Jacek Dukaj

Jacek Dukaj | Photo by Anna Zemanek

Jacek Dukaj, born 1974, is today’s most distinguished Polish science-fiction writer, a successor of Stanisław Lem. He studied philosophy at the Jagiellonian University. The European Union Prize for Literature (2009) shows that the merit of his work transcends a narrowly defined genre. His short stories have been translated into English, Russian, Czech, Hungarian, Italian, Slovak, Ukrainian, Slovenian and Macedonian.

He is known for the complexity of his books, and it is often said that a single Dukaj’s short story contains more ideas than many other writers put into their books in their lifetime. Popular themes in his works include the technological singularity, nanotechnology, and virtual reality, and his books are thus often classified as hard science fiction. Among his favourite writers is Australian writer Greg Egan, and Dukaj's books bear some resemblance to Egan's, or to the likes of Neal Stephenson's, although his stylistic brio makes him as much a ‘literary’ as a ‘hard science fiction’ writer - allowing for comparisons with the books of Thomas Pynchon or David Mitchell.

Outstanding awards and distinctions

  • 2009 – European Union Prize for Literature (for Ice)
  • 2008 – Kościelski Prize
  • 2007 – shortlisted for the Nike Literary Prize
  • 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2010 – Janusz A. Zajdel Prize


Short story collections / Novellas

  • In the Land of Unbelievers / W kraju niewiernych (2000)
  • Xavras Wyżryn and Other National Fictions / Xavras Wyżryn i inne fikcje narodowe (2004)
  • King of Pain / Król Bólu (2010)


  • Black Oceans / Czarne oceany (2001)
  • Extensa (2002)
  • Other Songs  / Inne pieśni (2003)
  • An Ideal Imperfection / Perfekcyjna niedoskonałość (2004)
  • Ice / Lód (2007)
  • The Crowe / Wroniec (2009)
  • The Old Axolotl / Starość aksolotla (2015)


Books by Jacek Dukaj

Literary Cooperative