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Wiadomości - Nicolai

Strony: [1] 2
Forum in English / Re: How do I convert binary to decimal and vice versa?
« dnia: Marzec 25, 2012, 10:33:55 pm »
"I am not a bot", whoa, that's plenty convincing:)
Indeed, I think he should be tested!

Forum in English / Re: Gretting from georgia
« dnia: Maj 27, 2011, 03:52:48 pm »
What's the matter?

Forum in English / Re: Gretting from georgia
« dnia: Maj 21, 2011, 05:40:17 pm »
I envy you georgian. I wish I'd encountered the imaginative worlds of Lem earlier in life.

... we have billions of old Lem's books here they're almost laying on the streets:)
Ha, are any of them signed? ;)

Forum in English / Re: Star Diaries - two translations?
« dnia: Maj 21, 2011, 05:27:09 pm »
From Michael Kandel's 'Translator's Note' in The Star Diaries:
My translation was done from the 1971 Polish fourth edition. It does not include the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy (to which group The Futurological Congress, The Seabury Press, 1974, belongs), where the action takes place on Earth, nor the Eighteenth Voyage (in which Tichy is responsible—or rather, to blame—for creating the world), nor the Twenty-fourth. The latter can be found in Darko Suvin's Other Worlds, Other Seas, Random House, 1970. There was a Twenty-sixth Voyage too, a cold war satire, which the author later discarded, more for esthetic than political reasons. Also, the last few pages of the Twenty-second Voyage have been omitted.
Does anyone know why the Eighteenth Voyage and the last few pages of the Twenty-second were omitted?

Was the Twenty-sixth Voyage published before Lem discarded it and will it ever see the light of day?

Forum in English / Re: The Lem Encyclopedia
« dnia: Kwiecień 29, 2011, 01:49:23 am »
I've created the following pages for two of Lem's short stories:
'The Third Sally, or The Dragons of Probability Danish Science Fiction Cirklen 2007'
'Ananke Danish Science Fiction Cirklen 2007'

However, I'm afraid the headings need some editing as I added information that when saved is displayed in a rather awkward way. Sorry about that.  :)

Forum in English / Re: 'Maska' - a short film adaptation by the Quay Brothers
« dnia: Kwiecień 20, 2011, 06:15:03 pm »
At least it will pique the curiosity of future Lem readers.

Forum in English / Re: 'Maska' - a short film adaptation by the Quay Brothers
« dnia: Kwiecień 18, 2011, 06:27:41 pm »
Heh, you should see some of old-school Polish cinemas. We had this long-running cult cinema "AMOK" in Gliwice, Poland, it had like 40 chairs, and I mean literally, wooden chairs falling apart.
Isn't that a basic requirement for a cinema to receive the "cult" stamp of approval?

Anyway, I merely mentioned it in case someone considered watching "Maska" at the festival and expected it to be shown on a large screen.

Anyway - I'm highly sceptical about seeing this thing in Poland, maybe I'll take my chances somewhere else... Unless some small studio cinema will try it. Eh, a shame alltogether. I envy you :)
I sincerely hope you get the opportunity to watch it in a cinema.
Aren't there any upcoming film festivals where it might be shown? How about Plus Camerimage in Łódź (although far from upcoming)? A search for "Maska" on the official website provides no results so at least it seems they didn't screen it last year.

I don't consider the following ghastly piece of news worthy of a thread of its own so read it at your own risk:
Roger Christian Adapting Stanislaw Lem's Memoirs Found in a Bathtub

The horror... the horror...

Forum in English / Re: 'Maska' - a short film adaptation by the Quay Brothers
« dnia: Kwiecień 10, 2011, 05:56:08 pm »
Since the short is created by the Quay Brothers I can almost guarantee that it's imbued with ethereal qualities. Check out the brothers' amazing 'Street of Crocodiles' (1986) for a marvellous look into a unique world of their creation. It's inspired by polish author Bruno Schulz' short story 'The Street of Crocodiles' and is a perfect example of their non-literal approach to adaptation.

'Maska' will be shown here in Copenhagen (with English subtitles) at the Danish film festival CPH PIX on the 15th, 21st & 30th of April in Husets Biograf (one of the smallest art houses in the city (62 seats in total)):

'Maska' is the second film screened in a collection of animated shorts called 'Modern Grotesque':

Presently the web site is almost entirely in Danish - however, a printed catalogue in English is available for purchase - but here's a short description of the festival:

Truly magnificient indeed.
Yes, the voiceover is a reading of "Maska", first sentence translates roughly to:
"Father, I again answer you I don't know, because even though I wish him no wrong, what's inscribed in me might overcome my will..."

I couldn't thank you enough for finding this.
You're welcome. And thank you for answering my query and translating the dialogue.

This is excellent! I love the short story, "Maska"!  When I read this story at the end of the Michael Kandel collection of Lem's robot fiction, MORTAL ENGINES, I found it to be very thought provoking. It's one of his sadder robot stories, yet it's one of his most sophisticated.
I couldn't agree more, it's an amazing and very powerful story.

Will it be available for U.S. distribution, or will it only be for European audiences?
I don't know but at least I'm quite sure that it will be available on MUBI.com at some point as is the case with several other films by the Quay Brothers:
Stephen Quay
Timothy Quay

The short was screened about a month ago at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (full details available at http://www.filmfestivalrotterdam.com/en/films/maska/), and subsequently Ard Vijn posted the following review on Twitch:
It is no secret that over here at Twitch we are big fans of Stephen and Timothy Quay, also known as the Quay Brothers. They make films which consist either wholly or partly of inventive, artful stop-motion animation, and which portray dark atmospheric tales.

Their work is often compared to that of Jan Svankmajer and Terry Gilliam, and indeed all four can be considered fans of each other.
And this year, the International Film Festival Rotterdam showed their newest short "Maska", a rare chance to seeing it on a big screen.

We covered "Maska" already on this site and for good reason: it's based on a story written by Stanislaw Lem of "Solaris" fame.
With this much talent involved and lasting only 24 minutes, can "Maska" fulfill its promise? Read on!

The Story:

Scientists create a beautiful woman. Given the name "Countess Duenna", she is sent to the King's court and once there, a man falls in love with her. But her delight turns to horror when she discovers what she really is and to what purpose she has been created. This knowledge brings her to a difficult decision...

The Short:

Adapted from a novel by Stanislaw Lem or not, with the slow brooding style used by the Brothers Quay there is not a lot of story you can put in only twenty four minutes. People expecting an earth-shattering tale of psychological insight may therefore feel a bit disappointed in the simple plot.

However, literal storytelling is not what is being aimed at here. Rather, "Maska" is a mood piece. It is no coincidence that the creature known as Duenna is beautiful-looking, both as a woman and as a "terminator", while the true humans all look decayed and burnt. Dust, smoke and subdued colors give the impression of faded grandeur in this kingdom, most notably in the corrupted palaces of its leaders.

But In the hands of the Brothers Quay, even the corruption looks beautiful though. Their stop-motion animation may in itself look artificial and jittery, their visual compositions are nothing short of gorgeous. Combined with the bombastic orchestral score by Krzysztof Penderecki and some inventive lighting and editing, "Maska" is a treat for the senses.


I had read a lot about the Brothers Quay but had only caught occasional glimpses of their work. After having seen "Maska" I rushed to the store to buy collections of their work on DVD.

Short but awesome, "Maska" is highly recommended.

I saw that Audible was selling an audio book of SOLARIS (though it was published by the BBC, but Audible was holding it). Does that mean that this version of SOLARIS is the Bill Johnston translation we've all been waiting for in audio book format before becoming an e-book, or is this an audio book of an earlier translation of SOLARIS?
It's a BBC radio play by Hattie Naylor; a 2 hour long two-part dramatization of Lem's novel:
I have no idea if it's based on the faber and faber edition but as the CD was released in 2008, it most likely has nothing to do with Bill Johnston's forthcoming translation.

A 3 minute sample is available on amazon.com:

An even shorter sample:

Apparently it's available in an abridged as well as an unabridged version but I haven't been able to clarify wherein the difference lies. The product details regarding either all state 2 hours as the running time.

Here's a review from amazon.co.uk:
Well, many years ago I read the book (Solaris) by Stanislaw Lem. It's a brilliant, if rather long book. As well as a love story, the book also contains a large section of scientific exposition, as the scientists try to unravel a wonderfully alien planet entity.

Then I saw the Tarkovsky film (Solaris [1972]) and was mesmerised by the hypnotic portrayal of the planet, plus engrossed by the human tragedy unfolding on the semi-derelict space station.

Next, I watched the Soderbergh (Solaris [2003]) version. An hour shorter than Tarkovsky, but still a bewitching film, and a beautiful soundtrack by Cliff Martinez.

And then I came to this radio play. Normally, I love radio plays because, and I know it's a bit of a cliché, the 'pictures are better'. But here, I'm afraid, they aren't.

The script seems to mirror the Soderbergh film script pretty closely but, in the radio 'environment' the central themes become far more the internal, psychological struggles of Chris Kelvin and the other scientists, far more a question of identity and memory, and far less about the relationship between humans and an incomprehensible but almost god-like alien presence.

That's not to say that the psychological themes were not present in the films and, to a lesser extent, the book, but in this radio play they become central and so, to my mind, the radio play looses some of the depth and majesty of the other versions.

Perhaps I was expecting too much and perhaps if I had not read and seen the earlier productions I would be less critical. But radio can deliver great science fiction. This is good, but not great.

(N.B. This production comes on two one hour CDs).

Forum in English / 'Maska' - a short film adaptation by the Quay Brothers
« dnia: Styczeń 24, 2011, 08:21:52 pm »
Wow... this looks absolutely amazing. You can watch the trailer at Twitch. I wonder if the voice-over is a reading of the original text.

Forum in English / Re: A Mixed Bag of Questions
« dnia: Lipiec 19, 2008, 06:37:35 pm »
Hi Cetarian.

Maybe you have not received any more answers because the nature of your problem is not clear?
Or maybe you haven't read my previous post properly.
I was referring to a specific question regarding the drawings - not the one you have chosen to comment on.

Amazon.com has in stock both Star Diaries (two parts) and Mortal Engines you initially asked about.
Plus about two dozen other books by Lem.
I know that. And I have purchased the books from elsewhere.

Why bother with writing to the publishing houses?
Because I was curious and needed some information. Why not?

- Nicolai

Forum in English / Re: A Mixed Bag of Questions
« dnia: Lipiec 18, 2008, 08:16:48 pm »
Are Daniel Mroz' wonderful drawings by any chance included in the Andre Deutsch Ltd/Harcourt editions of Mortal Engines? I haven't been able to find out as I live in Denmark and therefore can't just waltz into the nearest bookstore and check it out for myself. And the sample pages at amazon.com do not show any of the drawings but of course they might still be included.
So?  :)
Since no one has bothered to answer my question I'll do it myself:
They aren't included.  :'(

Forum in English / Re: A Mixed Bag of Questions
« dnia: Maj 12, 2008, 07:29:54 pm »
I really envy you... and I wish I could take part in the discussions at the Polish version of this forum... seems there's a lot more activity.  ;)
There is, indeed... but I'll learn you to a secret: a large part of the discussions has a very loose connection with Lem's books (however, they are still very interesting).
I bet they are.  ;)

Thanks Mieslaw! How many of Lem's books did Mroz illustrate? Any other than The Cyberiad and Mortal Engines?
That's a good question. I looked here and there and found out that only these two (which makes Orlinski's statement not very precise). The website, which this forum belongs to, contains Daniel Mroz's Gallery, where we can read: Daniel Mroz, a famous Polish artist, illustrated Stanislaw Lem's 'The Cyberiad' and 'Mortal Engines'.
Yeah I read that too. Thanks for all the info Mieslaw - not to mention that you replied to my first post!

By the way, for anyone interested this is the response I got from the Sales and Marketing Coordinator at Northwestern University Press:
Dear Nicolai,

As of now we have no plans to publish more titles from Lem, but it is good to hear there are interested readers out there, especially with Lem's books growing scarcer. I will pass along your note to the acquisitions editors, for certain.

Drew Dir

Forum in English / Re: A Mixed Bag of Questions
« dnia: Maj 09, 2008, 01:45:31 pm »
I can't help you with the new editions as I live in Poland (and have luck to read Lem's books in original).
I really envy you... and I wish I could take part in the discussions at the Polish version of this forum... seems there's a lot more activity.  ;)

As for Solaris - the book itself is great, but the first English translation by Joanna Kilmartin and Steve Cox are considered very poor (and they translated it from French).
Yeah, I know. It's terribly sad... I seriously hope someone will do something about it soon...
I wonder if Kandel would be up for it.

Lem met Mroz when they both were working for "Przekroj" magazine. Wojciech Orliński in his book about Lem (which was printed only in Poland) wrote (my translation): he liked his art and his way of interpreting novels so much that he made him someone like the official illustrator.

I'm unable to answer the rest of your questions, but maybe other users will do it. Anyway, feel free to ask.
Thanks Mieslaw! How many of Lem's books did Mroz illustrate? Any other than The Cyberiad and Mortal Engines?


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