In accordance with our meta agreement to have topic challenges and a later meta agreement to have topic challenges lasting for two months and overlapping by one month, it is time (okay, sorry, overdue) to announce the October–November 2022 topic challenge.

Based on the number of votes (+5,-0), the next topic challenge of the year 2022 will be Stanisław Lem.

What's a topic challenge?

See the meta posts linked above, and also this main Meta post. In short, during October and November 2022 you are invited to try to read some of the works by Stanisław Lem and ask questions about them.

Participation is not obligatory in any sense, and questions on other works and authors are more than welcome during October and November too; they just won't count as part of this topic challenge.

How can I take part?

By getting hold of one or more of the works of Stanisław Lem and asking good questions about it (or them).
Questions should be tagged with the appropriate work tag, , and . We'll keep a list of all such questions in an answer to this meta post.

Below is Tsundoku's presentation:

The works of Stanisław Lem

Stanisław Lem was born in 1921, so the Polish Parliament declared 2021 Stanisław Lem Year. Lem published philosophical works, such as Dialogs (1957) and Summa Technologiae (1964), but he is best know as author of science-fiction works. These include the novels The Astronauts (1951; not his first novel but the first that made it past the censors) and Solaris (1961).

What seems interesting about Lem's science-fiction work is that it is interesting from a philosophical point of view: it covers themes such as the inability to understand alien civilisations, the limitations of human rationality (e.g. in Solaris) and even epistemological questions (e.g. in The Investigation).

I hope this author challenge will lead to discussions of themes and motifs in Lem's works rather than focusing on in-universe questions that can also be covered by Science Fiction and Fantasy Stack Exchange, where a tag for this author already exists.

The site has only 17 questions about at the moment and this would be our first topic challenge for Polish literature.

What's next?

1 Answer 1


List of all questions posted in this topic challenge

  1. What links the two parts of "Fiasco" by Stanisław Lem? by Gareth Rees, 14/10/2022 (5 votes, no answer; 97 views by 18 December).

  2. Theme of ‘The Twenty-first Voyage of Ijon Tichy’ by Stanisław Lem by Gareth Rees, 15/10/2022 (2 votes, no answer; 72 view by 18 December).

  3. Is there a translation or summary of Lem's short story "Crystal Ball"? by Clara Diaz Sanchez, 20/10/2022 (4 votes, 1 answer (self-answered); 132 views by 18 December).

  4. What aspects of Roman Ingarden's theory of literature does Stanisław Lem criticise and how? by Tsundoku, 01/11/2022 (2 votes, no answer before the end of November; 53 views by 18 December).

  5. What did Lem find in his game-theoretical analysis of the writings of Marquis de Sade? by Tsundoku, 03/11/2022 (7 votes, 2 answers, HNQ; 523 view by 18 December).

  6. add entries in the form https://literature.stackexchange.com/questions/<question-ID> by [username](https://literature.stackexchange.com/users/<user-ID>), dd/mm/2022.

The highest-voted of these is What did Lem find in his game-theoretical analysis of the writings of Marquis de Sade?, with a score of 7 at the end of November.

The most viewed is What did Lem find in his game-theoretical analysis of the writings of Marquis de Sade?, with approximately 523 views by 18 December.

2 questions received at least one answer during the topic challenge period.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .