Stanisław Herman Lem was a Polish writer of science fiction and essays on various subjects, including philosophy, futurology and literary criticism.

In 1976 ,Theodore Sturgeon wrote that Lem was the most widely read science fiction writer in the world. Lem is the author of the fundamental philosophical work Summa Technologiae, in which he anticipated the creation of virtual reality and artificial intelligence, and also developed the ideas of human autoevolution, the creation of artificial worlds, and many others.

Many of his science fiction stories are of satirical and humorous character. His books have been translated into over 50 languages and have sold over 45 million copies. Worldwide, he is best known as the author of the 1961 novel Solaris.

His works explore philosophical themes through speculations 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. His essays and philosophical books cover these and many other topics. 

The Polish Parliament declared 2021 Stanisław Lem Year. For his entire body of work, he was shortlisted for The Man Booker International Prize 2005.

Stanislaw Lem


Between 2005 - 2015, the Man Booker International Prize recognised one writer for their achievement in fiction.

Worth £60,000, the prize was awarded every two years to a living author who had published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language.

The winner was chosen solely at the discretion of the judging panel and there were no submissions from publishers.

The Man Booker International Prize was different from the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction in that it highlighted one writer’s overall contribution to fiction on the world stage. In focusing on overall literary excellence, the judges considered a writer’s body of work rather than a single novel.