Lem, Stanislaw

Stanislaw Lem

Stanisław Lem

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

  6. Tales of Pirx the Pilot / Return from the Stars / The Invincible. [‘Opowieści o pilocie Pirxie’, 1973; ‘Powrót z gwiazd’, 1961; & ‘Niezwyciężony’, 1964]. Trans. Louis Iribarne; Barbara Marszal & Frank Simpson; Wendayne Ackerman. 1979, 1980 & 1973. King Penguin. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1981.

  7. Solaris. 1961. Trans. Joanna Kilmartin & Steve Cox. 1971. London: Arrow Books, 1973.

  8. Solaris / The Chain of Chance / A Perfect Vacuum. [‘Solaris’, 1961; ‘Katar’, 1975; & ‘Doskonała próżnia’, 1971]. Trans. Joanna Kilmartin & Steve Cox; Louis Iribarne; Michael Kandel. 1971, 1978 & 1979. King Penguin. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1981.

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

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

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

  14. The Futurological Congress. [‘Ze wspomnień Ijona Tichego; Kongres futurologiczny’, 1971]. Trans. Michael Kandel. 1974. An Orbit Book. London: Futura, 1977.

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

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

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

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

Homepages & Online Information:

Wikipedia entry

Stanislaw Lem: Solaris (1961)

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