Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Stanisaw Lem may well be the best-known Continental European science-fiction writer. He wrote teleplays (produced in his native country), but his short stories and particularly his many novels have brought him an even wider circulation. In whatever form, he concentrated on speculative fictions in which he frequently described the future of society, combining philosophical argument with imaginative technological fantasies. He also published book-length studies and collections of essays on technology, general literature, and science fiction. A valuable selection of those essays is available in English translation in Microworlds: Writings on Science Fiction and Fantasy (1984), which also includes the autobiographical essay “Reflections on My Life.” An extensive account of Lem’s early life has been translated as Highcastle: A Remembrance (1995).