Solaris Author Honoured With Satellite

Poland's first ever satellite will be named after celebrated science fiction author Stanislaw Lem.

Close to 47,000 votes were cast in the public poll, with the writer beating off competition from 17th century astronomer Hevelius, space theorist Ary Sternfeld and Cracovian sorcerer Master Twardowski.

Lem, who was dubbed the "twentieth century Voltaire", is chiefly known in the West for his novel Solaris, which provided the inspiration for two films, one by earnest Russian Andrei Tarkovsky, (dubbed by Lem "Dostoevsky in outer space") the other by Hollywood bigshot Steven Soderbergh (referred to by Lem as "love in outer space").

The author, who survived both Soviet and Nazi occupatiom during the Second World War, was translated into some forty languages. He was a brilliantly witty man, perhaps best exemplified by The Cyberiad, his collection of "fables for the cybernetic age."


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