Andrzej Sapkowski, 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.
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 five novels. This cycle and his many 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.
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. 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 and final game in the trilogy, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, was released in May 2015.
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.