Monday, March 27, 2006

Stanislaw Lem, 1921-2006

"He reserved his praise only for iconic sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick" -- this according to the CBC, a sentiment that is only partially accurate. Lem was indeed keen to place Dick in a status above his western contemporaries, but also conceded that Dick's singular "trick" -- an unfathomable paranoia -- was a conceit that didn't quite have the legs to deliver a fully satisfying narrative. It's all in Microworlds, which, like Solaris is well worth the read. Special bonus for English readers: Microworlds was translated directly from Lem's Polish, as opposed to Solaris which comes to us translated from the French translation of the Polish. But better that than nothing. I'm sad to see him go.

P.S. - The Times OnLine has a better, less ameri-centric obituary, here. Link from ALD.

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