Polish Fantasy author, born 1948. He began his career as a writer by sending a story about a "Witcher" to a writing contest organised by a speculative fiction monthly. He didn't win, but garnered enough popularity to become one of the pioneers of the fantasy genre in Poland, which ultimately allowed him to drop his day job as a fur trader and take up writing full-time. He is well-versed in fantasy literature, often discussing fantasy tropes and their appearance in various literary works. In his writing, he is fond of untranslated foreign language passages, Celtic or faux-Celtic themes, and cats.
- The Witcher series (1992-1999, 2013). Consists of:
- The Last Wish (originally published in 1991 as Wiedźmin (The Witcher), it was remastered to fit into the emerging continuity better and published again under the new title Ostatnie życzenie in 1993; English edition: 2008)
- Sword of Destiny (Miecz Przeznaczenia, 1992; English edition: 2015)
- Blood of Elves (Krew elfów, 1994; English edition: 2008)
- The Time of Contempt (Czas Pogardy, 1995; English edition: 2013)
- Baptism of Fire (Chrzest Ognia, 1996; English edition: 2014)
- Tower of the Swallow (Wieża jaskółki, 1997; English fan translation)
- Lady of the Lake (Pani jeziora, 1999; English fan translation)
- Season of Storms (Sezon burz, 2013)
- The Hussite Trilogy (2002-2006): Historical Fantasy adventure novels set in the time of the Hussite Wars. (The series lacks a real name, so it's known under that fan nickname.)
- The Viper (Żmija, 2009): Novel set in Afghanistan in The '80s
- Maladie And Other Stories (2012): A collection of short stories, first published in 2000 as Something Ends, Something Begins.
Sapkowski's non-fiction (mostly essays)
- Piróg, or, There Is No Gold In The Grey Mountains (1992): An essay about fantasy tropes and clichés, the history of modern fantasy and a criticque of the state of fantasy literature in early 1990s Poland. Nowadays mostly infamous due to a hefty dose of hypocrisy on author's side. Explanation
- The World of King Arthur (1998): Book about Arthurian myth.
- Manuscript Discovered in a Dragon's Cave (2001): An essay about fantasy tropes
- Disowned Adaptation:
- The Hexer movie. Sapkowski euphemistically expressed his negative opinion about the film: "I can answer only with a single word, an obscene, albeit a short one". What he carefully "forgets" to mention nowadays is the big pile of money he so eagerly took for selling the rights for adaptation and then started slandering the production the moment he realized there will be no second tranche of money. While the film is a disaster, Sapkowski is doing his best over the years to pretend he didn't help make it in such form in the first place.
- After the release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, he's publicly blasted CD Projekt RED over their treatment of the series and accused them of deliberately perpetuating Adaptation Displacement of his novels, and has hinted that he may write new Witcher novels that will ignore the games. Unlike The Hexer however, the fanbase hasn't taken well to his remarks as the games are widely acclaimed and well-respected by gamers and fans of the books alike. His comments about not respecting video games as a storytelling medium also didn't sit well. It formed into hilarious meme among fans about The Witcher books actually being sort of prequel-adaptation of video games rather than other way around.
- Fanwork Ban: Averted. There were fanfiction sections on Sapkowski's site and forum, but they got deleted when the whole site undergone a reconstruction (along with many other things, so it wasn't an operation aimed at fanfiction). They can be only accessed via Web Archive. It's probably still safe to create Witcher fanfics (of course, knowing the author's attitude it may change at any moment).
- He allowed Vladimir Vasilyev to use Geralt's name for his The Big Kiev Witcher short story series.
- In 2013 The Tales of the Witcher World (Opowieści ze świata wiedźmina), a collection of short stories written by various Russian and Ukrainian authors got to be officially published in Poland with the permission and blessing from Sapkowski, and later another one by Polish authors.
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: Most of Sapkowski's non-fantasy stories he wrote before The Witcher for... angling magazines are believed to be lost, as the author himself doesn't have copies of them. It's up to his dedicated fans to search for them in libraries and put into circulation on the Web.
- Money, Dear Boy: Sapkowski always was very open about writing predominately to cover his own bills, but by Season of Storms he outright called it "a small money-printing machine".
- One-Hit Wonder: No matter how to count it, none of his works gained as much attention, recognition and basic publishing output as the witcher saga. And that was before video game adaptations reignited popularity of his works.
- Trolling Creator: His attitude toward fandom and its expectations when still working on the witcher saga is best decribed as simply mean-spirited. He openly declared few times in early 00s how the infamous decision to Torch the Franchise and Run was made solely to get rid of fans, as they annoyed him.
- His short story Battle Dust is an excellent example - he wrote it as a fragment of a non-existing Space Opera book and many fans have been fooled into thinking he is actually writing one.
- Write What You Know: As an economist of education, Sapkowski just couldn't resist to include real life economic laws into his fantasy series. Probably the most prominent example is the short story Eternal Flame (Wieczny ogień), in which Geralt meets Dainty, a halfling merchant.