Stanisław Lem (pronunciation , September 12, 1921March 27, 2006) was a Polish science fiction, philosophical and satirical writer. His books have been translated into 41 languages and have sold over 27 million copies..
His works explore philosophical themes; speculation on technology, the nature of intelligence, the impossibility of mutual communication and understanding, despair about human limitations and humankind's place in the universe. They are sometimes presented as fiction, to avoid both trappings of academic life and limitations of readership and scientific style, but others are in the form of essays or philosophical books. Translations of his works are difficult; Michael Kandel's translations into English have generally been praised as capturing the spirit of the original.

Stanisław Lem Biography

1957 - City of Kraków's Prize in Literature (Nagroda Literacka miasta Krakowa)
1965 - Prize of the Minister of Culture and Art, 2nd Level (Nagroda Ministra Kultury i Sztuki II stopnia)
1973 - Prize of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for popularization of Polish culture abroad (nagroda Ministra Spraw Zagranicznych za popularyzację polskiej kultury za granicą)
1972 - member of commission "Polska 2000" of the Polish Academy of Sciences
1973 - Prize of the Minister of Culture and Art (nagroda literacka Ministra Kultury i Sztuki) and honorary member of the Science Fiction Writers of America
1976 - State's Award 1st Level in the area of literature (Nagroda Państwowa I stopnia w dziedzinie literatury)
1981 - Doctor honoris causa honorary degree from the Wrocław Polytechnic
1985 - State's Award from Austria for contribution to European culture
1991 - Franz Kafka's State's Award from Austria in the area of literature
1994 - member of the Polish Academy of Learning
1996 - recipient of the Order of the White Eagle
1997 - honorary citizen of Kraków
1998 - Doctor honoris causa: University of Opole, Lwów University, Jagiellonian University
2003 - Doctor honoris causa of the University of Bielefeld Honors
Lem was awarded an honorary membership in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) in 1973 despite being technically ineligible. SFWA Honorary membership is given to people who do not meet the criteria for joining the regular membership but who would be welcomed as members. Lem, however, never had a high opinion of American science-fiction, describing it as ill thought-out, poorly written, and interested more in making money than in ideas or new literary forms.

SFWA controversy
Several specific themes recur in all his works, however Lem's fiction is often divided into two major groups. Solaris, twice adapted into a movie, is set on an isolated research station hovering above the planet Solaris, and is a deeply philosophical work about contact with a completely alien lifeform — a planet-wide sentient ocean. Głos Pana (His Master's Voice) is another classic of traditional science fiction themes. Also very philosophical - much more so than Solaris - it tells the story of the scientists effort to decode, translate and understand an Extraterrestrial transmission, critically approaching humanity's intelligence and intentions in deciphering and truly comprehending a message from outer space. Lem's third great book is The Cyberiad. Subtitled Fables for the Cybernetic Age, it is a collection of comic tales about two intelligent robots who travel about the galaxy solving engineering problems; but a deeper reading reveals a wealth of profound insights into the human condition.



Człowiek z Marsa (1946, only in a magazine in sequels) - The Man from Mars. Lem's earliest novel of which he often said that 'it should be forgotten'; however he didn't prevent later republications
Szpital przemienienia (1948) - Novella, published in book form in 1955 as Czas nieutracony: Szpital przemienienia. Non-SF book about a doctor working in a Polish asylum. Translated into English by William Brand as Hospital of the Transfiguration (1988). Released as a film in 1979.
Astronauci (Astronauts, 1951) - juvenile science fiction novel. In early 21st century, it is discovered that Tunguska meteorite was a crash of a reconnaissance ship from Venus, bound to invade the Earth. A spaceship sent to investigate finds that Venusians killed themselves in atomic war first. Released as a film in 1960.
Obłok Magellana (The Magellanic Cloud, 1955, untranslated into English)
Sezam (1955) - Linked collection of short fiction, dealing with time machines used to clean up Earth's history in order to be accepted into intergalactic society. Not translated into English.
Dzienniki gwiazdowe (1957, expanded until 1971) - Collection of short fiction dealing with the voyages of Ijon Tichy. Translated into English and expanded as The Star Diaries (1976, translated by Michael Kandel), later published in 2 volumes as Memoirs of a Space Traveller (1982, second volume translated by Joel Stern).
Inwazja z Aldebarana (1959) - Collection of science fiction stories. Translated into English as The Invasion from Aldebaran.
The Investigation (Śledztwo, 1959; trans. 1974) - philosophical mystery novel. Released as a film in 1979.
Eden (1959) - Science fiction novel; after crashing their spaceship on the planet Eden, the crew discovers it is populated with an unusual society. Translated into English by Marc E. Heine as Eden (1989).
Ksiega robotów (1961) - Released in the US as Mortal Engines (also contains The Hunt from Tales of Pirx the Pilot).
Return from the Stars (Powrót z gwiazd, 1961; trans. 1980) - SF novel. An astronaut returns to Earth after a 127 year mission.
Solaris (1961) - SF novel. The crew of a space station is strangely influenced by the living ocean as they attempt communication with it. Translated into English from the French translation by Joanna Kilmartin and Steve Cox (author) as Solaris (1970). Made into a Russian film in 1972, and as a US film in 2002.
Memoirs Found in a Bathtub (Pamiętnik znaleziony w wannie, 1961; trans. 1973) - Novel set in the distant future about a secret agent, whose mission is so secret that no one can tell him what it is.
The Invincible (Niezwyciężony, 1964; translated by Wendayne Ackerman from the German translation 1973) - SF novel. The crew of a space cruiser searches for a disappeared ship on the planet Regis III, discovering swarms of insect-like micromachines.
The Cyberiad (Cyberiada, 1967; transl. by Michael Kandel 1974) - collection of humorous stories about the exploits of Trurl and Klapaucius, "constructors" among robots. The stories of Douglas Adams have been compared to the Cyberiad. [1]
Głos pana (1968) - SF novel about the effort to translate an extraterrestrial radio transmission. Translated into English by Michael Kandel as His Master's Voice.
Ze wspomnień Ijona Tichego; The Futurological Congress (Kongres futurologiczny, 1971) - An Ijon Tichy short story, published in the collection Bezsenność.
Ze wspomnień Ijona Tichego; Professor A. Dońda (1971)
Doskonała próżnia (1971) - Collection of book reviews of nonexistent books. Translated into English by Michael Kandel as A Perfect Vacuum.
Opowieści o pilocie Pirxie (1973) - Collection of linked short fiction involving the career of Pirx. Translated into English in two volumes (Tales of Pirx the Pilot and More Tales of Pirx the Pilot)
Wielkość urojona (1973) - Collection of introductions to nonexistent books, as written by artificial intelligences. Translated into English as Imaginary Magnitude. Also includes Golem XIV, a lengthy essay/short story on the nature of intelligence delivered by eponymous US military computer. In the personality of Golem XIV, Lem with a great amount of humor describes an ideal of his own mind.
Katar (1975) - SF novel. A former US astronaut is sent to Italy to investigate a series of mysterious deaths. Translated into English as The Chain of Chance.
Golem XIV (1981) - Expansion of an essey/short story found in Wielkość urojona.
Wizja lokalna (1982) - Ijon Tichy novel about the planet Entia. Not translated into English.
Fiasco (Fiasko, 1986, trans. 1987) - SF novel concerning an expedition to communicate with an alien civilization that devolves into a major fiasco.
Biblioteka XXI wieku (1986) - Library of 21st Century includes Perfect Vacuum, Imaginary Magnitude and others
Peace on Earth (Pokój na Ziemi, 1987; transl. 1994) - Ijon Tichy novel. A callotomized Tichy returns to Earth, trying to reconstruct the events of his recent visit to the Moon.
Zagadka (The Riddle, 1996) - Short stories collection. Not translated into English.
Fantastyczny Lem (The fantastical Lem, 2001). Short stories collection. Not translated into English. Fiction

Dialogi (1957) - Non-fiction work of philosophy. Translated into English by Frank Prengel as Dialogs.
Wejście na orbitę (1962) - Not translated into English. Title translates as Going into Orbit.
Summa Technologiae (1964) - Philosophical essay. Partially translated into English.
Filozofia Przypadku (1968) - Nonfiction. Not translated into English. Title translates to Philosophy of Coincidence or The Philosophy of Chance.
Fantastyka i futurologia (1970) - Critiques on science fiction. Some parts were translated into English in the magazine SF Studies in 1973-1975, selected material was translated in the single volume Microworlds (New York, 1986).
Rozprawy i szkice (1974) - Nonfiction collection of essays on science, science fiction, and literature in general. Not translated into English. Title translates to Essays and drafts.
Wysoki zamek (1975) - Autobiography of Lem's childhood before World War II. Translated into English as Highcastle: A Remembrance.
Rozprawy i szkice (1975) - Essays and sketches. Not translated into English.
Lube Czasy (1995) - Not translated into English. Title translates to Pleasant Times.
Dziury w całym (1995) - Not translated into English. Title translates to Looking for Problems.
Tajemnica chińskiego pokoju (1996) - Collection of essays on the impact of technology on everyday life. Not translated into English. Title translates to Mystery of the Chinese Room.
Sex Wars (1996) - Not translated into English.
Bomba megabitowa (1999) - Collection of essays about the potential downside of technology, including terrorism and artificial intelligence. Not translated into English. Title translates to The Megabit Bomb.
Świat na krawędzi (2000) - The World at the Edge. Interviews with Lem.
Okamgnienie (2000) - Collection of essays on technological progress since the publication of Summa Technologiae. Not translated into English. Title translates to A Blink of an Eye.
Tako rzecze Lem (And Lem says so, 2002) - Interviews with Lem. Not translated into English.
Mój pogląd na literaturę (My View of Literature, 2003) - Not translated into English.
Krótkie zwarcia (Short Circuits, 2004) - Essays. Not translated into English.
Lata czterdzieste. Dyktanda. (The 40s, 2005) - Lem's works from the 1940s. Not translated into English. Film and TV adaptations

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