Polish Speculative Fiction in Translation

If someone mentions Polish speculative fiction in translation (SFT), you might immediately think about the prolific and much-translated Stanislaw Lem, or perhaps the fantasy writer Andrzej Sapkowski, whose Witcher series started off as a single short story and expanded into a wildly-popular series and then a comic, a film, and a video game.

And yet, these are just two of many names that Anglophone readers should get to know. Two others that come to mind are Marek Huberath (whose Nest of Worlds was translated by Michael Kandel and published by Restless Books in 2014) and Jacek Dukaj (whose The Old Axolotl: Hardware Dreams, translated by Stanley Bill, came out in 2015 from Allegro). Dukaj’s Ice may also come out in English in a few years, but we need to keep our fingers crossed! It is a mammoth and very difficult translation project, but we look forward to its completion so we can sink our eyeballs into it.

Polish SFT encompasses the broad range of speculative fiction: from the sci-fi of Dukaj to the magical realism of Huberath and everything in between. Also, a recent biography of Lem has been published in Polish and hopefully it will be translated into English soon.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of Polish SFT, so if you’d like to learn more about it and find out where you should start, check out the list below. And for a more in-depth essay on the history and current state of Polish speculative fiction in general, see “Balloon to Solaris” by Tomasz Kołodziejczak in the  Words Without Borders December 2009 issue
http://www.wordswithoutborders.org/article/balloon-to-solaris/

 

NOVELS
The Old Axolotl: Hardware Dreams by Jacek Dukaj, translated by Stanley Bill (Allegro, 2015)
On the Hill of Roses by Stefan Grabinski, translated by Miroslaw Lipinski (Hieroglyphic Press, 2012)
The Dark Domain by Stefan Grabinski, translated by Mroslaw Lipinski (Dedalus Limited, 1993)
Nest of Worlds by Marek S. Huberath, translated by Michael Kandel (Restless Books, 2014)
Kaytek the Wizard by Janusz Korczak, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Penlight, 2012)
The Chain of Chance by Stanislaw Lem, translated by Louis Iribarne (Harcourt, 1978)
Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem, translated by Michael Kandel (Harcourt, 2002)
Eden by Stanislaw Lem, translated by Marc E. Heine (Harcourt, 1989)
Fiasco by Stanislaw Lem, translated by Michael Kandel (Harcourt, 1987)
The Futurological Congress: From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy by Stanislaw Lem, translated by Michael Kandel (Mariner Books, 1985)
His Master’s Voice by Stanislaw Lem, translated by Michael Kandel (Northwestern UP, 1999)
Imaginary Magnitude by Stanislaw Lem, translated by Marc E. Heine (1981 / Harcourt, 1984)
The Invincible by Stanislaw Lem, translated from the German by Wendayne Ackerman (Seabury Press, 1973)
Memoirs Found in a Bathtub by Stanislaw Lem, translated by Michael Kandel and Christine Rose (Seabury Press, 1973)
Memoirs of a Space Traveler: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy by Stanislaw Lem, translated by Joel Stern and Maria Swiecicka-Ziemianek (HBJ Books, 1983)
Mortal Engines by Stanislaw Lem, translated by Michael Kandel (Seabury Press, 1977)
Peace on Earth by Stanislaw Lem, translated by Elinor Ford, with Michael Kandel (Harcourt, 1994)
Return From the Stars by Stanislaw Lem, translated by Barbara Marszal and Frank Simpson (Harcourt, 1980)
Solaris by Stanislaw Lem, translated by Joanna Kilmartin and Steve Cox (Mariner, 2002)
The Star Diaries by Stanislaw Lem, translated by Michael Kandel (Harvest Books, 1985)
Tales of Pirx the Pilot by Stanislaw Lem, translated by Louis Iribarne (Harcourt, 1979)
The Mountains of Parnassus by Czeslaw Milosz, translated by Stanley Bill (Yale University Press, 2017)
The Last Wish: Introducing the Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski , translated by David French (Orbit, 2008)
Blood of Elves (The Witcher Series, Book 1) by Andrzej Sapkowski, translated by Danusia Stok (Orbit, 2009)
The Time of Contempt (The Witcher Series, Book 2) by Andrzej Sapkowski, translated by David French (Orbit, 2013)
Baptism of Fire (The Witcher Series, Book 3) by Andrzej Sapkowski, translated by David French (Orbit, 2014)
Sword of Destiny (The Witcher Series, stories) by Andrzej Sapkowski, translated by David French (Orbit, 2015)
The Tower of Swallows (The Witcher Series, Book 4) by Andrzej Sapkowski,  translated by David French (Orbit, 2016)
Lady of the Lake (The Witcher Series, Book 5) by Andrzej Sapkowski, translated by David French (Orbit Books, 2017)
Season of Storms by Andrzej Sapkowski, translated by David French (Orbit, 2018)
A Polish Book of Monsters: Five Dark Tales From Contemporary Poland, edited and translated by Michael Kandel (PIASA Books, 2010)
The Cosmic Carnival of Stanislaw Lem : An Anthology of Entertaining Stories by the Modern Master of Science Fiction, translated by Michael Kandel (Continuum, 1984)
Lemistry: A Celebration of the Work of Stanislaw Lem, Lem stories translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Comma Press, 2012)

SHORT STORIES/EXCERPTS
Smokopolitan: English issue (nr 7)
Excerpt from Two Ends of the World (1937) by Antoni Słonimski, translated from the Polish by Paulina Duda & Jodi Greig (Alchemy, 2014)
“Strabismus” by Stefan Grabiński, translated from the Polish by Miroslaw Lipinski (Weird Fiction Review, 2012)
“From Man From Mars” by Stanislaw Lem, translated from the Polish by Peter Swirski (Words Without Borders, 2009)
“From Key of Passage” by Tomasz Kołodziejczak, translated from the Polish by Michael Kandel (Words Without Borders, 2009)

By Rachel S. Cordasco

Rachel Cordasco has a Ph.D in literary studies and currently works as a developmental editor. When she’s not at her day job or chasing three kids, she’s writing reviews and translating Italian speculative fiction. She runs the website sfintranslation.com, and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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