Archive for the ‘Stanislaw Lem’ Category


S4E4B – Solaris (book)*


Wherein I am joined by returning special guest and musician extrodinaire John Doyle a/k/a Dole (I Decline) along with his equally talented bandmate John Bombher a/k/a Jaxon (Bury the Machines, I Klatus). The three of us delved into this month’s translated work of philosophical speculative fiction from Poland’s Stanislaw Lem. I personally felt that “Solaris” was a trippy tale with a completely unique take on encountering aliens. Jaxon found various comparisons with mental illness in the way the alien-ocean of Solaris manifested itself to the main character and their interactions. Dole really enjoyed how this book made him think about his own life and take new perspectives. All around everyone thought this story was a short, easily digested masterwork that left us with infinite realms of thought and reflection. We highly recommend it for anyone at all interested in science fiction.

We recorded this episode at Horse-Drawn Productions — a great studio in Berwyn, Illinois where Jaxon sometimes records musicians or works on his own music, when he’s not out doing live sound. Horse-Drawn is also the place where Dole, Jaxon and their two other bandmates (Tony Hopper and Mike Fabiano) recorded music for the debut album of their new project “Theurgy” (Facebook Page: They were gracious enough to allow me to include a teaser from one of their songs called “Hiding Your Face in the Wall,” which is based on a true supernatural tale regarding the fairy mounds of Scotland (Dole recommends checking out Season 1, Episode 1 of the Podcast “Unexplained” for more about this strange incident). Listen in for this awesome tuneage of dark wave (like “new wave” music, but DARKER!) at the conclusion of the episode!




“Solaris (1961)” by Stanislaw Lem (book)

Ryan: 5 Stars “…An interplanetary philosophical oceanic alien acid trip—to funk your mind with…

Dole: 5 Stars “…Psychological isolationist trauma melted with the environment of space…

Jaxon: 5 Stars “…I felt like the relationship between humanity and the planet was metaphor for like a relationship between two people where one of them has an awful personality disorder…

(Click the links to read full written reviews on


This episode was recorded at Horse-Drawn Productions a great recording studio located in Berwyn, Illinois near Chicago: “Horse-Drawn Productions is a multi-faceted music company that has existed for over a decade, and includes two commercial state of the art recording studios, an international production company, a complete studio design & construction team, and employs instructors for music, DAW and computer lessons for individuals and groups.” (from

During the show Ryan stated that the author was unhappy with the current written translation of his book, but that there was a new translation in audiobook format. You can find this definitive edition as authorized by the author’s estate here:

It was also mentioned that the creator of 1989’s famous city-building video game “SimCity” was inspired by Stanislaw Lem. The short story which helped give inspiration to this pioneering game was called “The Seventh Sally.” Read more about that in “Making City Planning a Game” a New York Times article by Julie Lew here:

Stanislaw Lem temporarily held an honorary membership in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) organization (responsible for issuing the prestigious  “Nebula” genre awards every year).  He was ousted just three years later after talking a lot of smack about American science fiction. Despite his noted general disapproval, Lem however was a fan of the American science fiction writer, Philip K. Dick. Conversely, PKD considered Lem a composite communist committee which threatened the “whole field of science fiction and its free exchange of views and ideas.” Read more about this wacky history in “Philip K. Dick: Stanislaw Lem is a Communist Committee” an article by Matt Davies for Culture.PL:

Lastly, Dole and Jaxon discussed the formation of their new music project “Theurgy,” which is a post-punk dark wave band. You can check out rough cuts of their sounds on Soundcloud here: Dole was in early talks with the members of the group about creating this project while he and Ryan attended an intimate concert at Chicago’s “Empty Bottle” for american avant-garde metal group: Neurosis. Here’s a short video from that outing below:


* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.



S4E4P – Preview Episode (Solaris)


“Solaris (1961)” by Stanislaw Lem (book)

“When psychologist Kris Kelvin arrives at the planet Solaris to study the ocean that covers its surface, he finds himself confronting a painful memory embodied in the physical likeness of a past lover. Kelvin learns that he is not alone in this and that other crews examining the planet are plagued with their own repressed and newly real memories. Could it be, as Solaris scientists speculate, that the ocean may be a massive neural center creating these memories, for a reason no one can identify?

Long considered a classic, Solaris asks the question: Can we understand the universe around us without first understanding what lies within?” (from

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“Solaris (2002)” by Steven Soderbergh (George Clooney) (movie)

“A psychologist investigates mysterious happenings aboard a space station in this remake of the Russian sci-fi classic.” (from



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“Solaris (1972)” by Andrei Tarkovsky (Donatas Banionis) (movie)

“Ground control has been receiving mysterious transmissions from the three remaining residents of the Solaris space station. When cosmonaut and psychologist Kris Kelvin is dispatched to investigate, he experiences the same strange phenomena that afflict the Solaris crew, sending him on a voyage into the darkest recesses of his consciousness.” (from


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“Solaris (1968)” by Boris Nirenburg (Vasily Lanovoy) (TV movie) ++bonus film++

“Kris Kelvin joins the space station orbiting the planet Solaris, only to find its two crew members plagued by “phantoms,” creations of Solaris. Kelvin is soon confronted with his own phantom, taking the shape of his dead wife Hari.” (from



* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.