We Have A Visitor
Solaris by Stanislaw Lem
Imagine that you are a psychologist who just arrived on a space station. You are going to rendezvous with the rest of the crew, which only consists of two others. Immediately upon setting foot on the station, however, things take a strange turn. For example, there are others wandering around. They are referred to as "visitors" by the two other crewmen.
I love when sci-fi novels have a creepy, what-the-heck-is-going-on vibe. There were several parts in this story that utterly clenched my attention and will be burnt into my mind. One such moment is what happens in the scene I've illustrated.
Throughout the book, bits and pieces of the mystery are fed to you while the relationship between the surviving crew members becomes very strained. At a point late in the story, Kelvin our main character and psychologist, confronts Snow, the less-reclusive of the other two crewmen, in an attempt to rationalize some of what's going on. At the end of the conversation, Kelvin realizes that Snow has been reaching inside of a cabinet. My eyes widened as Kelvin guessed that Snow was possibly holding the hand of a visitor that he was hiding in the cabinet.
The whole book revolves around this giant planet, Solaris, that is covered in a living, thinking plasma-like ocean. Scientists have been studying the planet via the station that is suspended in the planet's atmosphere. Earth has been studying the mysterious planet for years and years, to no avail. Much debate and theories have arisen and been cast down concerning the intelligence of Solaris, and its intentions.
I don't want to give away any more. I just wanted to tell you enough about it to maybe provoke some goosebumps. I recommend it to all sci-fi fans!
Haha, I guess I should mention that Snow was described as thin, sharp-nosed, and having a sunburnt face. In case you were wondering about his red complexion!