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Lem, Stanislaw



Stanislaw Lem

Stanisław Herman Lem
(1921-2006)


Stanislaw Lem, a Polish writer of SF, philosophy and satire, is probably best known for his novel Solaris (1961), filmed memorably by Andrei Tarkovsky in 1972, and (less so) by Steven Soderbergh in 2002. In 1976, Theodore Sturgeon wrote that Lem was the most widely read science-fiction writer in the world, but his influence now extends far beyond the SF community into such fields as Artificial Intelligence, Cybernetics, and Futurology.

Philip K. Dick was the only American SF writer in whom Lem took much interest. Dick, by contrast, told the FBI that he believed ‘Stanisław Lem’ to be a blanket name used by a committee attempting to impose Communist mind control. Since Lem was also responsible for the Polish translations of Dick's work, he blamed him personally (and somewhat inconsistently) for any shortfalls in royalties!


Select Bibliography:


  1. Hospital of the Transfiguration. [‘Czas nieutracony: Szpital przemienienia’, 1955]. Trans. William Brand. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1988.

  2. The Star Diaries: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy (1). [‘Dzienniki gwiazdowe’, 1957-71]. Trans. Michael Kandel. Illustrated by the Author. 1976. An Orbit Book. London: Futura, 1978.

  3. Memoirs of a Space Traveller: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy. [‘Dzienniki gwiazdowe’, 1957-71]. Trans. Joel Stern & Maria Swiecicka-Ziemianek. Illustrated by the Author. 1982. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982.

  4. Eden. [‘Eden’, 1959]. Trans. Marc E. Heine. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1989.

  5. The Investigation. ['Śledztwo', 1959]. Trans. Adele Milch. New York: The Seabury Press, 1974.

  6. Mortal Engines. [‘Bajki robotów’, 1961]. Trans. Michael Kandel. 1977. A Bard Book. New York: Avon Books, 1982.

  7. Return from the Stars. [‘Powrót z gwiazd’, 1961]. Trans. Barbara Marszal & Frank Simpson. 1980. King Penguin. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1981.

  8. Solaris. [‘Solaris’, 1961]. Trans. Joanna Kilmartin & Steve Cox. 1971. London: Arrow Books, 1973.

  9. Memoirs Found in a Bathtub: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy (2). [‘Pamiętnik znaleziony w wannie’, 1961]. Trans. Michael Kandel & Christine Rose. 1973. A Harvest / HBJ Book. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1986.

  10. The Invincible. [‘Niezwyciężony’, 1964]. Trans. Wendayne Ackerman. 1973. Penguin Science Fiction. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976.

  11. Summa Technologiae (Electronic Mediations). [‘Summa Technologiae’, 1964]. Trans. Joanna Zylinska. Minneapolis: University Of Minnesota Press, 2013.

  12. The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age. [‘Cyberiada’, 1967]. Trans. Michael Kandel. Illustrated by Daniel Mroz. 1974. An Orbit Book. London: Futura, 1977.

  13. His Master's Voice. [‘Głos pana’, 1968]. Trans. Michael Kandel. 1983. London: Mandarin, 1990.

  14. Microworlds: Writings on Science Fiction and Fantasy. [‘Fantastyka i futurologia’, 1970]. Ed. Franz Rottensteiner. 1984. London: Secker & Warburg, 1985.

  15. A Perfect Vacuum. [‘Doskonała próżnia’, 1971]. Trans. Michael Kandel. 1979. King Penguin. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1981.

  16. The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy (3). [‘Ze wspomnień Ijona Tichego; Kongres futurologiczny’, 1971]. Trans. Michael Kandel. 1974. An Orbit Book. London: Futura, 1977.

  17. Tales of Pirx the Pilot. [‘Opowieści o pilocie Pirxie’, 1973]. Trans. Louis Iribarne. 1979. King Penguin. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1981.

  18. More Tales of Pirx the Pilot. [‘Opowieści o pilocie Pirxie’, 1973]. Trans. Louis Iribarne with Magdalena Majcherczyk & Michael Kandel. 1982. London: Mandarin, 1990.

  19. Imaginary Magnitude. [‘Wielkość urojona’, 1973]. Trans. Marc E. Heine. 1984. London: Mandarin, 1991.

  20. The Chain of Chance. [‘Katar’, 1975]. Trans. Louis Iribarne. 1978. King Penguin. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1981.

  21. Highcastle: A Remembrance. ['Wysoki zamek', 1975]. Trans. Michael Kandel. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1995.

  22. The Cosmic Carnival of Stanisław Lem: An Anthology of Entertaining Stories by the Modern Master of Science Fiction. Ed. Michael Kandel. New York: Continuum, 1981.

  23. One Human Minute. Trans. Catherine S. Leach. 1986. London: Mandarin, 1991.

  24. Fiasco. [‘Fiasko’, 1986]. Trans. Michael Kandel. 1987. London: Futura, 1989.

  25. Peace on Earth: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy (4). ['Pokój na Ziemi', 1987]. Trans. Michael Kandel & Elinor Ford. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1994.

  26. A Stanislaw Lem Reader (Rethinking Theory). Ed. Peter Swirsky. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1997.


Homepages & Online Information:

Philip K. Dick: Stanisław Lem is a Communist Committee

Stanislaw Lem: Did the Holocaust Shape His Sci-Fi World?

Stanislaw Lem: The Official Site

Wikipedia entry




Stanislaw Lem: Solaris (1961)


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