List of works by Stanisław Lem and their adaptations

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Some of Lem's works in 9 languages
Stanisław Lem.jpg

This the list of works of Stanisław Lem and its adaptations. Stanisław Lem was a Polish writer, best known for his science fiction. His works were translated into 40 languages and over 30 million copies have been sold.[1]


Novels and Novellas[edit]

  • Man From Mars, 1946. Short novel, originally published in a magazine serial form. In 2009 for the first time a long excerpt from Chapter 1 translated into English by Peter Swirski and published with permission of Lem's family in an online literary magazine Words Without Borders.[2]
  • Hospital of the Transfiguration (pl:Szpital Przemienienia, written 1948) – partly autobiographical novella about a doctor working in a Polish asylum during the WWII centred on a Nazi euthanasia program Action T4, published in expanded form in 1955 as Czas nieutracony: Szpital przemienienia. Translated into English by William Brand (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1988). Made in Poland into a film in 1979.[3]
  • The Astronauts (Astronauci, 1951) – Young-adult fiction sci-fi novel. In early 21st century, it is discovered that Tunguska meteorite was a crash of a reconnaissance ship from Venus, bound to invade the Earth. A spaceship sent to investigate finds that Venusians killed themselves in atomic war first. Made into a film in 1960.[4] Not translated into English.
  • The Magellanic Cloud (Obłok Magellana, 1955) - the first interstellar travel of mankind to the Alpha Centauri system. Not translated into English.
  • Eden (1959) – Science fiction novel; after crashing their spaceship on the planet Eden, the crew discovers it is populated with an unusual society. Translated into English by Marc E. Heine (San Diego : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1989).
  • The Investigation (Śledztwo, 1959) – philosophical mystery novel. Trans. by Adele Milch (New York: The Seabury Press, 1974). The book was made into a short film of the same name by Marek Piestrak in 1973.[5]
  • Memoirs Found in a Bathtub (Pamiętnik znaleziony w wannie, 1961) – Kafqesque novel set in the distant future about a secret agent, whose mission in an unnamed ministry is so secret that no one can tell him what it is. Trans. by Michael Kandel and Christine Rose (New York: The Seabury Press, 1973)
  • Return from the Stars (Powrót z gwiazd, 1961) – SF novel. An astronaut returns to Earth after a 127-year long mission. Trans. by Barbara Marszal and Frank Simpson (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980)
  • Solaris (1961) – SF novel. The crew of a remote space station is strangely influenced by the living ocean occupying a whole planet while they attempt communication with it. Translated into English from the French translation by Joanna Kilmartin and Steve Cox (New York, Walker & Co., 1970; London: Faber and Faber, 1970). Made into two Russian films in 1968 and 1972, and an American film in 2002.
  • The Invincible (Niezwyciężony, 1964) – a "hard SF" novel credited with introducing nanotechnology into mainstream SF. The crew of a space cruiser searches for a disappeared ship on the planet Regis III, discovering swarms of insect-like micromachines. Trans. from German by Wendayne Ackerman (New York: The Seabury Press, 1973).
  • His Master's Voice (Głos pana, 1968) – SF novel about the effort to translate an extraterrestrial transmission. Trans. by Michael Kandel (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1983).
  • The Futurological Congress (Kongres futurologiczny, 1971) – An Ijon Tichy novella, published in the collection Bezsenność (Insomnia) and Ze wspomnień Ijona Tichego. Trans. by Michael Kandel and published as a standalone novella. (New York: The Seabury Press, 1974).
  • The Chain of Chance (Katar, 1976) – borderline SF novel. A former US astronaut is sent to Italy to investigate a series of mysterious deaths. Trans. by Louis Iribarne (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978).
  • Golem XIV (1981) – SF novel. Expansion of an essay/story from the collection Wielkość urojona. An English translation of the novel was included in the English translation of the collection (Imaginary Magnitude).
  • Observation on the Spot (pl:Wizja lokalna, 1982) – Ijon Tichy novel about the planet Entia. Not translated into English.
  • Fiasco (Fiasko, 1986) – dystopian SF novel about an expedition to communicate with an alien civilization that results in a major fiasco. Trans. by Michael Kandel (San Diego : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1987)
  • Peace on Earth (Pokój na Ziemi, 1987) – Ijon Tichy novel. A callosotomised Tichy returns to Earth, trying to reconstruct the events of his recent visit to the Moon. Trans. by Michael Kandel and Elinor Ford (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1994).


  • Sezam (1955; Sesame) – Linked collection of short fiction, dealing with time machines used to clean up Earth's history in order to be accepted into intergalactic society. Not translated into English.
  • The Star Diaries (Dzienniki gwiazdowe, 1957, expanded until 1971) – Collection of short fiction dealing with the voyages of Ijon Tichy. English translations of some stories were published in two volumes: the first, The Star Diaries, by Michael Kandel (New York: The Seabury Press, 1976) and the second, Memoirs of a space traveler: further reminiscences of Ijon Tichy, by Joel Stern and Maria Swiecicka-Ziemianek (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982).
  • The Invasion from Aldebaran (pl:Inwazja z Aldebarana, 1959) – Collection of nine science fiction stories, among them three Tales of Pirx the Pilot tales and Ciemność i pleśń (Darkness and Mould), about the creation of Whisteria Cosmolytica which is described as "a microbe annihilating matter and drawing its vital energy from that process", creating a grey goo scenario.[6]
  • Mortal Engines (pl:Bajki robotów,1961) – Also contains The Hunt from Tales of Pirx the Pilot. Selected translation by Michael Kandel (New York: The Seabury Press, 1977).
  • The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age (Cyberiada, 1965) – collection of humorous baroque-style stories about the exploits of Trurl and Klapaucius, "constructors" among robots. The stories of Douglas Adams have been compared to the Cyberiad.[7] Transl. by Michael Kandel (New York: The Seabury Press, 1974)
  • A Perfect Vacuum (Doskonała próżnia, 1971) – Collection of reviews of fictional books. Transl. by Michael Kandel. (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979.)
  • Imaginary Magnitude (pl:Wielkość urojona, 1973) – Collection of introductions to nonexistent books. Also includes Golem XIV, a lengthy essay/short story on the nature of intelligence delivered by an eponymous US military computer. In the personality of Golem XIV, Lem with a great amount of humor describes an ideal of his own mind. Transl. by Marc E. Heine (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984).
  • Tales of Pirx the Pilot (Opowieści o pilocie Pirxie, 1973) – Collection of linked short fiction involving the career of astronaut Pirx. English translations of some stories were published in two volumes: the first, Tales of Pirx the Pilot, by Louis Iribarne (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979) and the second, More Tales of Pirx the Pilot by Louis Iribarne, Magdalena Majcherczyk and Michael Kandel (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982).
  • The cosmic carnival of Stanisław Lem : an anthology of entertaining stories by the modern master of science fiction, Edited with commentary by Michael Kandel. New York: Continuum, 1981.[8] Includes:
    • "The condor" from The Invincible (trans. from German by Wendayne Ackerman)
    • Excerpt from "Solaris" (trans. from French by Joanna Kilmartin and Steve Cox)
    • The Test (trans. from Polish by Louis Iribarne)
    • Chapter Seven of "Return from the Stars" (trans. from Polish by Barbara Marszal and Frank Simpson)
    • Excerpt from "The Futurological Congress" (trans. from Polish by Michael Kandel)
    • Two monsters (trans. from Polish by Michael Kandel)
    • The second sally (trans. from Polish by Michael Kandel)
    • Tale of the computer that fought a dragon (trans. from Polish by Michael Kandel)
    • The history of Zipperupus (trans. from
    • The Star Diaries: The Seventh Voyage (trans. from Polish by Michael Kandel)
    • The Star Diaries: The Fourteenth Voyage (trans. from Polish by Michael Kandel)
    • Les Robinsonades (trans. from Polish by Michael Kandel)
  • Provocation (Prowokacja, 1984) contains two faux reviews. Not translated into English.
  • One Human Minute (Biblioteka XXI wieku - literally, "Library of 21st century", 1986) – 3 more fictional reviews. Transl. by Catherine S. Leach
  • The Riddle (Zagadka, 1996) – Short stories collection. Not translated into English.
  • The Fantastical Lem (Fantastyczny Lem, 2001) – Short stories collection. Not translated into English.
  • Lemistry: a celebration of the work of Stanisław Lem. Edited by Ra Page. A collection of three translated short works by Lem (The lilo; Darkness and mildew; Invasion from Aldebaran) and works by other authors but inspired by Lem. (Comma Press, 2011).


Unless noted, not translated into English

Dramatic adaptations[edit]

Lem was well known for criticizing the films based on his work. An example is his famous characterization of Solaris by Andrei Tarkovsky as "Crime and Punishment in space".

1978 - 1981 London's Triple Action Theatre Group world tour of Solaris adapted and directed by Steven Rumbelow. It was seen by Lem in Kraków when it was presented at Theater Stu in 1980.[13]

Music adaptations[edit]