One of the best science-fiction novels I’ve read! And one of the best depictions of a dystopia, harmless though this one might be, since Aldous Huxley.
The story is pretty simple: Hal Bregg was a pilot on a ten-year mission to the stars, who returns home to an Earth over a century later (due to the space-time distortions of traveling at lightspeed), and to a vastly changed world. Explorers don’t exist anymore, as mankind’s baser natures have been conquered and controlled, making him and his shipmates complete outsiders. The tale follows Hal as he tried to make heads or tails of this new society, and try to find a place for himself to fit in.
This novel is well-written, as is any book by Stanislaw Lem, and at times both incredibly funny and incredibly poignant. It also is rather prescient, as Lem describes to a T the futuristic equivalent of a modern e-reader.
Recommended reading for any science fiction fan!