“A stunningly inventive fantasy about cosmic travel” from the Kafka Prize–winning author of Solaris (The New York Times).
The Hermes explorer ship represents the epitome of Earth’s excellence: a peaceful mission sent forth to make first contact with an alien civilization, and to use the expansive space technology developed by humanity to seek new worlds, friendships, and alliances. But what its crew discovers on the planet Quinta is nothing like they had hoped. Locked in a seemingly endless cold war among themselves, the Quintans are uncommunicative and violent, refusing any discourse—except for the firing of deadly weapons.
The crew of the Hermes is determined to accomplish what they had set out to do. But the cost of learning the secrets hidden on the silent surface of Quinta may be grave.
Stark, startling, and insightful, Fiasco has been praised by Publishers Weekly as “one of Lem’s best novels.” It is classic, thought-provoking hard science fiction, as prescient today as when it was first written.