|Born||21 June 1948|
|Alma mater||University of Łódź|
|Notable works||The Witcher|
|Notable awards||Janusz A. Zajdel Award|
Medal for Merit to Culture - Gloria Artis
World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement
David Gemmell Legend Award
European Science Fiction Society Award
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, which has been translated into 37 languages making him the second most-translated Polish science fiction and fantasy writer after Stanisław Lem. His books sold over 15 million copies. He is the recipient of the David Gemmell Award and the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award.
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. 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 six novels. This cycle and his other works have made him one of the best-known fantasy authors in Poland in the 1990s.
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. The world in which these adventures take place is heavily influenced by Slavic mythology.
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, Korean, Swedish, Norwegian and Croatian. An English translation of The Last Wish short story collection was published by Gollancz in 2007. From 2008, the Witcher saga is published by Gollancz. The English translation of Sapkowski's novel Blood of Elves won the David Gemmell Legend Award in 2009.
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.
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. The sequel, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was released in 2011. The third game in the trilogy, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, was released in May 2015.
In May 2017, Netflix commissioned The Witcher, an English-language adaptation of the book series. The Witcher television series premiered on Netflix on 20 December 2019. Sapkowski served for a while as a creative consultant on the project.
Sapkowski admitted that The Witcher series was created at the request of his son, who was an avid reader of the Polish Fantastyka magazine.
In an interview, Sapkowski mentioned that his favorite writers included Ernest Hemingway, Mikhail Bulgakov, Raymond Chandler and Umberto Eco, and stated "I love their style, but I know I can never match them". When also asked about feminism, Sapkowski said "I believe that the feminine element dominates in nature. Women are generally stronger than men. All power of this world should be in the hands of women. Life, the world are too serious to leave it in our hands".
He resides in his hometown of Łódź in central Poland. He is an atheist.
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 and was awarded Sfinks Award, the readers' award of the SFinks 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.
Main article: The Witcher