Stanisław Herman Lem (Polish: [staˈɲiswaf ˈlɛm] (listen); 12/13 September 1921 – 27 March 2006) was a Polish writer of science fiction and essays on various subjects, including philosophy, futurology, and literary criticism. Many of his science fiction stories are of satirical and humorous character. Lem's books have been translated into over 40 languages and have sold over 45 million copies. Worldwide, he is best known as the author of the 1961 novel Solaris, which has been made into a feature film three times. In 1976 Theodore Sturgeon wrote that Lem was the most widely read science fiction writer in the world. Lem's science fiction works explore philosophical themes through speculations on technology, the nature of intelligence, the impossibility of communication with and understanding of alien intelligence, despair about human limitations, and humanity's place in the Universe. His essays and philosophical books cover these and many other topics. Translating his works is difficult due to Lem's elaborate neologisms and idiomatic wordplay. The Polish Parliament declared 2021 Stanisław Lem Year.