Stanislaw Lem, Polish science fiction writer and Philip K. Dick fan.
Yesterday was the birthday of Stanislaw Lem (1921-2006), the famous Polish science fiction writer.
Lem's interactions with Philip K. Dick, a writer many Robert Anton Wilson fans also enjoy, were interesting, as this article from last year by Matt Davies from Culture.pl recalls.
Lem was famously hostile to American SF, insisting to the point of absurdity that it was all junk. (In hindsight, this feels like jealousy that he was ignored in the U.S. for years while becoming famous in the rest of the world. His resentment, if that's what was happening, seems understandable). The one exception Lem allowed was Dick. Lem thought Dick was "A Visionary Among the Charlatans," as Lem put it in an essay.
Dick repaid this praise by writing a crazy letter to the FBI in 1974, revealing to the feds that Lem, “probably a composite committee rather than an individual," was the main force behind a Communist conspiracy to control American minds.
Even then, it was pretty easy to figure out that Lem was an actual person. It's also an odd conspiracy that depends upon getting Americans to read a Polish science fiction writer in translation. I made a point of reading some Lem and enjoyed his work, but I doubt most American SF readers bothered. Science fiction fans with literary inclinations did read him, but I never saw any sign that Lem developed a mass following in the U.S.
Dick also made crazy accusations about Thomas M. Disch, as this piece notes.