“Exploring Polish Science Fiction and Fantasy - 100 years of Stanisław Lem” is prepared and produced by Talk Eastern Europe. This limited podcast series is being conducted in conjunction with the Year of Stanisław Lem 2021 - a special commemoration being held in Poland.
Throughout this series, we will discover together with experts and writers the impact that Stanisław Lem has had in Poland and abroad. We will learn more about Lem’s story, his philosophy and some controversies along the way. We will also look at contemporary literature and bring to light some new Polish authors following in Lem’s footsteps. We invite you to join us on this journey… exploring Polish Science Fiction and Fantasy.
The series is supported by a grant from the Polish Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport under the grant program “Promotion of Polish Culture Abroad” from the Fund for the Promotion of Culture, obtained from subsidies established in games subject to state monopoly, in accordance with Art. 80 sec. 1 of the Act of November 19, 2009 on Gambling.
Trailer: Polish Science Fiction and Fantasy
Welcome to a special podcast series titled “Exploring Polish Science Fiction and Fantasy” prepared and produced by Talk Eastern Europe. This limited podcast series is being conducted in conjunction with the Year of Stanisław Lem 2021 - a special commemoration being held in Poland.
Episode 1: An introduction to Stanisław Lem
Welcome to the special 7-episode podcast series titled “Exploring Polish Science Fiction and Fantasy – 100 years of Stanisław Lem”.
In this introductory episode, co-hosts and producers - Adam Reichardt and Maciej Makulski – introduce the audience to the aim of this special podcast series and introduce the story of Stanisław Lem – Poland’s best known science fiction writer.
This year, Poland celebrates 100 years since Stanisław Lem’s birth (1921). As part of this commemoration, this podcast series will bring to an international the story of Lem and discuss his influence on Polish society and literature. It will look at the role he played in various fields beyond science fiction including philosophy, science and culture. In addition, we will explore current trends in Polish fictional literature.
Learn more about the "Year of Lem" at: https://roklema.pl/
We hope you enjoy this series and learn more about Polish science fiction and fantasy!
This podcast series is researched, written and produced by Adam Reichardt and Maciej Makulski of Talk Eastern Europe. Additional research was completed by Arkadiusz Zając. The podcast series is supported by a grant from the Polish Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport under the grant program “Promotion of Polish Culture Abroad”. If you would like to learn more about New Eastern Europe podcasts, visit www.neweasterneurope.eu.
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Episode 2: The Life of Stanislaw Lem
The second episode of the series explores the most dreadful experience of Stanislaw Lem’s life. He and his parents survived the second world war and the holocaust, but they lost close relatives and had to leave their home city – Lviv. How had those dramatic events influenced Lem’s writing and life is the primary part of the episode’s plot.
Professor Agnieszka Gajewska of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, the author of Stanisław Lem’s biography (2021), guides us in discovering and comprehending this sensitive, complex, and important topic.
Agnieszka Gajewska, “Wypędzony z Wysokiego Zamku”, Wydawnictwo Literackie, 2021, https://www.wydawnictwoliterackie.pl/produkt/3972/stanislaw-lem-wypedzony-z-wysokiego-zamku
Wojciech Orliński, „Lem. Życie nie z tej ziemi” (2021), https://czarne.com.pl/katalog/ksiazki/lem
Episode Host: Maciej Makulski
Voice over: Alicja Baczyńska
Episode 3: The Philosophy of Stanislaw Lem
Stanisław Lem was not only a science fiction writer, he was also a futurist and a philosopher.
In this episode, we get to hear from Jakub Gomułka - a Polish philosopher and professor at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Pedagogical University of Kraków.
His research is focused on the relationship between culture and technology, as well as the problem of the mind, especially in the context of artificial intelligence. In this context, he has been analyzing and studying the philosophy of Stanisław Lem - as can be understood through his writings. This year, Gomułka released, together with colleagues, the first volume of a two-volume anthology on the philosophy of Lem titled in English: Philosophical Lem: A collection of Stanisław Lem’s texts and their elaboration. There was a lot of interest and discussions in Poland surrounding the publication.
The book is available in Polish at: https://ksiegarnia.pwn.pl/Filozoficzny-Lem,910913671,p.html
Episode host: Adam Reichardt
Episode 4: Science fiction, art and the imagination of Lem
Literature and art has always had a special relationship in Poland. During the 1960s and 70s, this was no exception. In this episode, we hear from Andrzej Zaręba - a Kraków-based artist and illustrator for New Eastern Europe. Andrzej talks about his childhood in Kraków and the role of art in literature, including the artists like Daniel Mróz - the special illustrator for Stanisław Lem's science fiction. Andrzej also describes the unique bond between drawing and fantastical fiction writing.
See more illustrations by Andrzej Zaręba: https://neweasterneurope.eu/2021/01/20/andrzej-zareba-political-cartoonss-2/
Host: Adam Reichardt
Episode 5: The Impact of Lem Abroad
In this episode, we look at Lem’s reputation abroad. He was obviously known as a serious science fiction writer, and his books have been translated into over 50 languages. At the same time, Stanisław Lem did not enjoy the fame and celebrityhood a lot of his western contemporaries did.
To understand how Lem was received outside of Poland during his times of writing and afterwards, we hear from with Bruce Sterling - a well-known American science fiction writer who is also considered one of the founding fathers of the cyberpunk movement. Bruce has reflected a lot on the role of Lem in the genre of science fiction and has followed Lem throughout the years.
More about Bruce Sterling: https://www.edge.org/memberbio/bruce_sterling
Host: Adam Reichardt