Stanisław Herman Lem (Polish: [staˈɲiswaf ˈlɛm] (listen); 12/13 September 1921 – 27 March 2006) was a Polish writer of science fiction and essays on various subjects, including philosophy, futurology, and literary criticism. Many of his science fiction stories are of satirical and humorous character. Lem's books have been translated into over 40 languages and have sold over 45 million copies. Worldwide, he is best known as the author of the 1961 novel Solaris, which has been made into a feature film three times. In 1976, Theodore Sturgeon wrote that Lem was the most widely read science fiction writer in the world. Lem's works explore philosophical themes through speculation on technology, the nature of intelligence, the impossibility of communication with and understanding of alien intelligence, despair about human limitations, and humanity's place in the universe. They are sometimes presented as fiction, but others are in the form of essays or philosophical books.
Lem in 1966
|Born||Stanisław Herman Lem|
12/13 September 1921
(now Lviv, Ukraine)
|Died||27 March 2006 (aged 84)|
|Genre||Hard science fiction, philosophy, futurology|
|Spouse||Barbara Leśniak (1953–2006; his death; 1 child)|
Translating his works is difficult due to Lem's elaborate neologisms, idiomatic wordplay, alien or robotic poetry, and puns.
Lem was born in 1921 in Lwów, interwar Poland (now Lviv, Ukraine) to a Jewish family. According to his own account, he was actually born on 13 September, but the date was changed to the 12th on his birth certificate because of superstition. He was the son of Sabina née Woller (1892–1979) and Samuel Lem (1879–1954), a wealthy laryngologist and former physician in the Austro-Hungarian Army, and first cousin to Polish poet Marian Hemar (Lem's father's sister's son). In later years Lem sometimes claimed to have been raised Roman Catholic, but he went to Jewish religious lessons during his school years. He later became an atheist "for moral reasons ... the world appears to me to be put together in such a painful way that I prefer to believe that it was not created ... intentionally". In later years he would call himself both an agnostic and an atheist.
After the 1939 Soviet occupation of Eastern Poland, he was not allowed to study at Lwow Polytechnic as he wished because of his "bourgeois origin", and only due to his father's connections he was accepted to study medicine at Lwów University in 1940. During the subsequent Nazi occupation (1941–1944), Lem's Jewish family avoided placement in a Nazi ghetto, surviving with false papers. He would later recall:
During that period, I learned in a very personal, practical way that I was no "Aryan". I knew that my ancestors were Jews, but I knew nothing of the Mosaic faith and, regrettably, nothing at all of Jewish culture. So it was, strictly speaking, only the Nazi legislation that brought home to me the realization that I had Jewish blood in my veins.
During that time, Lem earned a living as a car mechanic and welder, and occasionally stole munitions from storehouses (to which he had access as an employee of a German company) to pass them on to the Polish resistance.
In 1945, Lwow was annexed into the Soviet Ukraine, and the family, along with many other Polish citizens, was resettled to Kraków, where Lem, at his father's insistence, took up medical studies at the Jagiellonian University. He did not take his final examinations on purpose, to avoid the career of military doctor, which he suspected could have become lifelong.[note 1] After receiving absolutorium (Polish term for the evidence of completion of the studies without diploma), he did an obligatory monthly work at a hospital, at a maternity ward, where he assisted at a number of childbirths and a caesarean section. Lem said that the sight of blood was one of the reasons he decided to drop medicine.
Rise to fameEdit
Lem started his literary work in 1946 with a number of publications in different genres, including poetry, as well as his first science fiction novel, The Man from Mars (Człowiek z Marsa), serialized in Nowy Świat Przygód (New World of Adventures). Between 1948 and 1950 Lem was working as a scientific research assistant at the Jagiellonian University, and published a number of short stories, poems, reviews, etc., particularly at Tygodnik Powszechny. In 1951, he published his first book, The Astronauts (Astronauci). In 1953 he met and married (civil marriage) Barbara Leśniak, a medical student. Their church marriage ceremony was performed in February, 1954. In 1954, he published a short story anthology, Sezam i inne opowiadania [Sesame and Other Stories] . The following year, 1955, saw the publication of another science fiction novel, The Magellanic Cloud (Obłok Magellana).
During the era of Stalinism in Poland, which had begun in the late 1940s, all published works had to be directly approved by the communist state. Thus The Astronauts was not, in fact, the first novel Lem finished, just the first that made it past the state censors. Going by the date of the finished manuscript, Lem's first book was a partly autobiographical novel Hospital of the Transfiguration (Szpital Przemienienia), finished in 1948. It would be published seven years later, in 1955, as a part of the trilogy Czas nieutracony (Time Not Lost). The experience of trying to push Czas nieutracony through the censors was one of the major reasons Lem decided to focus on the less-censored genre of science fiction. Nonetheless, most of Lem's works published in the 1950s also contain—forced upon him by the censors and editors—various elements of socialist realism as well as of the "glorious future of communism". Lem later criticized several of his early pieces as compromised by the ideological pressure.
Lem became truly productive after 1956, when the de-Stalinization period in the Soviet Union led to the "Polish October", when Poland experienced an increase in freedom of speech. Between 1956 and 1968, Lem authored seventeen books. His writing over the next three decades or so was split between science fiction and essays about science and culture.
In 1957, he published his first non-fiction, philosophical book, Dialogues, as well as a science fiction anthology, The Star Diaries (Dzienniki gwiazdowe), collecting short stories about one of his most popular characters, Ijon Tichy. 1959 saw the publication of three books: Eden, The Investigation (Śledztwo) and the short story anthology An Invasion from Aldebaran (Inwazja z Aldebarana). 1961 saw the novels: Memoirs Found in a Bathtub (Pamiętnik znaleziony w wannie), Solaris, and Return from the Stars (Powrót z gwiazd), with Solaris being among his top works. This was followed by a collection of his essays and non-fiction prose, Wejście na orbitę (1962), and a short story anthology Noc księżycowa (1963). In 1964, Lem published a large work on the border of philosophy and sociology of science and futurology, Summa Technologiae, as well as a novel, The Invincible (Niezwyciężony).
1965 saw the publication of The Cyberiad (Cyberiada) and of a short story anthology, The Hunt (Polowanie). 1966 is the year of Highcastle (Polish title: Wysoki Zamek), followed in 1968 by His Master's Voice (Głos Pana) and Tales of Pirx the Pilot (Opowieści o pilocie Pirxie). Highcastle was another of Lem's autobiographical works, and touched upon a theme that usually was not favored by the censors: Lem's youth in the pre-war, then-Polish, Lviv. 1968 and 1970 saw two more non-fiction treatises, The Philosophy of Chance (Filozofia przypadku) and Science Fiction and Futurology (Fantastyka i futurologia). Ijon Tichy returned in 1971's The Futurological Congress Kongres futurologiczny; in the same year Lem released a genre-mixing experiment, Doskonała próżnia, a collection of reviews of non-existent books. In 1973 a similar work, Imaginary Magnitude (Wielkość urojona), was published. In 1976, Lem published two novels: Maska (The Mask) and Katar (translated as The Chain of Chance). In 1980, he published another set of reviews of non-existent works, Prowokacja. The following year sees another Tichy novel, Wizja lokalna, and Golem XIV. Later in that decade, Lem published Pokój na Ziemi (1984) and Fiasco (1986), his last science fiction novel.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Lem cautiously supported the Polish dissident movement, and started publishing essays in Paris-based Kultura. In 1982, with martial law in Poland declared, Lem moved to West Berlin, where he became a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin). After that, he settled in Vienna. He returned to Poland in 1988.
From the late 1980s onwards, he tended to concentrate on philosophical texts and essays, published in a number of Polish magazines (Tygodnik Powszechny, Odra, Przegląd, and others). They were later collected in a number of anthologies.
In early 1980s literary critic and historian Stanisław Bereś conducted a lengthy interview with Lem, which got published in book format in 1987 as Rozmowy ze Stanisławem Lemem (Conversations with Stanisław Lem). That edition was subject to censorship. A revised, complete edition was published in 2002 as Tako rzecze… Lem (Thus spoke... Lem).
In the early 1990s, Lem met with the literary critic and scholar Peter Swirski for a series of extensive interviews, published together with other critical materials and translations as A Stanislaw Lem Reader (1997); in the book, Lem speaks about a range of issues rarely touched on in his previous interviews. The book also includes Swirski's translation of Lem's retrospective essay "Thirty Years Later", devoted to Lem's nonfictional treatise Summa Technologiae. During later interviews in 2005, Lem expressed his disappointment with the genre of science fiction, and his general pessimism regarding technical progress. He viewed the human body as unsuitable for space travel, held that information technology drowns people in a glut of low-quality information, and considered truly intelligent robots as both undesirable and impossible to construct.
Lem's prose show a mastery of numerous genres and themes.
One of Lem's major recurring themes, beginning from his very first novel, The Man from Mars, was the impossibility of communication between profoundly alien beings, which may have no common ground with human intelligence, and humans. The best known example is the living planetary ocean in Lem's novel Solaris. Other examples include intelligent swarms of mechanical insect-like micromachiness (in The Invincible), and strangely ordered societies of more human-like beings in Fiasco and Eden, describing the failure of the first contact.
Another key recurring theme is the shortcomings of humans. In His Master's Voice, Lem describes the failure of humanity's intelligence to decipher and truly comprehend an apparent message from space. Two overlapping arcs of short stories, Fables for Robots (Bajki Robotów), translated in the collection Mortal Engines), and The Cyberiad (Cyberiada) provide a commentary on humanity in the form of a series of grotesque, humorous, fairytale-like short stories about a mechanical universe inhabited by robots (who have occasional contact with biological "slimies" and human "palefaces"). Lem also underlines the uncertainties of evolution, including that it might not progress upwards in intelligence.
Śledztwo and Katar are crime novels (the latter without a murderer); Pamiętnik... is a psychological drama inspired by Kafka. Doskonała próżnia and Wielkość urojona are collections of reviews of and introductions to non-existent books. Similarly, Prowokacja purports to review a (non-existing) Holocaust-themed work.
Dialogues and Summa Technologiae (1964) are Lem's two most famous philosophical texts. The Summa is notable for being a unique analysis of prospective social, cybernetic, and biological advances; in this work, Lem discusses philosophical implications of technologies that were completely in the realm of science fiction at the time, but are gaining importance today—for instance, virtual reality and nanotechnology.
Views in later lifeEdit
Lem's criticism of most science fiction surfaced in literary and philosophical essays Science Fiction and Futurology and interviews. In the 1990s, Lem forswore science fiction and returned to futurological prognostications, most notably those expressed in Okamgnienie [Blink of an Eye] .
He became increasingly critical of modern technology in his later life, criticizing inventions such as the Internet, which he said "makes it easier to hurt our neighbors."
Relationship with American science fictionEdit
Lem was awarded an honorary membership in the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) in 1973. SFWA Honorary membership is given to people who do not meet the publishing criteria for joining the regular membership, but who would be welcomed as members had their work appeared in the qualifying English-language publications. Lem 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. After his eventual American publication, when he became eligible for regular membership, his honorary membership was rescinded. This formal action was interpreted by some of the SFWA members as a rebuke for his stance, and it seems that Lem interpreted it as such. Lem was invited to stay on with the organization with a regular membership, but declined. After many members (including Ursula K. Le Guin, who quit her membership and then refused the Nebula Award for Best Novelette for The Diary of the Rose) protested against Lem's treatment by the SFWA, a member offered to pay his dues. Lem never accepted the offer.
Philip K. DickEdit
Lem singled out only one American science fiction writer for praise, Philip K. Dick, in a 1984 English-language anthology of his critical essays, Microworlds: Writings on Science Fiction and Fantasy. Lem had initially held a low opinion of Philip K. Dick (as he did for the bulk of American science fiction) and would later say that this was due to a limited familiarity with Dick's work, since Western literature was hard to come by in Communist Poland.
Dick alleged that Stanisław Lem was probably a false name used by a composite committee operating on orders of the Communist party to gain control over public opinion, and wrote a letter to the FBI to that effect. There were several attempts to explain Dick's act. Lem was responsible for the Polish translation of Dick's work Ubik in 1972, and when Dick felt monetarily short-changed by the publisher, he held Lem personally responsible (see Microworlds). Also it was suggested that Dick was under the influence of strong medications, including opioids, and may have had experienced a "slight disconnect from reality" some time before writing the letter. A "defensive patriotism" of Dick against Lem's attacks on American science fiction may have played some role as well.
Lem is one of the most highly acclaimed science fiction writers, hailed by critics as equal to such classic authors as H. G. Wells and Olaf Stapledon. In 1976, Theodore Sturgeon wrote that Lem was the most widely read science fiction writer in the world. In Poland, in the 1960s and 1970s, Lem remained under the radar of mainstream critics, who dismissed him as a "mass market", low-brow, youth-oriented writer; such dismissal might have given him a form of invisibility from censorship. His works were widely translated abroad, appearing in over 40 languages. Franz Rottensteiner, Lem's former agent abroad, had this to say about Lem's reception on international markets:
With [number of translations and copies sold], Lem is the most successful author in modern Polish fiction; nevertheless his commercial success in the world is limited, and the bulk of his large editions was due to the special publishing conditions in the Communist countries: Poland, the Soviet Union, and the German Democratic Republic). Only in West Germany was Lem really a critical and a commercial success [... and everywhere ...] in recent years interest in him has waned. Lem is the only writer of European [science fiction, most of whose] books have been translated into English, and [...] kept in print in the USA. Lem's critical success in English is due mostly to the excellent translations of Michael Kandel.
Use in filmsEdit
Solaris was made into a film in 1968 by Russian director Boris Nirenburg, a film in 1972 by Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky—which won a Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1972—and an American film in 2002 by Steven Soderbergh. Solaris is not the only work of Lem's to be filmed. Over ten film and television adaptations of his work exist, such as adaptations of The Astronauts (First Spaceship on Venus, 1960) and The Magellan Nebula (Ikarie XB-1, 1963). Lem himself was, however, critical of most of the screen adaptations, with the sole exception of Przekładaniec in 1968 by Andrzej Wajda. More recently, in 2013, the Israeli–Polish co-production The Congress was released, inspired by Lem's novel The Futurological Congress.
Use in education and philosophyEdit
Lem's works have been used in education as teaching texts for philosophy students.
In 1981, the philosophers Douglas R. Hofstadter and Daniel C. Dennett included three extracts from Lem's fiction in their annotated anthology The Mind's I, accompanied by Hofstadter's comment, which says in part that Lem's "literary and intuitive approach ... does a better job of convincing readers of his views than any hard-nosed scientific article ... might do".
A major character in the film Planet 51, an alien Lem, was named by screenwriter Joe Stillman after Stanisław Lem. Since the film was intended to be a parody of American pulp science fiction shot in Eastern Europe, Stillman thought that it would be hilarious to hint at the writer whose works have nothing to do with little green men.
- 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)
- Prize of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for popularization of Polish culture abroad (nagroda Ministra Spraw Zagranicznych za popularyzację polskiej kultury za granicą)
- Literary Prize of the Minister of Culture and Art (nagroda literacka Ministra Kultury i Sztuki) and honorary member of Science Fiction Writers of America
- 1976 – State Prize 1st Level in the area of literature (Nagroda Państwowa I stopnia w dziedzinie literatury)
- 1979 – Grand Prix de Littérature Policière for his novel Katar.
- 1986 – Austrian State Prize for European Literature
- 1991 – Austrian literary Franz Kafka Prize
- 1996 – recipient of the Order of the White Eagle
- 2005 – Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis (on the list of the first recipients of the newly introduced medal)
- 1972 – member of commission "Poland 2000" of the Polish Academy of Sciences
- 1979 – a minor planet, 3836 Lem, discovered by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh is named after him.
- 1981 – Doctor honoris causa honorary degree from the Wrocław University of Technology
- 1986 – the whole issue (#40 = Volume 13, Part 3) of Science Fiction Studies was dedicated to Stanislaw Lem
- 1994 – member of the Polish Academy of Learning
- 1997 – honorary citizen of Kraków
- 1998 – Doctor honoris causa: University of Opole, Lviv University, Jagiellonian University
- 2003 – Doctor honoris causa of the University of Bielefeld
- 2007 – A street in Kraków is to be named in his honour.
- 2009 – A street in Wieliczka was named in his honour
- 2011 – An interactive Google logo inspired by The Cyberiad was created and published in his honor for the 60th anniversary of his first published book: The Astronauts.
- 2013 – two planetoids were named after Lem's literary characters:
- 2015: Pirx (crater), a90 km (55.9 miles) wide impact crater on Pluto's natural satellite Charon, discovered in 2015 by the American New Horizons probe
- 2019 – the star Solaris and its planet Pirx, after the novel Solaris and Tales of Pirx the Pilot
Lem's early works were socialist realist, possibly to satisfy state censorship, and in his later years he was critical of this aspect of them. However he never showed any wish to relocate permanently in the West. By the standards of the Soviet Bloc, Lem was financially well off for most of his life. He moved with his family to Vienna for a few years, during the time of the crackdown against the Polish trade union Solidarność.
Lem believed there were no absolutes; "I should wish, as do most men, that immutable truths existed, that not all would be eroded by the impact of historical time, that there were some essential propositions, be it only in the field of human values, the basic values, etc. In brief, I long for the absolute. But at the same time I am firmly convinced that there are no absolutes, that everything is historical, and that you cannot get away from history."
Lem was concerned that if the human race attained prosperity and comfort this would lead it to passiveness and degeneration.
Lem was married to Barbara Lem née Leśniak until his death. She died on 27 April 2016. Their only son, Tomasz, was born in 1968. He studied physics and mathematics at the University of Vienna, and graduated with a degree in physics from Princeton University. Tomasz wrote a memoir about his father, Awantury na tle powszechnego ciążenia ("Tantrums on the Background of the Universal Gravitation"), which contain numerous personal details about Stanisław Lem. The annotation of the book says Tomasz works as a translator and has a daughter, Anna.
As of 1984, Lem's writing pattern was to get up a short time before five in the morning and start writing soon after, for 5 or 6 hours before taking a break.
Lem was an aggressive driver. He loved sweets (especially halva and chocolate-covered marzipan), and did not give them up even when, toward the end of his life, he fell ill with diabetes. In the mid-80s due to health problems he stopped smoking.
- Bibliography of Stanisław Lem, list of books and monographs about Stanisław Lem
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Stanisław Lem.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Stanisław Lem|
- Lech Keller suggests a slightly different reason why Lem did not pursue the diploma: since his father was a functionary of Sanitary Department of the infamous UB (Ministry of Public Security), he would have probably been assigned to the hospital subordinated to UB, probably to the same department his father served. Keller further remarks that it was well-known that UB doctors were used to "restore the conditions" of the interrogated dissidents. See Lech Keller, "Przyczynek do biografii Stanisława Lema" (retrieved 16 February 2020), Acta Polonica Monashiensis (Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) Volume 3 Number 2, R&S Press, Melbourne, Victoria, 2019, pp. 94, 107
- Orzeł Biały dla Lema (White Eagle for Lem), article in "Gazeta Wyborcza" nr 217, 17 September 1996, page 2, 
- "Stanislaw Lem – Obituaries". The Independent. 31 March 2006. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
- Agnieszka Gajewska. Zagłada i gwiazdy. Przeszłość w prozie Stanisława Lema. Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. ISBN 978-83-232-3047-2.
- Rob Jan. "Stanislaw Lem 1921 – 2006. Obituary by Rob Jan". ZERO-G AUSTRALIAN RADIO and lem.pl.
- "Technik: Visionär ohne Illusionen". Die Zeit. 28 July 2005.. Part essay, part interview with Lem by Die Zeit newspaper
- "Sci-fi king Stanisław Lem is still considered master of his genre". Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- Theodore Sturgeon: "Introduction". Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. Retrieved 7 April 2010.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) to Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc, New York 1976
- Wojciech Orliński (2017). Lem. Życie nie z tej ziemi. Wydawnictwo Czarne/Agora SA. p. 37. ISBN 978-83-8049-552-4.
- Jerzy Jarzȩbski (1986). Zufall und Ordnung: zum Werk Stanlisław Lems (in German). Suhrkamp. p. 1. ISBN 978-3-518-37790-1.
- Tomasz FIAŁKOWSKI. "Stanisław Lem czyli życie spełnione" (in Polish). solaris.lem.pl.
- Lem's FAQ Archived 25 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- "The religion of Stanislaw Lem, science fiction writer". adherents.com. Archived from the original on 23 June 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- "An Interview with Stanislaw Lem". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 12 May 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) by Peter Engel. Missouri Review Volume 7, Number 2, 1984.
- Noack, Hans-Joachim (15 January 1996). "Jeder Irrwitz ist denkbar Science-fiction-Autor Lem über Nutzen und Risiken der Antimaterie (engl: Each madness is conceivable Science-fiction author Lem about the benefits and risks of anti-matter)". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- В. Шуткевич, СТАНИСЛАВ ЛЕМ: ГЛУПОСТЬ КАК ДВИЖУЩАЯ СИЛА ИСТОРИИ ("Stanislaw Lem: Stupidity as a Driving Force of History", an interview), Комсомольская правда, 26 February 1991, p. 3.
- "Lem about Himself". Stanislaw Lem homepage.
- Stanisław Lem (January 1984). "Chance and Order". The New Yorker 59 / 30. pp. 88–98.
- Stanisław Lem, Mein Leben ("My Life"), Berlin, 1983.
- E. Tuzow-Lubański, "Spotkanie ze Stanisławem Lemem", Przegląd Polski, 9 May 1996, pp. 1, 15. (fragment) Quote: "W 1948 r. zrobiłem absolutorium z medycyny. I wtedy okazało się, że jak się kończy medycynę i dostaje dyplom, to trzeba iść do wojska jako lekarz – i nie na rok czy dwa, ale na zawsze"
- "Jestem Casanovą nauki" In: Marek Oramus, Bogowie Lema, Kurpisz Publishing House, 2006, p. 42. ISBN 978-83-89738-92-9.
- Jerzy Jarzębski. Lem, Stanisław (in Polish). 'PWN. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- Stanisław Lem, Mein Leben ("My Life"), Berlin, 1983
- Lem, Stanislaw. SFE. 25 October 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
- Stanisław Lem (2000). Memoirs of a Space Traveler: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy. Northwestern University Press. p. Back cover blurb. ISBN 978-0-8101-1732-7.
[Tichy] endures as one of Lem's most popular characters
- Orliński, Wojciech (1 July 2002). "Tako rzecze...Lem, Bereś, Stanisław". Gazeta Wyborcza (in Polish). Retrieved 29 March 2019.
- Auch Hosenträger sind intelligent, Zeit Wissen, 1/2005; Im Ramschladen der Phantasie, Zeit Wissen, 3/2005. (in German)
- David Langford (July 2005). The Sex Column and Other Misprints, a collection of essays from SFX magazine. Wildside Press LLC. p. 65. ISBN 978-1-930997-78-3.
- Gary Westfahl (2005). The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy: Themes, Works, and Wonders. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-32951-7.
- "you cannot conceive of your neighbors from the stars in any connection other than a civilizational one," p91, Golem XIV, Imaginary Magnitude
- "the obstinacy of your antropocentrism," p55, Golem XIV, Imaginary Magnitude
- "Cyberiada". Lem's official website. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
- "uncertain zigzags of the evolutionary game", p85, Golem XIV, Imaginary Magnitude
- ""Folha de S.Paulo" – interview with Lem". Stanislaw Lem's homepage.
- Christopher Priest, Introduction, The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic AgeLem
- ""Shargh" daily newspaper interview". Stanislaw Lem. Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
- "Stanislaw Lem – Frequently Asked Questions. SWFA, quoted on Lem's homepage". Stanislaw Lem.
- "The Lem Affair (Continued)". Science Fiction Studies, # 14 = Volume 5, Part 1 = March 1978. 1978.
- "Lem and SFWA". Archived from the original on 11 January 2008. in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America FAQ, "paraphrasing Jerry Pournelle" who was SFWA President 1973-4
- Le Guin, Ursula (6 December 2017). "The Literary Prize for the Refusal of Literary Prizes". The Paris Review. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
- Dugdale, John (21 May 2016). "How to turn down a prestigious literary prize – a winner's guide to etiquette". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
- "Philip K. Dick: A Visionary Among the Charlatans". Stanislaw Lem.
- "Philip K. Dick: Stanisław Lem is a Communist Committee", Matt Davies, 29 April 2015
- "Stanislaw Lem – Frequently Asked Questions. P.K.Dick, Letter to FBI, quoted on Lem's homepage". Stanislaw Lem.
- "Stanislaw Lem". The Times. 28 March 2006.
- Franz Rottensteiner (1999). "Note on the Authors: Stanisław Lem". View from Another Shore: European Science Fiction. Liverpool University Press. p. 252. ISBN 978-0-85323-942-0.
- Peter Swirski (1 January 2008). The Art and Science of Stanislaw Lem. McGill-Queen's Press – MQUP. pp. 153–170. ISBN 978-0-7735-7507-3.
- "Israeli Polish coproduction 'The Congress' to Open Director's Fortnight in Cannes". Archived from the original on 20 May 2013.
- For instance, in the subject Natural and Artificial Thinking, Faculty of Math. & Phys., Charles University in Prague, or Philosophy in sci-fi at Masaryk University in Brno
- Lew, Julie (15 June 1989). "Making City Planning a Game". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
- Lem wśród zielonych ludzików.
- Medal Gloria Artis dla twórców i działaczy kultury
- Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names (5th ed.). New York: Springer Verlag. p. 325. ISBN 3-540-00238-3.
- Science Fiction Studies #40 = Volume 13, Part 3 = November 1986, Article Abstracts
- "UCHWAŁA NR VIII/122/07 Rady Miasta Krakowa z dnia 14 marca 2007 r. w sprawie nazw ulic. Par.1, pkt.1" (in Polish).[permanent dead link]
- "Uchwała nr XXXII/479/2009 Rady Miejskiej w Wieliczce z dnia 30 września 2009 r. w sprawie nadania nazwy ulicy" (PDF) (in Polish). Urząd Marszałkowski Województwa Małopolskiego.
- "Stanisław Lem doodle". Google. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
- "Google doodle marks 60th anniversary of Stanislaw Lem's first book". The Guardian. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
- Sci-fi becoming real: star and planet with names from Lem’s books
- see The Astronauts
- Kowalczyk, Janusz R. (5 October 2016). "The Many Masks & Faces of Stanisław Lem". Culture.pl.
- Priest, Christopher (8 April 2006). "Stanislaw Lem". The Guardian.
- Wooster, Martin Morse (8 April 2006). "Stanislaw Lem, Chilly Satirist". Wall Street Journal.
- Reed, Lawrence W. (20 November 2015). "Science Fiction and Communist Reality – Real Heroes: Stanislaw Lem". Foundation for Economic Education.
- "Lem may have been critical of the Soviet Union, but that didn’t mean he had a positive view of the West. "Say, one country permits eating little children right before the eyes of crazed mothers", he wrote to Kandel in 1977, "and another permits eating absolutely anything, whereupon it turns out that the majority of people in that country eat shit. So what does the fact that most people eat shit demonstrate […] ?” In other words, just because life behind the Iron Curtain was bad, that didn’t make the United States good. For Lem the world wasn’t divided between good and evil, but between bad and even worse." Ezra Glinter, The World According to Stanislaw Lem, https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/world-according-stanislaw-lem/
- "Don't Believe Everything That You Know About Lem" (interview with Lem), Nurt #8 (1972), as quoted in https://www.depauw.edu/sfs/backissues/12/jarzebski12.htm
- Tomasz Lem, Awantury na tle powszechnego ciążenia, Kraków, Wydawnictwo Literackie, 2009, ISBN 978-83-08-04379-0, p. 198.
- Wilson, John (10 April 2006). "Stanislaw Lem 1921-2006". The Weekly Standard – via Washington Examiner.
- "Barbara Lem", a necrolog in Gazeta Literacka (retrieved 2 March 2017).
- "Lem jakiego nie znamy", Publisher's annotation of the book Lem jakiego nie znamy by Tomasz Lem.
- Lem, Stanislaw (30 January 1984). "Chance and Order". The New Yorker. Vol. 59. pp. 88–98.
- Jameson, Fredric. "The Unknowability Thesis." In Archaeologies of the Future: This Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions. London and New York: Verso, 2005.
- Suvin, Darko. "Three World Paradigms for SF: Asimov, Yefremov, Lem." Pacific Quarterly (Moana): An International Review of Arts and Ideas 4.(1979): 271–283.
- Official website, maintained by Lem's son and secretary
- Works by or about Stanisław Lem at Internet Archive
- Stanisław Lem at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Stanisław Lem on IMDb
- Stanisław Lem: Did the Holocaust Shape His Sci-Fi World? from Culture.pl