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Stanislaw Lem

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Stanisław Lem in 1966

Stanisław Lem (born September 12, 1921) is a Polish satirical, philosophical and science fiction writer. His books have been translated into 40 languages and sold over 27 million copies. At one point he was the most widely read science fiction author in the world, unusual for someone who did not write in English.

Stanisław Lem was born in Lww, Poland in 1921 (now Lviv, Ukraine), the son of a physician. He studied medicine at Lww University, but World War II interrupted his studies. During the war and Nazi occupation Lem worked as a car mechanic and welder, and was a member of the resistance fighting against the Germans. In 1946 Lem "repatriated" from the territory annexed by the Soviet Union to Krakw and started medical studies at the Jagiellonian University. After finishing his studies Stanisław Lem opted not to take final exams to avoid a career as a military doctor, and received only a certificate of completion of studies. He worked as a research assistant in a scientific institution and started to write stories in his spare time. In 1981 he received an honorary degree from the Wroclaw Polytechnic, later from Opole University, University of Lww, and finally from the Jagiellonian University. See also [1] (http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/slem.htm).

Lem principally wrote about impossibility of communication between humans and profoundly alien civilizations and about the technological future of humanity. The latter topic included, by implication, ideal and utopian societies and the problem of human existence in a world where there is little to do because of technological development. His alien societies included swarms of mechanical flies (in The Invincible) and the Ocean (in Solaris). Issues of technological utopias appeared in Peace on Earth, in Observation on the Spot, and, to a lesser extent, in The Cyberiad.

Lem was awarded an honorary membership in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) in 1973, which was then rescinded in 1976 after he made comments about American pulp science fiction literature. He described it as kitsch, ill thought-out, poorly written, and interested more in making money than ideas or new literary forms. The SFWA then offered him a regular membership, which he refused.

Lem's writing is full of very intelligent humor, full of puns, wordplay, and other tricks, and has been translated brilliantly into English by Michael Kandel.

In 1977 he was recognized as an honorary citizen of Krakw.

Texts by Lem were set to music by Esa-Pekka Salonen in his 1982 piece, Floof.

Contents

Bibliography

  • Człowiek z Marsa (1946)
  • Szpital przemienienia (1948) / Hospital of the Transfiguration (New York, 1988)
  • Astronauci (1951)
  • Obłok Magellana (The Cloud of Magellan) (1955)
  • Sezam (1955)
  • Czas nieutracony (1955)
  • Dialogi (1957)
  • Inwazja z Aldebarana (1959)
  • Śledztwo (1959) / The Investigation (New York, 1974)
  • Eden (1959, transl. San Diego, 1989)
  • Powrt z gwiazd (1961) / Return from the Stars (London, 1980)
  • Solaris (1961, transl. London, 1970)
  • Pamiętnik znaleziony w wannie (1961) / Memoirs Found in a Bathtub (New York, 1973)
  • Summa Technologiae (1964)
  • Niezwyciężony (1964) / The Invincible (London, 1973)
  • Cyberiada (1967) / The Cyberiad (New York, 1974)
  • Głos pana (1968) / His Master's Voice (London, 1983)
  • Fantastyka i futurologia (1970) / Fantasy and Futurology I and II
  • Dzienniki gwiazdowe (1971) / The Star Diaries (New York, 1976), The Memories of a Space Traveller (London, 1982)
  • Ze wspomnień Ijona Tichego; Kongres futurologiczny (1971) / The Futurological Congress (Avon Books, 1976)
  • Opowieści o pilocie Pirxie (1973) / Tales of Pirx the Pilot (New York, 1979), More Tales of Pirx the Pilot (New York, 1982)
  • Wielkość urojona (1973) / Imaginary Magnitude (New York, 1984)
  • Rozprawy i szkice (1974)
  • Wysoki zamek (1975) / Highcastle: A Remembrance (New York, 1995)
  • Katar (1975) / The Chain of Chance (London, 1978)
  • Mortal Engines (New York, 1977)
  • Wizja Lokalna / Observation on the Spot (1982)
  • Doskonała Prżnia (1983) / A Perfect Vacuum (London, 1979)
  • Fiasko (1986) / Fiasco (New York, 1987)
  • Pokoj na Ziemi (1987) / Peace on Earth (New York, 1992)

Complete collected works as published in 1998-2005 in Poland

  • Katar / The Chain of Chance
  • Wizja Lokalna / Observation on the Spot
  • Powrt z gwiazd / Return from the Stars
  • Pokj na Ziemi / Peace on Earth
  • Golem XIV
  • Eden
  • Dzienniki Gwiazdowe / The Star Diaries
  • Fiasko / Fiasco
  • Wysoki zamek / Highcastle: A Remembrance
  • Dialogi / [Dialogs]
  • Przekładaniec / [Rolly-polly]
  • Opowieści o pilocie Pirxie / Tales of Pirx the Pilot
  • Śledztwo / The Investigation
  • Szpital Przemienienia / Hospital of the Transfiguration
  • Summa Technologiae
  • Człowiek z Marsa / [Man From Mars]
  • Solaris
  • Filozofia Przypadku / [Philosophy of Coincidence]
  • Niezwyciężony / The Invincible
  • Kongres futurologiczny / The Futurological Congress
  • Krtkie zwarcia / [Short Circuits]
  • Cyberiada / The Cyberiad
  • Moloch
  • Biblioteka XXI wieku / [Libraty of 21st Century] includes Perfect Vacuum, Imaginary Magnitude and others
  • Głos Pana / His Master's Voice
  • Zagadka / [Riddle]
  • Rozprawy i szkice
  • Pamiętnik znaleziony w wannie / Memoir Found in a Bathtub
  • Sex wars
  • Fantastyka i futurologia / Fantasy and Futurology
  • Lata czterdzieste / [early works]
  • Astronauci / [Astronauts]
  • Mj pogląd na literaturę / [My Opinion On Literature]

Film and TV adaptations

External Links

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cs:Stanisław Lem de:Stanisław Lem et:Stanisław Lem es:Stanisław Lem eo:Stanisław LEM fr:Stanislas Lem it:Stanisław Lem he:סטניסלב לם hu:Stanisław Lem nl:Stanislaw Lem ja:スタニスワフ・レム pl:Stanisław Lem pt:Stanisław Lem ru:Лем, Станислав sr:Станислав Лем fi:Stanislaw Lem sv:Stanislaw Lem

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