of attacks from these "clouds". The swarm, however, is reactive. It lacks intelligence and cannot proactively formulate attack strategies.

Invincible's crew mounts an escalating series of attacks on the perceived enemy, but eventually recognizes the futility of their efforts. The robotic "fauna", dubbed "necrosphere", has become part of the planet's ecology, and would require a disruption on a planetary scale to be destroyed.

In the face of defeat and imminent withdrawal of the Invincible, Rohan, the spaceship's first navigator, undertakes a trip into the "enemy area" in search of four crew members who went missing in action – an attempt which he and the Invincible's commander Horpach see as certainly futile, but necessary for moral reasons. Rohan wanders into canyons covered by metallic "shrubs" and "insects", and finds some of the missing crewmen dead. He gathers some evidence and returns to the ship unharmed, thanks partially to a device that cloaks his brain activity and partially to his calm and nonthreatening behavior. Rohan expresses his intention to petition for preservation of the planet's artificial ecosystem, which fascinates him.

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.[citation needed] The plot also involves a philosophical dilemma, juxtaposing the values of humanity and the efficiency of mechanical insects.[citation needed]

Theodore Sturgeon praised The Invincible as "sf in the grand tradition", saying "The Science is hard. The descriptions are vivid and powerful."

This idea of an "ultimate weapon system" was finalized by Lem in his fictitious review "Weapon Systems of the Twenty First Century or The Upside-down Evolution".

In the late 1960s, Michael Redstone acquired the rights to a film adaptation of the novel, but he failed to find producers. In his usual grumpy manner Lem commented that "it would probably have been awful, but I did earn a lot".

In 2019, Rafał Mikołajczyk published the comic book Niezwyciężony [The Invincible], ISBN 9788395521409. Reviewers note the faithful rendering of Lem's original novel by Mikołajczyk in a different media.

In 2020, Polish video game developer Starward Industries announced a forthcoming adaptation of The Invincible. According to the developer, the adaptation will be designed specifically for the PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles. The release is expected in 2023.

  1. Earlier, a concept similar to nanotechnology, called "micromechanical devices", was described in Lem's 1959 novel Eden. See "Nanotechnology in fiction" for still earlier examples.
  1. "CAŁY TEN ZŁOM" an afterword by prof. Jerzy Jarzębski [pl]
  2. Doktryna nieingerencji, In: Marek Oramus, Bogowie Lema
  3. "Galaxy Bookshelf", Galaxy Science Fiction, November 1973, p.84
  4. Łukasz Maciejewski,"Święty spokój", an interview with Lem
  5. "Piękno i groza. Recenzja komiksu Niezwyciężony", by Agnieszka Czoska, March 30, 2020
  6. "Niezwyciężony. Rafał Mikołajczyk – recenzja", Paweł Biegajski, February 25, 2020
  7. "Wywiad z Rafałem Mikołajczykiem, autorem Niezwyciężonego" ("An Interview with Rafał Mikołajczyk, the Author of the Comic Book Niezwyciężony") by Dagmara Trembicka, September 22, 2019
  8. "Niezwyciężony (Invincible) - S. Lem, trailer, powieść graficzna.", YouTube
  9. Maher, Cian (September 15, 2020). "The Invincible Is A Next-Gen Game Inspired By Stanislaw Lem, From Former Witcher Devs". TheGamer.com. The Gamer. RetrievedSeptember 20, 2020.
  10. "The Invincible Interview – Bringing Stanisław Lem’s Sci-Fi Novel to Life with Unreal Engine 5", By Alessio Palumbo, October 2, 2020
  11. Cripe, Michael (June 12, 2022). "The Invincible Gets 5 Minutes of New Retrofuturistic Gameplay". The Escapist. RetrievedJune 13, 2022.
  • About the novel on the official Stanisław Lem website(in English)
  • About the novel on the official Stanisław Lem website (different content)(in Polish)

The Invincible Article Talk Language Watch Edit For other uses see Invincible disambiguation The Invincible Polish Niezwyciezony is a hard science fiction novel by Polish writer Stanislaw Lem published in 1964 1 The InvincibleFirst edition Polish AuthorStanislaw LemCover artistPiotr BorowyCountryPolandLanguagePolishGenreHard Science FictionPublisherWydawnictwo MON original Seabury Press English language Publication date1964Published in English1973Media typePrint Hardcover Paperback Pages316 pp first edition paperback OCLC488362 English language edition The Invincible originally appeared as the title story in Lem s collection Niezwyciezony i inne opowiadania The Invincible and Other Stories A translation into German was published in 1967 an English translation by Wendayne Ackerman based on the German one was published in 1973 A direct translation into English from Polish by Bill Johnston was published in 2006 It was one of the first nb 1 novels to explore the ideas of microrobots smartdust artificial swarm intelligence and necroevolution a term suggested by Lem for the evolution of non living matter Contents 1 Plot summary 2 Commentary 3 Adaptations 4 Notes 5 References 6 External linksPlot summary EditA heavily armed interstellar spacecraft called Invincible lands on the planet Regis III which seems uninhabited and bleak to investigate the loss of her sister ship Condor During the investigation the crew finds evidence of a form of quasi life born through evolution of autonomous self replicating machines apparently left behind by an alien civilization ship which landed on Regis III a very long time ago The protagonists come to speculate that a kind of evolution must have taken place under the selection pressures of robot wars with the only surviving form being swarms of minuscule insect like micromachines Individually or in small groups they are quite harmless and capable of only very simple behavior When threatened they can assemble into huge clouds travel at a high speed and even to climb to the top of the troposphere These swarms display complex behavior arising from self organization and can incapacitate any intelligent threat by a powerful surge of electromagnetic interference Condor s crew suffered a complete memory erasure as a consequence of attacks from these clouds The swarm however is reactive It lacks intelligence and cannot proactively formulate attack strategies Invincible s crew mounts an escalating series of attacks on the perceived enemy but eventually recognizes the futility of their efforts The robotic fauna dubbed necrosphere has become part of the planet s ecology and would require a disruption on a planetary scale to be destroyed In the face of defeat and imminent withdrawal of the Invincible Rohan the spaceship s first navigator undertakes a trip into the enemy area in search of four crew members who went missing in action an attempt which he and the Invincible s commander Horpach see as certainly futile but necessary for moral reasons Rohan wanders into canyons covered by metallic shrubs and insects and finds some of the missing crewmen dead He gathers some evidence and returns to the ship unharmed thanks partially to a device that cloaks his brain activity and partially to his calm and nonthreatening behavior Rohan expresses his intention to petition for preservation of the planet s artificial ecosystem which fascinates him Commentary EditThe 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 citation needed The plot also involves a philosophical dilemma juxtaposing the values of humanity and the efficiency of mechanical insects citation needed Theodore Sturgeon praised The Invincible as sf in the grand tradition saying The Science is hard The descriptions are vivid and powerful 3 This idea of an ultimate weapon system was finalized by Lem in his fictitious review Weapon Systems of the Twenty First Century or The Upside down Evolution 1 Adaptations EditIn the late 1960s Michael Redstone acquired the rights to a film adaptation of the novel but he failed to find producers In his usual grumpy manner Lem commented that it would probably have been awful but I did earn a lot 4 In 2019 Rafal Mikolajczyk published the comic book Niezwyciezony The Invincible ISBN 9788395521409 Reviewers note the faithful rendering of Lem s original novel by Mikolajczyk in a different media 5 6 7 8 In 2020 Polish video game developer Starward Industries announced a forthcoming adaptation of The Invincible 9 According to the developer the adaptation will be designed specifically for the PC PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X S consoles 9 10 The release is expected in 2023 11 Notes Edit Earlier a concept similar to nanotechnology called micromechanical devices was described in Lem s 1959 novel Eden See Nanotechnology in fiction for still earlier examples 2 References Edit a b CALY TEN ZLOM an afterword by prof Jerzy Jarzebski pl Doktryna nieingerencji In Marek Oramus Bogowie Lema Galaxy Bookshelf Galaxy Science Fiction November 1973 p 84 Lukasz Maciejewski Swiety spokoj an interview with Lem Piekno i groza Recenzja komiksu Niezwyciezony by Agnieszka Czoska March 30 2020 Niezwyciezony Rafal Mikolajczyk recenzja Pawel Biegajski February 25 2020 Wywiad z Rafalem Mikolajczykiem autorem Niezwyciezonego An Interview with Rafal Mikolajczyk the Author of the Comic Book Niezwyciezony by Dagmara Trembicka September 22 2019 Niezwyciezony Invincible S Lem trailer powiesc graficzna YouTube a b Maher Cian September 15 2020 The Invincible Is A Next Gen Game Inspired By Stanislaw Lem From Former Witcher Devs TheGamer com The Gamer Retrieved September 20 2020 The Invincible Interview Bringing Stanislaw Lem s Sci Fi Novel to Life with Unreal Engine 5 By Alessio Palumbo October 2 2020 Cripe Michael June 12 2022 The Invincible Gets 5 Minutes of New Retrofuturistic Gameplay The Escapist Retrieved June 13 2022 External links EditAbout the novel on the official Stanislaw Lem website in English About the novel on the official Stanislaw Lem website different content in Polish Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title The Invincible amp oldid 1092995592, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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