Microworlds (Magill's Literary Annual 1986)
Stanisaw Lem’s Microworlds is a collection of his previously published essays, with an introduction by his longtime friend, translator, and literary agent Franz Rottensteiner. While it is very helpful to have these essays easily available, they represent a fraction of Lem’s critical output. Since they were selected to meet different editorial requirements when first published, some subjects are dealt with in depth and some not at all.
Lem has written a full-length study of science fiction, Fantastyka i futurologica (1970); two of the chapters, “The Time-Travel Story and Related Matters of Science-Fiction Structuring” and “Metafantasia: The Possibilities of Science Fiction,” are included in Microworlds. Rottensteiner observes that Lem had problems in locating sources for his history of science fiction, which may further account for his not dealing with certain subjects and authors. Balancing this weakness is Lem’s strength as a scientist. Trained as a doctor, he rigorously applied both scientific knowledge and scientific method to his science-fiction essays and fiction. Lem has additionally published numerous scientific articles; he has a special interest in cybernetics. Two other significant untranslated works are Summa Technologiae (1964), now undoubtedly dated as to content but nevertheless still of...
(The entire section is 3650 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1986)
Choice. XXII, June, 1985, p. 1488.
Kirkus Reviews. LII, November 1, 1984, p. 1039.
Library Journal. CX, February 1, 1985, p. 99.
Los Angeles Times Book Review. April 14, 1985, p. 10.
The New York Times Book Review. XC, March 24, 1985, p. 28.
The New Yorker. LXI, April 22, 1985, p. 143.
Publishers Weekly. CCXXVI, November 30, 1984, p. 85.
(The entire section is 41 words.)