science fiction
Rafał Kosik

Wake-up call against uncritical trust in technology

He realised something was wrong when two featureless musclemen in gold mirror visors blocked him on his regular evening run. The trees in the park were masking the glow of streetlights so he almost ran into them. He thought he was being mug- ged, which was probably the reason he reacted. He lurched sideways and tripped on the curb. He heard an electric crack and blue sparks shot over his head. He steadied himself with a hand on the grass and ru- shed straight ahead. He didn’t scream or look back, so as not to waste energy. He simply ran away as qu- ickly as he could. (…) They’d fallen behind, they were a good fifteen metres behind him. If he reached the doorway… there would be people, and CCTV cameras, lots of them. He dashed out into a cobbled path and covered the distance separating him from safety in a few seconds.

An orange Nysa stopped right outside the doorway. With a hiss of compressed air, the doors with the let- ters “EL” in a circular logo parted and four men in black and orange bodysuits and helmets with gold mirror visors jumped out. He hesitated in horror and almost stopped. He turned left and sprinted away, but he’d lost his advantage. He saw a blue flash and felt a sharp pain in his left shoulder. The rest of the charge broke up with a hiss on the wrought iron fence. Rose petals scattered like feathers from a torn pillow. He screamed and staggered. His now limp arm was slo- wing him down, but he ran on.

Two people were coming the other way. A police pa- trol! He opened his mouth, but didn’t manage to scre- am. Sparks danced on the pavement, along the cracks in the granite slabs. Needles of light struck his feet and his calves immediately went limp. He slumped to the ground, breaking his fall with his good hand. The policemen slowed down and observed the situation from some way away, curious,. He raised astonished eyes towards them and then understood – it wasn’t a mugging.

The stamp of heavy boots thudded by his ear. A knee pushed him down to the ground, his arms were twi- sted behind him and handcuffs snapped shut on his wrists. Three men hauled him upwards. He couldn’t stand by himself.

“Citizen Marek Reveda?” one of the heavies in black growled through his visor and continued without waiting for an answer. “Eliminator number eight-one. On behalf of the President of Warsaw I’m arresting you pre-emptively. The rights applying to you will be read out after confirmation of the legality of the arrest pro- cedure.”

His eyes swept helplessly from one mirorred visor to the next. By now he understood, but needed a little more time to believe it. I mean, he had a supper date in an hour and a meeting the following day – that project was back on track.

“What are…? he uttered with difficulty. “But I didn’t… I haven’t done…’

Before he could say anything else a cloth sack was pla- ced on his head. He felt the men pulling him, the tips of his shoes dragging on the pavement. But what’s…? I mean he’s wanted to buy a cat to have something living hanging around his house. He’d almost decided on a black one so you wouldn’t see the fur on the car- pet. He was going to wash his car and buy Anka a gift. So many things to do… So what the…?

Excerpt translated by David French Extended English sample available (

science fiction
Rafał Kosik

Wake-up call against uncritical trust in technology

Publisher: Powergraph, Warszawa 2017
Translation rights: Powergraph,

After the mysterious destruction of Earth, which occurred in an undefined past, humanity lives in a series of rings orbiting the Sun (hence the title of the novel). One of them hosts Warsaw. Nobody knows how food or other consumer goods are produced, no one knows whether or how they can travel to other rings, where cities from all over the world are located.

The author describes a system of points that are awarded to anyone who finds themselves in a stressful situation. This system, conceived in good faith to prevent crimes, in practice turned against the residents of Warsaw. After exceeding the appropriate limit, a person is subject to elimination, of which the only thing known is that it is inevitable and involves their removal from the city. The residents of Warsaw, unable to escape to another ring and terrified of elimination, are condemned to constant self-control.

Here arises the task for the protagonist, who has the ability to reduce the number of points he has; Harpad is a fixer, who helps – for a due price – those in need, who face mysterious and inevitable punishment if their points rise even more. Rosary is probably Kosik’s most multi-layered novel, in which we follow the fate of not one protagonist, but a large number of by no means secondary characters. The novel keeps the reader in suspense and it is not known until the very end what the driving force of the described world really is. The solution to the puzzle, as it is with Kosik, is subversive and thought-provoking. I will not be lying if I say that this author’s latest novel is one of the best texts in Polish fantasy, at least in recent years.

Michał Żarski, translated by Katarzyna Popowicz

Selected samples

Julita Deluga
Wojtek Wawszczyk, Tomasz Leśniak
Anna Kańtoch
Andrzej Bobkowski
Wisława Szymborska
Zdzisław Kranodębski
Andrzej Nowak
Wiesław Myśliwski
Jarosław Jakubowski
Anna Piwkowska
Roman Honet
Miłosz Biedrzycki
Wojciech Chmielewski
Aleksandra Majdzińska
Tomasz Różycki
Maciej Hen
Jakub Nowak
Elżbieta Cherezińska
歐菈·沃丹斯卡-波欽斯卡(Ola Woldańska-Płocińska)
作者:沃伊切赫·維德瓦克(Wojciech Widłak), 插圖:亞歷珊德拉·克珊諾夫斯卡(Aleksandra Krzanowska)
文字:莫妮卡·烏特尼-斯特魯加瓦(Monika Utnik-Strugała), 概念和插圖:皮歐特·索哈(Piotr Socha)
作者:亞格涅絲卡·斯特爾馬什克(Agnieszka Stelmaszyk)
尤安娜·日斯卡(Joanna Rzyska)、阿嘉妲·杜德克(Agata Dudek)、瑪格熱妲·諾瓦克(Małgorzata Nowak) Druganoga出版社,華沙2021
艾麗莎·皮歐特夫斯卡(Eliza Piotrowska)
米科瓦伊·帕辛斯基(Mikołaj Pasiński)、瑪格熱妲·赫爾巴(Gosia Herba)
歐菈·沃丹斯卡-波欽斯卡(Ola Woldańska-Płocińska)
瑪麗安娜·奧克雷亞克(Marianna Oklejak)
拉法爾·科希克(Rafał Kosik)
亞歷珊德拉·沃丹斯卡-波欽斯卡(Aleksandra Woldańska-Płocińska)
巴托米耶·伊格納邱克(Bartłomiej Ignaciuk), 阿嘉塔·洛特-伊格納邱克(Agata Loth-Ignaciuk)
文字和插圖:皮歐特·卡爾斯基(Piotr Karski)
文字和插圖:皮歐特·卡爾斯基(Piotr Karski)
羅珊娜·延澤耶夫斯卡-弗魯貝爾 (Roksana Jędrzejewska-Wróbel)
作者:普舎米斯瓦夫·維赫特洛維奇(Przemysław Wechterowicz) 插圖:艾米莉·吉烏巴克(Emilia Dziubak)
尤斯提娜·貝納雷(Justyna Bednarek) 插圖:丹尼爾·德拉圖爾(Daniel De Latour)
尤安娜·巴托西克(Joanna Bartosik)
瑪格熱妲·斯文多夫斯卡(Małgorzata Swędrowska)、尤安娜·巴托西克(Joanna Bartosik)
Jan Kochanowski
Jarosław Marek Rymkiewicz
Olga Tokarczuk
Władysław Stanisław Reymont
An Ancient Tale
Stanisław Rembek
Elżbieta Cherezińska
Henryk Sienkiewicz
Maria Dąbrowska
Stefan Żeromski
Bronisław Wildstein
Zbigniew Herbert / Wisława Szymborska
Karol Wojtyła
Wiesław Myśliwski
Czesław Miłosz
Anna Świrszczyńska / Melchior Wańkowicz
Tadeusz Borowski / Gustaw Herling-Grudziński
Wiesław Helak
Góra Tabor
Adriana Szymańska
Paweł Rzewuski
Mariusz Staniszewski
Radek Rak
Urszula Honek
Kazimierz Orłoś
Rafał Wojasiński
Antonina Grzegorzewska
Józef Mackiewicz
Tobiasz Piątkowski, Marek Oleksicki
Daniel Odija
Bronisław Wildstein
Józef Mackiewicz
Józef Mackiewicz
Witold Szabłowski
Andrzej Muszyński
Wiesław Helak
Bartosz Jastrzębski
Dariusz Sośnicki
Łukasz Orbitowski
Jakub Małecki
אנדז'יי ספקובסקי
Elżbieta Cherezińska
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Jakub Małecki
Aleksandra Lipczak
Jacek Dukaj
Wit Szostak
Bartosz Biedrzycki
Zyta Rudzka
Maciej Płaza
Wojciech Chmielewski
Paweł Huelle
Przemysław "Trust" Truściński
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Wojciech Kudyba
Michał Protasiuk
Stanisław Rembek
Krzysztof Karasek
Elżbieta Isakiewicz
Artur Daniel Liskowacki
Jarosław Jakubowski
Zbigniew Stawrowski
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Wojciech Chmielarz
Robert Małecki
Zygmunt Miłoszewski
Anna Piwkowska
Dominika Słowik
Wojciech Chmielewski
Barbara Banaś
Rafał Mikołajczyk
Jerzy Szymik
Waldemar Bawołek
Julia Fiedorczuk
Jakub Szamałek
Witold Szabłowski
Jacek Dukaj
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Paweł Piechnik
Andrzej Strumiłło


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