Andrzej Sapkowski

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Andrzej Sapkowski
Andrzej Sapkowski - Lucca Comics and Games 2015 2.JPG
Sapkowski at Lucca Comics and Games 2015
Born (1948-06-21) 21 June 1948 (age 71)
Łódź, Poland
Occupation Novelist
Genre Fantasy, history
Notable works The Witcher saga
The Hussite Trilogy
Notable awards Janusz A. Zajdel Award
Paszport Polityki
Medal for Merit to Culture - Gloria Artis
World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement
David Gemmell Legend Award
Ignotus Award
European Science Fiction Society Award

Signature Andrzej Sapkowski signature.JPG

Andrzej Sapkowski (Polish pronunciation:  [ˈandʐɛj sapˈkɔfskʲi] ; born 21 June 1948) is a Polish fantasy writer. He is best known for his book series, The Witcher . His books have been translated into about 20 languages. [1]

Poles people from Poland

The Poles, commonly referred to as the Polish people, are a nation and West Slavic ethnic group native to Poland in Central Europe who share a common ancestry, culture, history, and are native speakers of the Polish language. The population of self-declared Poles in Poland is estimated at 37,394,000 out of an overall population of 38,538,000, of whom 36,522,000 declared Polish alone.

Fantasy Genre of literature, film, television and other artforms

Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often inspired by real world myth and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became literature and drama. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, television, graphic novels, manga and video games.

<i>The Witcher</i> series of fantasy short stories and six novels about the witcher Geralt of Rivia

The Witcher, by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski, is a fantasy series of short stories and novels about the protagonist character Geralt of Rivia. In Sapkowski's books, "witchers" like Geralt are monster hunters who develop supernatural abilities at a young age to battle deadly beasts. The books have been adapted into a film, a television series, video games, and a graphic novel series. The series of novels is known as the Witcher Saga. The short stories and novels have been translated into numerous languages, including English.



Sapkowski novels on display occupying two shelves at an Empik bookstore in Katowice, Poland Polish sci fi fantasy books.JPG
Sapkowski novels on display occupying two shelves at an Empik bookstore in Katowice, Poland

Sapkowski studied economics at the University of Łódź, and before turning to writing, he had worked as a senior sales representative for a foreign trade company. He started his literary career as a translator, in particular, of science fiction. He says he wrote his first short story, "The Witcher" ("Wiedźmin", also translated "The Hexer" or "Spellmaker") on a whim, in order to enter a contest by Polish science fiction and fantasy magazine Fantastyka . In an interview he said that being a businessman at the time and thus familiar with marketing, he knew how to sell, and indeed, he won the 3rd prize. [2] The story was published in Fantastyka in 1986 and was enormously successful both with readers and critics. Sapkowski has created a cycle of tales based on the world of "The Witcher", comprising three collections of short stories and five novels. This cycle and his many other works have made him one of the best-known fantasy authors in Poland in the 1990s. [3]

University of Łódź university in Poland

The University of Łódź is a public research university founded in 1945 in Łódź, Poland, as a continuation of educational institutions functioning in Łódź in the interwar period — the Teacher Training Institute (1921–1928), the Higher School of Social and Economic Sciences (1924–1928) and a division of the Free Polish University (1928–1939).

Short story Chinese Mirja work of literature, usually written in narrative prose

A short story is a piece of prose fiction that typically can be read in one sitting and focuses on a self-contained incident or series of linked incidents, with the intent of evoking a "single effect" or mood, however there are many exceptions to this.

Fantastyka is a Polish speculative fiction monthly fantasy and science fiction magazine.

The main character of "The Witcher" is Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter trained for this since childhood. Geralt exists in a morally ambiguous universe, yet manages to maintain his own coherent code of ethics. At the same time cynical and noble, Geralt has been compared to Raymond Chandler's signature character Philip Marlowe. [3] The world in which these adventures take place is heavily influenced by Slavic mythology. [4]

Geralt of Rivia fictional character from the Witcher series

Geralt of Rivia is a fictional character, the protagonist of The Witcher series of short stories and novels by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski, as well as its adaptations, which include film, TV series, comic books and video games. Geralt, one of the few remaining witchers on the Continent, is a traveling monster slayer for hire, mutated and trained from an early age to slay deadly beasts.

Raymond Chandler American novelist and screenwriter

Raymond Thornton Chandler was an American-British novelist and screenwriter. In 1932, at the age of forty-four, Chandler became a detective fiction writer after losing his job as an oil company executive during the Great Depression. His first short story, "Blackmailers Don't Shoot", was published in 1933 in Black Mask, a popular pulp magazine. His first novel, The Big Sleep, was published in 1939. In addition to his short stories, Chandler published seven novels during his lifetime. All but Playback have been made into motion pictures, some more than once. In the year before his death, he was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America.

Philip Marlowe fictional character created by Raymond Chandler

Philip Marlowe is a fictional character created by Raymond Chandler. Marlowe first appeared under that name in The Big Sleep, published in 1939. Chandler's early short stories, published in pulp magazines like Black Mask and Dime Detective, featured similar characters with names like "Carmady" and "John Dalmas".

Translations of his books and other derivative works

Sapkowski's books have been translated into Czech, Georgian, Hungarian, Russian, Lithuanian, German, Spanish, French, Chinese, Ukrainian, Portuguese, Finnish, Slovak, Bulgarian, Serbian, English, Italian, Dutch, Turkish, Estonian, Romanian and Swedish. An English translation of The Last Wish short story collection was published by Gollancz in 2007. [5] From 2008, the Witcher saga is published by Gollancz. [6] The English translation of Sapkowski's novel Blood of Elves won the David Gemmell Legend Award in 2009. [7] [8]

<i>The Last Wish</i> (book) short story collection by Andrzej Sapkowski

The Last Wish is the first of the two collections of short stories preceding the main Witcher Saga, written by Polish fantasy writer Andrzej Sapkowski. The first Polish edition was published in 1993 and the first English edition was first published in 2007. The book has also been translated into several other languages.

Victor Gollancz Ltd British publishing company

Victor Gollancz Ltd was a major British book publishing house of the twentieth century. It was founded in 1927 by Victor Gollancz and specialised in the publication of high quality literature, nonfiction and popular fiction, including crime, detective, mystery, thriller and science fiction. Upon Gollancz's death in 1967, ownership passed to his daughter, Livia, who sold it to Houghton Mifflin in 1989. Three years later, in October 1992, Houghton Mifflin sold Gollancz to the publishing house Cassell & Co. Cassell and Orion Publishing Group were acquired by Hachette in 1996, and in December 1998 the merged Orion/Cassell group turned Gollancz into its science fiction/fantasy imprint.

<i>Blood of Elves</i> novel by Andrzej Sapkowski

Blood of Elves is the first novel in the Witcher Saga written by the Polish fantasy writer Andrzej Sapkowski, first published in Poland in 1994. It is a sequel to the Witcher short stories collected in the books The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny and is followed by Time of Contempt. The book won the Janusz A. Zajdel Award and David Gemmell Legend Award awards. An English translation was published in the United Kingdom in 2008 (Gollancz) and in the United States in 2009 (Orbit).

In 2001, a television series based on the Witcher cycle was released in Poland and internationally, entitled Wiedźmin (The Hexer). A film by the same title was compiled from excerpts of the television series but both have been critical and box office failures.[ citation needed ]

Wiedźmin is a 2002 fantasy television series. 13 episodes were made.

The Polish game developer, CD Projekt Red, created a role-playing game series based on The Witcher universe. The first game, titled simply The Witcher , was first released in October 2007. [9] The sequel, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was released in 2011. [10] The third game in the trilogy, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt , was released in May 2015. [11]

<i>The Witcher</i> (video game) 2007 video game

The Witcher is an action role-playing game developed by CD Projekt Red and published by Atari, based on the novel series of The Witcher by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. The story takes place in a medieval fantasy world and follows Geralt of Rivia, one of a few traveling monster hunters who have supernatural powers, known as Witchers. The game's system of moral choices as part of the storyline was noted for its time-delayed consequences and lack of black-and-white morality.

<i>The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings</i> 2011 video game

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is an action role-playing hack and slash video game developed by CD Projekt Red for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, OS X, and Linux. The game was released for Microsoft Windows in May 2011, for Xbox 360 and OS X in 2012, and for Linux in 2014.

<i>The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt</i> action role-playing video game developed by CD Projekt RED

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a 2015 action role-playing game developed and published by CD Projekt, based on The Witcher series of fantasy novels by Andrzej Sapkowski. It is the sequel to the 2011 game The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. Played in an open world with a third-person perspective, players control protagonist Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter known as a witcher, who is looking for his missing adopted daughter on the run from the Wild Hunt: an otherworldly force determined to capture and use her powers. Players battle the game's many dangers with weapons and magic, interact with non-player characters, and complete main-story and side quests to acquire experience points and gold, which are used to increase Geralt's abilities and purchase equipment. Its central story has several endings, determined by the player's choices at certain points in the game.

In May 2017, The Witcher was picked up by Netflix to be adapted as a television series. Sapkowski will serve as a creative consultant on the project. [12]

Awards and recognition

Sapkowski is a recipient of numerous awards from Polish fandom. Sapkowski has won five Zajdel Awards, including three for short stories "Mniejsze zło" ("Lesser Evil") (1990), "Miecz przeznaczenia" ("Sword of Destiny") (1992) and "W leju po bombie" ("In a Bomb Crater") (1993), and two for the novels, Krew elfów (Blood of Elves) (1994) and Narrenturm (2002). He also won the Spanish Ignotus Award, best anthology, for The Last Wish in 2003, and for Muzykanci (The Musicians), best foreign short story, same year. In 2003 he was nominated for one of Poland's most prestigious literary prizes Nike Award for his novel Narrenturm. He also received several Russian fandom awards [13] and was awarded Sfinks Award  [ pl ], the readers' award of the SFinks  [ pl ] magazine, in 1995, 1997, 1998 (two awards), 2000, 2005, 2007.

Since 2008 he has been an honorary citizen of the city of Łódź.

In 2005 Stanisław Bereś conducted a lengthy interview with Sapkowski that was eventually published in a book form as Historia i fantastyka . [21]


The Witcher Saga

Short story collections

  • The Witcher (Wiedźmin, 1990), 5 stories. Currently out of print, although 4 of its stories were reprinted in The Last Wish along with new material, and the other one was reprinted in Something ends, Something begins and The Malady and Other Stories.
  • Sword of Destiny (Miecz przeznaczenia, 1992), 6 stories. English edition: 2015 [22]
  • The Last Wish (Ostatnie życzenie, 1993), 7 stories. English edition: 2007 (in US: 2008). Its stories (including both its original stories and the stories which it republishes from The Witcher ) take place before Sword of Destiny even though it was published later.
  • The short story "The Hexer" in the English anthology Chosen by Fate: Zajdel Award Winner Anthology (by SuperNOVA in cooperation with the Silesian Club of Fantasy Literature, 2000) is an English translation by Agnieszka Fulińska of the short story "The Witcher" which had previously been published in Polish in The Witcher and The Last Wish. The Last Wish was later translated into English in full.
  • The short story "Spellmaker" in the English anthology A Polish Book of Monsters (edited and translated by Michael Kandel, 2010) is another translation of the short story "The Witcher" which had previously been published in The Witcher,The Last Wish, and Chosen by Fate: Zajdel Award Winner Anthology. [23]
  • Something ends, Something begins (Coś się kończy, coś się zaczyna, 2000), 8 stories. It has not yet been officially translated into English, although only two of its stories are related to The Witcher saga ("The Road with No Return" and the titular "Something Ends, Something Begins"), and they were both republished in The Malady and Other Stories, which was translated into English.
  • The Malady and Other Stories (Maladie i inne opowiadania, 2012), 10 stories. English edition: 2014. Only two of its stories are related to The Witcher saga ("The Road with No Return" and "Something Ends, Something Begins").


Standalone novel

  • Season of Storms (Sezon burz, 2013). English edition: 22 May 2018 – set between the short stories in The Last Wish. [27]

Hussite Trilogy

Other novels

Other works

See also

Related Research Articles

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Witcher may refer to:

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<i>Time of Contempt</i> novel by Andrzej Sapkowski

Time of Contempt is the second novel in the Witcher Saga written by Polish fantasy writer Andrzej Sapkowski, first published 1995 in Polish, and 2013 in English. It is a sequel to the first Witcher novel Blood of Elves and is followed by Baptism of Fire.

<i>Baptism of Fire</i> (novel) novel by Andrzej Sapkowski

Baptism of Fire is the third novel in the Witcher Saga written by Polish fantasy writer Andrzej Sapkowski, first published in 1996 in Polish and in English in 2014. It is a sequel to the second Witcher novel Time of Contempt and is followed by The Tower of Swallows.

<i>Sword of Destiny</i> short story collection by Andrzej Sapkowski

Sword of Destiny, is the second of the two collections of short stories, both preceding the main Witcher Saga. The stories were written by Polish fantasy writer Andrzej Sapkowski. The first Polish edition was published in 1992; the English edition was published in the UK by Gollancz in 2015.

The Tower of the Swallow, known as The Tower of Swallows in the United States is the fourth novel in the Witcher Saga written by Polish fantasy writer Andrzej Sapkowski, first published in Poland in 1997. It is a sequel to the third Witcher novel Baptism of Fire and is followed by the final entry in the series, The Lady of the Lake.

Season of Storms is the sixth novel and eighth overall book in the Witcher series written by Polish fantasy writer Andrzej Sapkowski, first published in Poland in 2013. It is not a sequel to the original Witcher Saga, but rather is set between the short stories in the first book in the series, The Last Wish.

Wiedźmin is a Polish mythological figure, a "male witch" or warlock, see Vedmak

The Hussite Trilogy is a historical fantasy by the Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. It consists of three books, Narrenturm, Boży bojownicy and Lux perpetua. It is set in the Lands of the Bohemian Crown during the Hussite Wars (1419–1434). The protagonist is Reynevan, a doctor and magician.


  1. "Andrzej Sapkowski - Biografia".
  2. НО МЫ ЖЕ СЛАВЯНЕ! РАЗГОВОР С АНДЖЕЕМ САПКОВСКИМ, An interview with Sapkowski for Russian monthly magazine "World of Fatnastics"
  3. 1 2 ‹See Tfd› (in Polish) Marek Oramus Jedynie słuszny wizerunek wiedźmina , Polityka – nr 36 (2261) from 2000-09-02; pp. 52–54
  4. The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski , fantasybookreview
  5. "The Last Wish Cover Reveal. . . of sorts!". Gollancz blog.
  6. "Blood of elves".
  7. "The final 2008 longlist for the David Gemmell Legends Award". 1 January 2009. Archived from the original on 6 February 2009. Retrieved 23 January 2009.
  8. Alison Flood, Gemmell prize for fantasy goes to Polish novel, Blood of Elves, Guardian, Friday 19 June 2009
  9. "The Witcher Official Website – Official Release Date!". Archived from the original on 9 July 2007. Retrieved 17 July 2007.
  10. Robinson, Andy (16 January 2010). "Witcher 2 release date confirmed". CVG. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
  11. Karmali, Luke (8 December 2014). "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt release date delayed again". IGN . Archived from the original on 29 March 2015.
  13. "Анджей Сапковский".
  14. "World Fantasy Awards 2016"
  15. "Minister Bogdan Zdrojewski wręczył medale „Zasłużony Kulturze - Gloria Artis”", April 14, 2014
  16. Gloria Artis award database, award dated by October 10, 2012
  17. ESFS Awards 2010-2015
  18. Flood, Alison (19 June 2009). "Gemmell prize for fantasy goes to Polish novel, Blood of Elves". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  19. "Andrzej Sapkowski - biography". October 2010.
  20. ESFS Awards 1990-1999
  21. Orliński, Wojciech (26 October 2005). "Historia i fantastyka, Bereś, Stanisław; Sapkowski, Andrzej". (in Polish). Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  22. "Sword of Destiny".
  23. "A Polish Book of Monsters: Five Dark Tales from Contemporary Poland".
  24. Amazon page
  25. "ISBN Unavailable". Orion Publishing Group.
  26. 1 2 "Gollancz Acquire Three More Witcher Novels". Gollancz blog.
  27. Aleksandra Ksann. "Sezon Burz - Wiedźmin - Andrzej Sapkowski - Serwis o filmach, książkach, grach i technologiach". Archived from the original on 13 March 2014.