Janusz Zajdel, Polish science fiction

The Whole Truth about Planet Xi (1983, Poland)


Original title: Cała prawda o planecie Ksi

Categories: scientific fictionspace travelspace colonization1980s sci-fi

The Whole Truth about Planet Xi Cała prawda o planecie Ksi 1983 scifi novel

Years after convoy of spaceships have left Earth heading for planet Xi two strange messages are received. The convoy contained few thousands of colonists, who were about to establish settlement on Xi. First of the messages read "urgent help required", while second, sent just few minutes later, read "everything is going according to plan, no technical assistance required". The messages have baffled people supervising the mission - first seems to be incomplete, while second should have been ended with proper sign-off. Veteran commander Sloth is called off his short vacation to take part in the interstellar mission to planet Xi, his orders are simple - to find out what happened on Xi, later it is up to his judgment what steps to take. He is not keen to be part of the crew, but since he is most experience pilot available he takes the assignment. The travel is interrupted when his spaceship detects some object flying from Xi towards the Earth...

Sci-fi novel by Polish writer Janusz Zajdel, which on surface is just interstellar adventure, but obviously his intention was completely different. He wrote the book in 1979 when Poland was still a communist country and all the publications were under censorship scrutiny, so he used the setting is space to tell the story of how the Earth nations fall into the trap of dictatorship, with special attention to beginning of communism in Poland. Even though his intentions were to overpass the official censorship he described a simple formula how whole groups of people can be fooled into following completely insane propaganda, which in recent years have proved to be unfortunately very realistic when you take a look at the success of Donald Trump and other mindless populists.

Our rating

6.0 / 10

Overall rating

5 / 10

Reality complexity

4 / 5


2 / 5

Story complexity

4 / 5

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 The Whole Truth about Planet Xi

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