The Magellanic Cloud

The Magellanic Cloud  
Author(s) Stanisław Lem
Original title Obłok Magellana
Country Poland
Language Polish
Genre(s) Science fiction
Publisher Iskry
Publication date 1955
Pages 422
LC Classification PG7158.L399 O2
Preceded by The Astronauts
Followed by Sezam

The Magellanic Cloud (Polish title: Obłok Magellana) is a science fiction novel by Stanisław Lem (1955). By this novel was inspired the Czech film Ikarie XB-1.

Plot summary

The novel is set in the Thirty-second Century, in a communistic Utopian future. Humanity have colonized all of the Solar System, and now have to attempt the first interstellar travel.

Aboard a vessel called Gaia, 227 men and women leave the Earth for the Alpha Centauri system.

After almost eight years of travel, they find signs of organic life on a planet orbiting around Proxima Centauri, possibly coming from another planet within the Centauri system.

One of the planets orbiting Alpha Centauri turns to be inhabited by an advanced civilization...

The expedition meets a lifeless human ship of "Atlants", which turns out to be an old artificial war satellite of the USA and its NATO allies, carrying still active biological weapons and nuclear warheads, which had accidentally left the Earth orbit and got lost in space during the Cold War era.

Censorship and criticisms

When the novel was first published, some parts of it were censored by Communist authorities. Lem famously denounced[citation needed] the censored version, calling it too optimistic about Communism. At the time, this was a bold sign that demonstrated Lem's confidence in that his singular status as a Polish author of international renown would protect him from state repression. A full version was published in the 1990s after the fall of Communism.

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Magellanic cloud — Mag el*lan ic cloud, n. (Astron.) Either of two conspicuous celestial nebul[ae] near the south celestial pole, resembling thin white clouds, each of which is a galaxy[2] smaller than but separate from the Milky Way galaxy, and together they are… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Magellanic Cloud — n. [after F. MAGELLAN1 Ferdinand] Astron. either of two irregular galaxies visible to the naked eye in the S constellations Dorado, Mensa, and Tucana: the larger one is the closest external galaxy to the Milky Way and the smaller one is the… …   English World dictionary

  • Magellanic cloud — Astron. either of two irregular galactic clusters in the southern heavens that are the nearest independent star system to the Milky Way. [1675 85] * * * Either of two irregular companion galaxies of the Milky Way Galaxy, named for Ferdinand… …   Universalium

  • Magellanic Cloud — n. each of two galaxies visible in the southern sky. Etymology: F. Magellan, Port. explorer d. 1521 * * * noun either of two small galaxies orbiting the Milky Way; visible near the south celestial pole • Instance Hypernyms: ↑galaxy,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Magellanic cloud — Mag′ellan′ic cloud′ n. astron. either of two small galaxies in the S skies: nearest independent star systems to the Milky Way • Etymology: 1675–85 …   From formal English to slang

  • Magellanic cloud — /ˌmædʒəlænɪk ˈklaʊd/ (say .majuhlanik klowd) noun either of two bright cloud like patches of stars in the southern heavens, being the two galaxies closest to our own, at distances of 150 000 and 173 000 light years. {from Ferdinand Magellan1} …   Australian English dictionary

  • Magellanic Cloud — noun Etymology: Ferdinand Magellan Date: circa 1686 either of the two small galaxies that appear as conspicuous patches of light near the south celestial pole and are companions to the Milky Way galaxy …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Large Magellanic Cloud — The Large Magellanic Cloud Observation data (J2000 epoch) Constellation Dorado/Mensa …   Wikipedia

  • Small Magellanic Cloud — Small Magellanic Cloud. Source: Digitized Sky Survey 2 Observation data (J2000 epoch) …   Wikipedia

  • Large Magellanic Cloud — noun the larger of the two Magellanic Clouds visible from the southern hemisphere • Hypernyms: ↑Magellanic Cloud * * * a satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way galaxy, appearing as a hazy cloud in the southern constellations Dorado and Mensa …   Useful english dictionary

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