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By Stanis?aw Lem

The planet Quinta is pocked by means of grotesque mounds and coated by means of a spiderweb-like community. it's a state of phantoms and of a good looks troubled via insanity. In stark distinction, the workforce of the spaceship Hermes represents a knowledge-seeking Earth. As they strategy Quinta, a dismal poetry takes over and leads them right into a nightmare of confusion. Translated via Michael Kandel. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book

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So he complex as though on inspection, and the colossus used to be back splendidly obedient. during the glass he observed how a small movement of his hand immediately grew to become the sweep of a strong tongs-shaped paw, and whilst he prolonged a leg, a tower moved ahead, its knee guard sparkling. He used to be now fifty-eight miles from the spaceport. Going by way of the map, by means of the satellite tv for pc pictures that he had studied the former night, and through the diorama, which had a scale of 1:800, he knew that the best way to Grail essentially used to be divided into 3 components. the 1st comprised the so-called Cemetery and the volcanic gorge he had simply left. the second one he may perhaps now see: a spot within the massif of frozen lava made with a sequence of detonated thermonuclear fees. This massif, the best of the flows from the Orlandian volcano, couldn't were handled in the other means, as a result of the bulwark steepness of its slopes. The nuclear blasts had chewed during the formation that blocked passage, had reduce it in , as a heated knife bisects a lump of butter. The move, at the cabin's diagram of Titan, used to be rotated with exclamation issues, a reminder that the following below no situation should still one go away one's car. The residual radiation from the thermonuclears used to be nonetheless hazardous for a guy outdoors the armor of his strider. among the go out and front to the defile lay a mile-long simple, black, as though protected with soot. On it, he may listen Goss back. Parvis stated not anything approximately his collision with the rock. Goss informed him that once the defile, on the Promontory, the midway aspect, Grail could take over at the radio to lead him. There, additionally, may commence the 3rd, ultimate stretch of the path, throughout the melancholy. The black powder filling the apparent among the 2 bulges of the formation lined the legs of the Digla above its knees. Parvis walked throughout the low puffs quick and simply, towards the approximately perpendicular partitions of the hall. He reached a wall, stepping on rubble that used to be vitreous: delicate surfaces fractured by means of the sunlight warmth of the explosions. those items, demanding as diamonds, made feels like gunfire whilst floor underneath the iridium heels of the Digla. however the backside of the defile was once as flat as a desk. He walked among the blackened partitions, within the rumbling echo of steps, steps that have been his personal: he had joined with the desktop, it was once his magnified physique. Then he stumbled on himself in darkness so surprising, so thick, that he needed to activate the headlights. Their mercury glare contended, within the swirl of shadows among the pillar-jaws of rock, with the chilly, reddish, unfriendly gentle of the sky framed through the some distance gate of the defile, which grew to become better the nearer he drew to it. towards the top the defile narrowed, as though it'll now not allow his immense move, as though he will be wedging the sq. shoulders in a chimneylike cleft. yet this was once an illusion—on each side there has been clearance of numerous meters. however, he slowed, simply because Pollux swayed extra back and forth the speedier it went. there has been no support for this.

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