A crew of six crash-land on Eden, fourth planet from another sun. They set forth into a strange world that grows ever stranger. The sun is not completely circular. The desert ground is soft, spongy, it exudes acrid vapors. Thickets of plants are shaped like hanging spiders; trees, violet and blue, breathe noisily; flower petals lift into the air like a flock of startled pigeons. The men come to a wall that moves in rhythmic waves; they enter an automated factory where mysterious objects are created, destroyed, and created again in a meaningless cycle. They meet an inhabitant of Eden, a large, humped, pearl-colored, naked torso from which protrudes another, smaller torso with a child's head and two small arms -- a "doubler," they call him. One doubler leads to another, to whole communities, to a world of flying saucers and genetic engineering. And everywhere, death. Swollen bodies in ditches and in wells, a beehive structure filled with clusters of glass eggs -- a skeleton within each egg.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - drydebt - LibraryThing
It becomes quite clear toward the end of the novel that the story contained therein is a vehicle for some acute observations about the relativity of ethics, the difficulty of overcoming subjective ... Read full review
EDENUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
The inimitable Lem continues his penetrating, profound social criticism by dramatizing—in the form of an alien-contact yarn—what can go wrong with society even when ideology is absent. A ship of six ... Read full review