science fiction
Various authors
Worlds Apart

The authors invited to contribute to Worlds Apart represent the Polish cream of the crop

We all know the legends of the Basilisk, of Faust, of the Spiders. The last of these are the most common, of course, and nearly each one is different. I remember my grandmother could endlessly tell the story of how she saw the Spiders with her own eyes here, in Wierzbów. It was 1920. Harvest time. Grandma was six. She was sitting in a field wearing an oversized straw hat, and the sun was melting the world around her. Suddenly someone screamed. One, two, three people. Sickles fell onto the freshly-cut field. Grandma saw each of the peasants, one after the other, either kneel or, still standing, cross themselves. Then she saw them.

They were enormous, glistening in the harsh sunlight. They were emerging slowly as if from fog. Their long legs reached sky-high, carrying bodies shaped like boats and cylinders over the face of the earth. They looked like houses that had come alive and decided to go wandering. You could hear their rhythmic, melodic grinding. As though someone was trying to play a tune on a windowpane with a nail.

Grandma told us the moment she laid eyes on the Spiders her head started spinning. They towered over the trees and she didn’t know where they were heading. They were approaching in a loose herd. The earth was trembling.

One of them reached the neighbors’ field. The pe- asants rose to their feet and headed toward it. They ran, outpacing one another. Some removed their shirts, others wheezed. The Spider’s metal legs were supporting a semicircular construction. Its flat surface was crisscrossed with fissures and silver veins.

“Sort of like a nutshell, you know, but as large as a church,” explained grandma.

The peasants were tripping over and getting cut up on the hardened furrows. The first of them reached a metal leg and started to climb. He fell down and tried again. The others followed him. They pushed past, pulled on one another, bit one another’s legs, and fought. Supposedly the first to reach the top was my great-grandfather. He was moving up the metal leg like a monkey. He climbed to the very top, threw his body over the edge and disappeared into the shell forever. (…) The rest of the adults were going crazy. Only my grandmother and a few other children from the area kept their wits about them. The Spiders moved on and no one ever saw them again.

From the short story Heaven is coming by Jakub Małecki Excerpt translated by Sean Gasper Bye

science fiction
Various authors
Worlds Apart

The authors invited to contribute to Worlds Apart represent the Polish cream of the crop

Publisher: SQN, Kraków 2018
Translation rights: Sine Qua Non,

History in our times is also subject to the pop culture economy. Some periods are more in fashion, some ways of presenting history are considered more interesting than others – at least until the wheel of time turns once again. Jakub Różalski has recently found himself in the vein of one of these trends. Worlds Apart is an anthology inspired by his paintings.

Różalski himself is an artist, illustrator, and game designer. Yet not until he took on his own projects did he really spread his wings. The key to his success has been combining the realistic aesthetic of the paintings of Józef Chełmoński, Gustave Coubert or William Turner with a dash of Romantic madness: placing his paintings at the intersection of history, mythology, realism, and pop culture. And now it is the turn of writers to tackle his work.

The authors invited to contribute to Worlds Apart represent the Polish cream of the crop. They have all tried their hand at the mind-bending literature of the imagination. In Sforza, Łukasz Orbitowski paints a picture of the changes that took place in Poland at the turn of the 9th and 10th century, seen through the eyes of heroes passing down a werewolf hide from generation to generation. Jakub Małecki depicts an oneiric horror story that occurs when the barriers between worlds are torn apart. Aneta Jadowska tells a story of the Polish Tatars, who struggle with their own legends and folklore. Jakub Żulczyk describes a day in the life of a fairytale gnome thrown into some very peculiar modern conditions. Aleksandra Zielińska uses a steampunk setting to tell the story of a provincial town. Robert J. Szmidt describes a Europe under Asian hegemony, while Jacek Dukaj takes his readers on an epic journey to Japan, where we find the heroes of Bolesław Prus’s classic 19th-century novel The Doll. Yet these are only some of the attractions awaiting readers of Worlds Apart.

Michał Cetnarowski, translated by Sean Gasper Bye

Selected samples

Jakub Małecki
Wiesław Myśliwski
Elżbieta Cherezińska
אנדז'יי ספקובסקי
Aleksandra Lipczak
Jacek Dukaj
Wit Szostak
Bartosz Biedrzycki
Zyta Rudzka
Maciej Płaza
Wojciech Chmielewski
Paweł Huelle
Przemysław "Trust" Truściński
Angelika Kuźniak
Wojciech Kudyba
Michał Protasiuk
Stanisław Rembek
Krzysztof Karasek
Elżbieta Isakiewicz
Artur Daniel Liskowacki
Jarosław Jakubowski
Zbigniew Stawrowski
Szczepan Twardoch
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
Grzegorz Górny, Janusz Rosikoń
Paweł Piechnik
Andrzej Strumiłło


Marta Kwaśnicka
Piotr Mitzner
Paweł Sołtys
Wacław Holewiński
Anna Potyra
Wiesław Helak
Urszula Zajączkowska
Marek Stokowski
Hubert Klimko-Dobrzaniecki
Jakub Małecki
Łukasz Orbitowski
Małgorzata Rejmer
Rafał Wojasiński
Wojciech Kudyba
Włodzimierz Bolecki
Jerzy Liebert
Wojciech Zembaty
Wojciech Chmielarz
Bogdan Musiał
Joanna Siedlecka
Krzysztof Tyszka-Drozdowski
Jarosław Marek Rymkiewicz
Marek Bieńczyk
Leszek Elektorowicz
Adrian Sinkowski
Szymon Babuchowski
Lech Majewski
Weronika Murek
Agnieszka Świętek
Stanisław Szukalski
Barbara Klicka
Anna Kamińska

She climbed her first peaks in a headscarf at a time when women in the mountains were treated by climbers as an additional backpack. It was with her that female alpinism began! She gained recognition in a spectacular way. The path was considered a crossing for madmen. Especially since the tragic accident in 1929, preserved … Continue reading “Halina”

Wojciech Chmielarz

First, Marysia, a student of an exclusive private school in Warsaw’s Mokotów district, dies under the wheels of a train. Her teacher, Elżbieta, tries to find out what really happened. She starts a private investigation only soon to perish herself. But her body disappears, and the only people who have seen anything are Gniewomir, a … Continue reading “Wound”

Anna Kańtoch

A young girl, Regina Wieczorek, was found dead on the beach. She was nineteen years old and had no enemies. Fortunately, the culprit was quickly found. At least, that’s what the militia think. Meanwhile, one day in November, Jan Kowalski appears at the police station. He claims to have killed not only Regina but also … Continue reading “Penance”

Marek Krajewski

The year is 1922. A dangerous time of breakthrough. In the Eastern Borderlands of the Republic of Poland, Bolshevik gangs sow terror, leaving behind the corpses of men and disgraced women. A ruthless secret intelligence race takes place between the Lviv-Warsaw-Free City of Gdańsk line. Lviv investigator Edward Popielski, called Łysy (“Hairless”), receives an offer … Continue reading “A Girl with Four Fingers”

Ks. Tomasz Stępień

This question is closely related to the next one, namely: if any goal exists, does life lead us to that goal in an orderly manner? In other words, is everything that happens to us just a set of chaotic events that, combined together, do not form a whole? To understand how the concept of providence … Continue reading “Order and Love”

Jakub Małecki
Szczepan Twardoch
Wiesław Helak
Maria Wilczek-Krupa
Anna Kańtoch
Rafał Kosik
Paweł Sołtys
Dorota Masłowska
Wiesław Myśliwski
Martyna Bunda
Olga Tokarczuk
Various authors
Mariola Kruszewska
Waldemar Bawołek
Marek Oleksicki, Tobiasz Piątkowski
Wojciech Tomczyk
Urszula Zajączkowska
Marzanna Bogumiła Kielar
Ks. Robert Skrzypczak
Bronisław Wildstein
Anna Bikont
Magdalena Grzebałkowska
Wojciech Orliński
Klementyna Suchanow
Andrzej Franaszek
Natalia Budzyńska
Marian Sworzeń
Aleksandra Wójcik, Maciej Zdziarski
Józef Łobodowski

The work of Józef Łobodowski (1909-1988) – a remarkable poet, prose writer, and translator, who spent most of his life in exile – is slowly being revived in Poland. Łobodowski’s brilliant three- volume novel, composed on an epic scale, concerns the fate of families and orphans unmoored by the Bolshevik Revolution and civil war and … Continue reading “Ukrainian Trilogy: Thickets, The Settlement, The Way Back”

Piotr Zaremba
Wacław Holewiński
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