Autor Wątek: Ending of "Fiasco"  (Przeczytany 52126 razy)

peskanov

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #15 dnia: Maj 03, 2006, 07:38:10 pm »
I was not talking about fungus as microorganisms, I was talking about the big, complex ones. I think Lem take these as theorical base for the Quintians.
And microorganism would be produced by the Quintians to act as his tools/agents.
That's my percection about the clues Lem leaves in the book.

Anyway, I think you understimate Lem's knowledge about biology; you will be surprised if you investigate about that question :) And remenber that we are talking about E.T. life; Fiasco is a fantasy wich uses some familiar concepts from our world, but is not trying to derive a branch of the life form we already know.

Kagan

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #16 dnia: Maj 03, 2006, 08:04:12 pm »
1. How can you imagine intelligent fungi? How could they change their physical environment? How can they made wheel and axle, extract metals etc.? I'm afraid, its does not fit together and does nor make any sense... Sorry!
2. I would not overestimate Lem's scientific knowledge. Even in biology. Remeber that he has never even worked as a doctor (medical practitioner, physician) as he did not want to return the benefits of free medical education to Polish people, not to mention as a scientist. The closest post was a junior library assistant of an obscure Polish philosopher, one dr Choynowski, that's all. Lem was a very brilliant person, but in science he was an amateur. He was not even like A.C. Clarke (academic degree in science), not to mention I. Asimov (PhD in biochemistry, if my memory tells me the truth) or Sir Fred Hoyle (professor of astrophysics). So please do not stretch the truth. Lem was a great SF writer, but definitely not a scientist...
3. Fiasco is, in my understanding, NOT a fantasy, but HARD SF...
Kind Regards :)
Kagan

Cytuj
I was not talking about fungus as microorganisms, I was talking about the big, complex ones. I think Lem take these as theorical base for the Quintians.
And microorganism would be produced by the Quintians to act as his tools/agents.
That's my percection about the clues Lem leaves in the book.

Anyway, I think you understimate Lem's knowledge about biology; you will be surprised if you investigate about that question :) And remenber that we are talking about E.T. life; Fiasco is a fantasy wich uses some familiar concepts from our world, but is not trying to derive a branch of the life form we already know.


tomsak

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #17 dnia: Maj 04, 2006, 05:35:46 pm »
Hi there - I am also from Croatia:-) I finished Fiasco two weeks ago, and as far I understood, Quintanians were those round things on ground, those hills, bulbs.

In used book shops I collected all Croatian and Serbian (Serbo-Croatian) translations of Lem, for very cheap prices. Except Fiasco, in Serbian you can find easily Eden, The Invincible (Nepobedivi), His Master's Voice (Glas gospodara), and Summa technologiae.

In Croatian, we have Solaris, and those ancient translations of Magellan's Cloud ("Ana from the stars") and Return from the stars.

Of most rarest items, I just found two cyrillic editions of Invasion from Aldebaran, and "Stories of Iyon Tyche", published in Belgrade in 1960s.

Full list of translation available in Croatia was posted here (including all Lem's stories in magazine "Sirius"):
http://nosf.net/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?p=18635#18635

Kagan

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #18 dnia: Maj 04, 2006, 08:44:25 pm »
tomsak: Hi there - I am also from Croatia:-) I finished Fiasco two weeks ago, and as far I understood, Quintanians were those round things on ground, those hills, bulbs.
K: I'm from Poland.

T: In used book shops I collected all Croatian and Serbian (Serbo-Croatian) translations of Lem, for very cheap prices. Except Fiasco, in Serbian you can find easily Eden, The Invincible (Nepobedivi), His Master's Voice (Glas gospodara), and Summa technologiae.

K: Does "Darko Suvin" means something for you?

T: In Croatian, we have Solaris, and those ancient translations of Magellan's Cloud ("Ana from the stars") and Return from the stars.
K: It is rather easy to translate to Croatian from Polish. Almost as easy as to translate from Serbian or Bosnian to Croatian... ;)

T: Of most rarest items, I just found two cyrillic editions of Invasion from Aldebaran, and "Stories of Iyon Tyche", published in Belgrade in 1960s.
Full list of translation available in Croatia was posted here (including all Lem's stories in magazine "Sirius"):
http://nosf.net/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?p=18635#18635

K: Thanks! :)

mrle01

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #19 dnia: Maj 04, 2006, 11:35:14 pm »
I've finished reading "Magellan's Clouds" and I liked it.

To tomsak:
Where did you find those old books, in which book stores? I don't live in Zagreb, so some directions would be nice. And thanks for that link.

I would ask you in croatian but this way everybody can understand.

Terminus

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #20 dnia: Maj 05, 2006, 02:28:33 am »
Well man, go on and use croatian! This language hasn't been used here yet !

Ronald_Zajac

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #21 dnia: Lipiec 07, 2006, 05:32:25 pm »
Greetings,

I have posted this message on another "Fiasco" line here that has not been active for more than a year. I repeat it here hoping to find a reply.

I have three questions about the book.

1) Given how Lem, both in Fiasco and especially in Solaris, expounds repeatedly on the difficulty, if not the impossibility, of contact between two biologically different intelligent species, I was more than a little surprised to discover that suddenly, in the late chapters of Fiasco, the Quintans are able to send messages to the Hermes that can translate into lines of computerized text.
 
I thought at first this was Deus translating the Quintans' equivalent of the Hermes' "Cartoon," but this seems implausible. How do you explain this sudden unexplained breakthrough in communication?
 
2) Tempe's death at the end clearly mirrors his misadventure in Birnam Wood: he was excessively adventurous and wandered a little too far. However:
 
a) Could not his spacesuit have been equipped with some sort of device allowing for emergency communication outside the vehicle?
 
b) Would not the Quintans have fired back a message at the Hermes warning them that their emissary had literally "crossed the line" and they are no longer responsible for his fate?
 
Minor quibbles, perhaps, in an otherwise superb novel.
 
As for the Hermes wiping out all of Qunita, I may have misread the book, but I thought Steergard had rejected that idea and threatened instead only to take out the spaceport if Tempe did not respond.


Cheers,
Ronald Zajac,
Canada

P.S.: (to the above query re Croatia) Darko Suvin was my professor, more than a dozen years ago.

maziek

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #22 dnia: Lipiec 07, 2006, 05:48:19 pm »
hi, last time i've read fiasko a year ago or so, maybe my memory is not correct enough, but:

I think, that quintans were competly different and contact was not able for them. I think that contact was driven by some kind computers, machines, tools made by quintans to protect their beings. So I think Hermes was talking not to quinta but to artificial "control tower" which was flex enough to debug alien message. maybe there was no quintans at all...

Ronald_Zajac

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #23 dnia: Lipiec 07, 2006, 07:37:56 pm »
Dear Maziek,

Very interesting. A counterpart to Deus, perhaps. But somewhere in the book Lem dismisses the idea of intelligent machines continuing to do their masters' bidding long after they were gone (that was what I was expecting about halfway into the book), so if it is a computer talking back to Hermes, there would still have to be Quintans somewhere giving it orders.

By the way, I am not convinced the ending implies the complete destruction of Quinta. That is one clear possibility, of course, but judging by the remorse felt by the most hawkish of the hawks, Harrach, aftter the breaking of the ice ring, perhaps it is more likely that the Hermes simply vapourized the spaceport.

After that, two possibilities exist: yet another futile attempt at contact, or the crew turns to Arago's view of things as retreats in exasperation.

Cheers,
Ron Zajac

Ronald_Zajac

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #24 dnia: Lipiec 07, 2006, 08:01:14 pm »
An addendum on the subject of the Quintans as static beings:

I am intrigued by this possibility, although, if Peskanov is correct that they do not understand the concept of personal mobility, how does that explain the very mobile satellites orbiting the planet, as well as the journey to the moon to build that enigmatic plasma flame.

The concept of this orbital war as a ritual or sport is intriguing to say the least. However, the hostility these machines display toward the Hermes and the fact the Quintans sabotage the cavitation of the moon to make it rain fragments on the planet (in Steergard's opinion, it's for some perverse strategic reason) argue for the war hypothesis.

If the latter is the case, why war? We mobile bipeds have fought wars, essentially, for one fundamental purpose, real or imagined: to steal someone else's resources or to prevent someone else from stealing ours. How could this idea make sense to a race of beings rooted to the ground? One could imagine battles between fungi on the same landmass, fighting for limited water, nutrients, etc. But how could this extend over two continents if these beings are not mobile?

Pardon my verbosity, but with Lem the fascinating questions never end!

Cheers,
Ron Zajac

maziek

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #25 dnia: Lipiec 07, 2006, 10:30:34 pm »
Well, many questions, many possibilities. To be true I don't like fiasko. I can' stand Pirx is dead. I can' believe, that Hermes (she's crue) was able to make disaster just to "contact". It's crazy - like I come to Your place, ask for a talk, and refused draw a .45 Magnum and kill Your wife - just to make You talk with me.

I think Lem tells us, that there could be an intelligent being, which is - at our point of view - completly unable to contact. Ican't understand this - but maybe that's it - you can't understand.

Coming back to our discussion: what if we people make a starwars system, feed by sun and completly independent. What if we people go out (a virus, a bomb, anything). What if starwars system (intelligent someway) is still on orbit, but here on earth there is no people - just spiders...

There was a story of Lem, where a mad scientist "trained" bacteria to send a message - maybe intelligent starwars system, attempting to do everything to save somebody (nobody) tried to talk to Hermes... If this was the only way to avoid cataclysm.

Zlatan

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #26 dnia: Lipiec 08, 2006, 12:43:18 pm »
Cytuj
How can you imagine intelligent fungi? How could they change their physical environment? How can they made wheel and axle, extract metals etc.?
Cytuj


The first organisms on this planet were single cells. By comparison fungi are much more complicated.However fish finns, bird wings and our own arms and legs are built up by cells which do not differ so much from the ones that lived four billions years ago. And the cells our organisms are built of, do know as little as their ancestors about movement, wheels, axles or space rockets and computers. And nevertheless they do it all!

Lem's "Summa Technologiae" deals with this topic, but he takes it up in many other of his books like Golem XIV or the short story about "talking" bacterias for just to name two. (By the way, Maziek, do you rimember the title of the last one? I would like to read it again, but cannot find it).

I agree with you Kagan, that Lem was not a scientist. I would rather call him a philosopher of science.
By the way, I am very happy that he repaid his educational debt to the society rather by writing "Summa Technologiae" than serving as a military physician.

Terminus

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #27 dnia: Lipiec 11, 2006, 03:13:52 pm »
Having that in mind, I must see things like "Mortal Engines" as by-products, nevertheless they provide one of the best entertainments I've ever experienced... ::)
« Ostatnia zmiana: Lipiec 11, 2006, 03:15:08 pm wysłana przez Terminus »

Zlatan

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #28 dnia: Lipiec 11, 2006, 08:35:50 pm »
Sorry Terminus, I am not that erudite as you believe, what are mortal engines? (Sounds like a name of heavy metal band...)  ;)

NIKA

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Re: Ending of "Fiasco"
« Odpowiedź #29 dnia: Lipiec 12, 2006, 10:45:04 am »
 "Mortal Engines"("Bajki robotow") -  cycle of  grotesque hymorous tales about robots.