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Jacek Dukaj (born 30 July 1974) is a Polish novelist, mainly associated with {{Science Fiction}} genre. His works explore philosophical themes by building vast, complicated fictional worlds based on certain worldviews (e.g. the philosophy of Aristotle). This results in each of his books being nothing like previous ones, as physical, political, social and linguistic aspects of the world change with each work. Like Creator/StanislawLem (who is often cited as one of Dukaj's inspirations), he frequently invents new words to describe beings and ideas from different realities. His books are notable for overwhelming the reader with many unexplained concepts and neologisms, thus presenting the fictional world as a riddle to solve. Dukaj's favourite topics include space exploration, aliens, transhumanism, parallel worlds, alternate history, cybernetics, virtual realities and scientific progress.

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Jacek Dukaj (born 30 July 1974) is a Polish novelist, mainly associated with {{Science Fiction}} genre. His works explore philosophical themes by building vast, complicated fictional worlds based on certain worldviews (e.g. the philosophy of Aristotle).Creator/{{Aristotle}}). This results in each of his books being nothing like previous ones, as physical, political, social and linguistic aspects of the world change with each work. Like Creator/StanislawLem (who is often cited as one of Dukaj's inspirations), he frequently invents new words to describe beings and ideas from different realities. His books are notable for overwhelming the reader with many unexplained concepts and neologisms, thus presenting the fictional world as a riddle to solve. Dukaj's favourite topics include space exploration, aliens, transhumanism, parallel worlds, alternate history, cybernetics, virtual realities and scientific progress.


** Subverted in that
it is AwesomeButImpractical, because the freezing effect also causes severe frostbites on the user's hand. It's kinda hard to hit anything when your shooting hand is frostbitten, right? But it's still the only weapon capable of [[spoiler: wounding the Ice itself.]]

to:

** Subverted in that
that it is AwesomeButImpractical, because the freezing effect also causes severe frostbites on the user's hand. It's kinda hard to hit anything when your shooting hand is frostbitten, right? But it's still the only weapon capable of [[spoiler: wounding the Ice itself.]]


* AFormYouAreComfortableWith: aliens in the short story ''In partibus infidelium''.
* AGodAmI: words spoken by [[spoiler: Benedykt Gierosławski at the very end of ''Ice'']] are basically this.
* AllTheoriesAreTrue: the main premise of most of his works.

to:

* AFormYouAreComfortableWith: aliens Aliens in the short story ''In partibus infidelium''.
* AGodAmI: words Words spoken by [[spoiler: Benedykt Gierosławski at the very end of ''Ice'']] are basically this.
* AllTheoriesAreTrue: the The main premise of most of his works.



* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: many of Dukaj's protagonists. Special mention goes to [[spoiler:Adam Zamoyski from ''An Ideal Imperfection''.]]
* AuthorVocabularyCalendar: whenever Dukaj comes up with a fun new word, or cool alternate (usually antiquated) spelling, he WILL shove it down your throat. No mercy.
* BrainComputerInterface: in ''Black Oceans'' and several short stories.

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* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: many Many of Dukaj's protagonists. Special mention goes to [[spoiler:Adam Zamoyski from ''An Ideal Imperfection''.]]
* AuthorVocabularyCalendar: whenever Whenever Dukaj comes up with a fun new word, or cool alternate (usually antiquated) spelling, he WILL shove it down your throat. No mercy.
* BrainComputerInterface: in In ''Black Oceans'' and several short stories.



* CityNoir: arguably, the nameless city in ''Wroniec'' (''The Crowe'') after the eponymous bird takes over.

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* CityNoir: arguably, Arguably, the nameless city in ''Wroniec'' (''The Crowe'') after the eponymous bird takes over.



* DeathIsNotPermanent: one of the side effects of mysterious Ice, [[spoiler:Nikola Tesla]] being the most prominent example.

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* DeathIsNotPermanent: one One of the side effects of mysterious Ice, [[spoiler:Nikola Tesla]] being the most prominent example.



* DemocracyIsBad: in ''An Ideal Imperfection'' Adam Zamoyski argues that democracy is against the laws of physics - people are not born equal and those who are stronger and more intelligent will always rule over others.

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* DemocracyIsBad: in In ''An Ideal Imperfection'' Adam Zamoyski argues that democracy is against the laws of physics - people are not born equal and those who are stronger and more intelligent will always rule over others.



* DisposingOfABody: somewhat played for laughs in ''Ice'' with one of the body-carriers fainting. Also subverted since the goal is to [[spoiler:resurrect Tesla, not get rid of the body.]]

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* DisposingOfABody: somewhat Somewhat played for laughs in ''Ice'' with one of the body-carriers fainting. Also subverted since the goal is to [[spoiler:resurrect Tesla, not get rid of the body.]]



* {{Dystopia}}: almost every single world created by Dukaj turns out to be this in some way.
* EndlessWinter: in ''Ice''. Political factions all around the world, but especially in Russia, take opposite sides on the issue whether to fight the winter or to keep it as long as possible and milk it for profits.
* EveryoneIsASuspect: on the Trans-Siberian Express in ''Ice''.
* EverythingIsOnline: in ''Black Oceans'', quite literally. Also in ''An Ideal Imperfection'', to the point that the fact that characters suddenly find themselves ''offline'' becomes a plot point.
* FakeMemories: one of the indications that a character has undergone {{Mind Rape}} in ''Black Oceans''. Also possibly what happens to [[spoiler: Benedykt Gierosławski in ''Ice'']], although it's hard to determine since [[spoiler:it's not sure if real memories even exist without the Ice.]]
* FisherKing: in the novel ''Inne pieśni'' (''Other Songs''), people called ''kratistoi'' influence everything from weather to humand minds by sheer power of will. In fact, they are so powerful that when any of them physically moves (e.g. to another city), their ''kingdom'' moves as well.

to:

* {{Dystopia}}: almost Almost every single world created by Dukaj turns out to be this in some way.
* EndlessWinter: in In ''Ice''. Political factions all around the world, but especially in Russia, take opposite sides on the issue whether to fight the winter or to keep it as long as possible and milk it for profits.
* EveryoneIsASuspect: on On the Trans-Siberian Express in ''Ice''.
* EverythingIsOnline: in In ''Black Oceans'', quite literally. Also in ''An Ideal Imperfection'', to the point that the fact that characters suddenly find themselves ''offline'' becomes a plot point.
* FakeMemories: one One of the indications that a character has undergone {{Mind Rape}} in ''Black Oceans''. Also possibly what happens to [[spoiler: Benedykt Gierosławski in ''Ice'']], although it's hard to determine since [[spoiler:it's not sure if real memories even exist without the Ice.]]
* FisherKing: in In the novel ''Inne pieśni'' (''Other Songs''), people called ''kratistoi'' influence everything from weather to humand minds by sheer power of will. In fact, they are so powerful that when any of them physically moves (e.g. to another city), their ''kingdom'' moves as well.



* FleshGolem: mad scientist called Piegnar tries to create those in ''Ice''. [[spoiler: Apparently, he succeeded as flesh golems attack Benedykt Gierosławski shortly before he meets with his father.]]
* ForScience: why Benedykt Gierosławski performs a couple of morally questionable acts (such as corporate espionage) in ''Ice''.

to:

* FleshGolem: mad Mad scientist called Piegnar tries to create those in ''Ice''. [[spoiler: Apparently, he succeeded as flesh golems attack Benedykt Gierosławski shortly before he meets with his father.]]
* ForScience: why Why Benedykt Gierosławski performs a couple of morally questionable acts (such as corporate espionage) in ''Ice''.



* HarmlessFreezing: well, not exactly harmless, but much less harmful than it should be when [[spoiler: Benedykt Gierosławski freezes himself while fighting Frankenstein-like creatures near the end of ''Ice''.]]

to:

* HarmlessFreezing: well, Well, not exactly harmless, but much less harmful than it should be when [[spoiler: Benedykt Gierosławski freezes himself while fighting Frankenstein-like creatures near the end of ''Ice''.]]



* HumanPopsicle: using slightly different technology:[[spoiler:Adam Zamoyski]] in ''An Ideal Imperfection''.
* ImpossiblyCoolWeapon: revolver that glows in the dark and shoots bullets that ''freeze the target on impact''. Named ''Archmaster''.
** Subverted in that it is AwesomeButImpractical, because the freezing effect also causes severe frostbites on the user's hand. It's kinda hard to hit anything when your shooting hand is frostbitten, right? But it's still the only weapon capable of [[spoiler: wounding the Ice itself.]]

to:

* HumanPopsicle: using Using slightly different technology:[[spoiler:Adam Zamoyski]] in ''An Ideal Imperfection''.
* ImpossiblyCoolWeapon: revolver Revolver that glows in the dark and shoots bullets that ''freeze the target on impact''. Named ''Archmaster''.
** Subverted in that that
it is AwesomeButImpractical, because the freezing effect also causes severe frostbites on the user's hand. It's kinda hard to hit anything when your shooting hand is frostbitten, right? But it's still the only weapon capable of [[spoiler: wounding the Ice itself.]]



* InterdimensionalTravelDevice: several in short story collection ''In The Land Of Unbelievers''.
* InsideAComputerSystem: the story ''Irrehaare'' is set within a VirtualReality MMORPG overtaken by a powerful script-running {{griefer}}, causing the trapped players to run a guerrilla campaign spread over multiple servers against him and his bots.

to:

* InterdimensionalTravelDevice: several Several in short story collection ''In The Land Of Unbelievers''.
* InsideAComputerSystem: the The story ''Irrehaare'' is set within a VirtualReality MMORPG overtaken by a powerful script-running {{griefer}}, causing the trapped players to run a guerrilla campaign spread over multiple servers against him and his bots.



* LossOfIdentity: an extreme case can be found in ''Ice'', where the protagonist claims that he does not exist. Although this may seem paradoxical, his reasoning is quite logical: he's pathologically ashamed, forced to constantly react defensively to other people's actions in order to avoid more shame, so he can never act the way he wants. So does he really exist? [[spoiler: He finally overcomes his emotional problems after confronting his father and from that point forward he can exist again.]]

to:

* LossOfIdentity: an An extreme case can be found in ''Ice'', where the protagonist claims that he does not exist. Although this may seem paradoxical, his reasoning is quite logical: he's pathologically ashamed, forced to constantly react defensively to other people's actions in order to avoid more shame, so he can never act the way he wants. So does he really exist? [[spoiler: He finally overcomes his emotional problems after confronting his father and from that point forward he can exist again.]]



* MadnessMantra: inversion: Hieronim Berbelek counts to stay sane.
* MechanicalEvolution: found in ''Perfekcyjna niedoskonałość'' (''An Ideal Imperfection'') in form of terryfying Wars: {{Pocket Dimension}}s full of ever-evolving killing machines.
* MindVirus: a strange one in [[spoiler:''Black Oceans'' causes telepathy.]]
* MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness: in most cases leaning heavily towards the hard end of the scale.
* MoodWhiplash: lovemaking scene in ''Extensa'' suddenly ends with [[spoiler: protagonistís wife hitting her head on a rock and dying.]]
* NeuralImplanting: notably in ''Black Oceans''.
* UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla: one of the main characters in ''Ice''.
* PercussiveMaintenance: hilariously, the ''default'' method of interacting with one of the computers in ''An Ideal Imperfection''.
* PrivatelyOwnedSociety: slowly becoming reality in short story ''The Line of Resistance''.
* ProbabilityPileup: invoked in-story by one of the characters in ''Black Oceans''.
* RandomNumberGod: probability and unpredictability are one of Dukajís favourite themes.
* RasputinianDeath: [[spoiler:soldier who protects Marina]] in ''Black Oceans''. Also, [[spoiler:Rasputin himself]] in ''Ice''.
* RecycledINSPACE: short story ''The Heart of Darkness'' is Joseph Conrad's famous novel ON ANOTHER PLANET. With Nazis.
* ResurrectionSickness: experienced by [[spoiler:Angelika]] in ''An Ideal Imperfection''.
* ScienceHero: about 80% of Dukaj's protagonists.

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* MadnessMantra: inversion: Inversion: Hieronim Berbelek counts to stay sane.
* MechanicalEvolution: found Found in ''Perfekcyjna niedoskonałość'' (''An Ideal Imperfection'') in form of terryfying Wars: {{Pocket Dimension}}s full of ever-evolving killing machines.
* MindVirus: a A strange one in [[spoiler:''Black Oceans'' causes telepathy.]]
* MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness: in In most cases leaning heavily towards the hard end of the scale.
* MoodWhiplash: lovemaking Lovemaking scene in ''Extensa'' suddenly ends with [[spoiler: protagonistís wife hitting her head on a rock and dying.]]
* NeuralImplanting: notably Notably in ''Black Oceans''.
* UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla: one One of the main characters in ''Ice''.
* PercussiveMaintenance: hilariously, Hilariously, the ''default'' method of interacting with one of the computers in ''An Ideal Imperfection''.
* PrivatelyOwnedSociety: slowly Slowly becoming reality in short story ''The Line of Resistance''.
* ProbabilityPileup: invoked Invoked in-story by one of the characters in ''Black Oceans''.
* RandomNumberGod: probability Probability and unpredictability are one of Dukajís favourite themes.
* RasputinianDeath: [[spoiler:soldier [[spoiler:Soldier who protects Marina]] in ''Black Oceans''. Also, [[spoiler:Rasputin himself]] in ''Ice''.
* RecycledINSPACE: short Short story ''The Heart of Darkness'' is Joseph Conrad's famous novel ON ANOTHER PLANET. With Nazis.
* ResurrectionSickness: experienced Experienced by [[spoiler:Angelika]] in ''An Ideal Imperfection''.
* ScienceHero: about About 80% of Dukaj's protagonists.



* StarfishAliens: many, many kinds. Special mention goes to ''skoliodoi'' in ''Other Songs''.
* TakeOverTheWorld: what [[spoiler: Benedykt Gierosławski]] is hoping to achieve in [[spoiler:the final chapters of ''Ice'']]. And the book strongly suggests that he will succeed.
* TechnologyPorn: in bucketloads.

to:

* StarfishAliens: many, Many, many kinds. Special mention goes to ''skoliodoi'' in ''Other Songs''.
* TakeOverTheWorld: what What [[spoiler: Benedykt Gierosławski]] is hoping to achieve in [[spoiler:the final chapters of ''Ice'']]. And the book strongly suggests that he will succeed.
* TechnologyPorn: in bucketloads.By the trainloads.



* TheSingularity: the protagonist of ''Perfekcyjna niedoskonałość'' (''An Ideal Imperfection'') lives in a world after one. This is probably the most notable case, there also are many others.
* TheTunguskaEvent: what set in motion the events of ''Lód'' (''Ice''). It turns out to be [[spoiler:a meteorite made of so-called tungetitium, element not found on Earth with unique, world-changing physical properties]], which makes it extremely valuable.
* ThrillerOnTheExpress: about one-third of ''Ice''.

to:

* TheSingularity: the The protagonist of ''Perfekcyjna niedoskonałość'' (''An Ideal Imperfection'') lives in a world after one. This is probably the most notable case, there also are many others.
* TheTunguskaEvent: what What set in motion the events of ''Lód'' (''Ice''). It turns out to be [[spoiler:a meteorite made of so-called tungetitium, element not found on Earth with unique, world-changing physical properties]], which makes it extremely valuable.
* ThrillerOnTheExpress: about About one-third of ''Ice''.



* ViewersAreGeniuses: some of Dukajís work are almost incomprehensible if you donít happen to be a philosophy major. Most require at least a decent understanding of physics, mathematics and/or anthropology.

to:

* ViewersAreGeniuses: some Some of Dukajís work are almost incomprehensible if you donít happen to be a philosophy major. Most require at least a decent understanding of physics, mathematics and/or anthropology.



* WordOfGod: mostly averted. Dukaj usually refuses to explain his works, even putting a statement to this effect on his official website. He famously made an exception for short story ''Medjugorje'' which he felt got somewhat confusing by the end.

to:

* WordOfGod: mostly Mostly averted. Dukaj usually refuses to explain his works, even putting a statement to this effect on his official website. He famously made an exception for short story ''Medjugorje'' which he felt got somewhat confusing by the end.



* YourMindMakesItReal: many times, especially in ''Irrehaare''.

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* YourMindMakesItReal: many Many times, especially in ''Irrehaare''.

Added DiffLines:

[[quoteright:300:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jacek_dukaj.png]]


* ArmorPiercingQuestion and ArmorPiercingResponse: The last sentence of ''Ice'' in original Polish. [[spoiler: ''Czym Lód dla mnie?'', which could be translated as ''What is Ice (to me)?'' as well as ''What do I care of Ice?''. Answer the protagonist gives? ''Me.'']]

to:

* ArmorPiercingQuestion and ArmorPiercingResponse: The last sentence of ''Ice'' in original Polish. [[spoiler: ''Czym ''Co teraz Lód dla mnie?'', which could be translated as ''What is Ice (to me)?'' now for me?'' as well as ''What do I care of Ice?''.Ice now?''. Answer the protagonist gives? ''Me.'']]


* RasputinTheMadMonk: appears in ''Ice'' [[spoiler:and is killed by the main character (which uderstandably takes a little while).]]

Added DiffLines:

* ArmorPiercingQuestion and ArmorPiercingResponse: The last sentence of ''Ice'' in original Polish. [[spoiler: ''Czym Lód dla mnie?'', which could be translated as ''What is Ice (to me)?'' as well as ''What do I care of Ice?''. Answer the protagonist gives? ''Me.'']]

Added DiffLines:

** Subverted in that it is AwesomeButImpractical, because the freezing effect also causes severe frostbites on the user's hand. It's kinda hard to hit anything when your shooting hand is frostbitten, right? But it's still the only weapon capable of [[spoiler: wounding the Ice itself.]]


* ImpossiblyCoolWeapon: revolver that glows in the dark and shoots bullets that ''freeze the target on impact''.

to:

* ImpossiblyCoolWeapon: revolver that glows in the dark and shoots bullets that ''freeze the target on impact''. Named ''Archmaster''.


* CelibateHero: Benedykt Gierosławski, most of the time. [[spoiler:He finally gives in to temptation in von Azenhoffís brothel.]]

to:

* CelibateHero: Benedykt Gierosławski, most of the time. [[spoiler:He time, [[spoiler: though the book stays purposefully ambiguous whether or not he and Jelena had sex in Transsiberian Express... or even whether Benedykt KNOWS whether they did. He finally gives in to temptation in von Azenhoffís brothel.]]

Added DiffLines:

* AuthorVocabularyCalendar: whenever Dukaj comes up with a fun new word, or cool alternate (usually antiquated) spelling, he WILL shove it down your throat. No mercy.


Added DiffLines:

* WhamLine: In ''Ice'', [[spoiler:"I am Nikola Tesla".]]


* WordOfGod: mostly averted. Dukaj usually refuses to explain his works, even putting a statement to this effect on his official website. He famously made an exception for short story ''The Cathedral'' which he felt got somewhat confusing by the end.

to:

* WordOfGod: mostly averted. Dukaj usually refuses to explain his works, even putting a statement to this effect on his official website. He famously made an exception for short story ''The Cathedral'' ''Medjugorje'' which he felt got somewhat confusing by the end.


Jacek Dukaj (born 30 July 1974) is a Polish novelist, mainly associated with {{Science Fiction}} genre. His works explore philosophical themes by building vast, complicated fictional worlds based on certain worldviews (e.g. the philosophy of Aristotle). This results in each of his books being nothing like previous ones, as physical, political, social and linguistic aspects of the world change with each work. Like {{Stanislaw Lem}} (who is often cited as one of Dukaj's inspirations), he frequently invents new words to describe beings and ideas from different realities. His books are notable for overwhelming the reader with many unexplained concepts and neologisms, thus presenting the fictional world as a riddle to solve. Dukaj's favourite topics include space exploration, aliens, transhumanism, parallel worlds, alternate history, cybernetics, virtual realities and scientific progress.

to:

Jacek Dukaj (born 30 July 1974) is a Polish novelist, mainly associated with {{Science Fiction}} genre. His works explore philosophical themes by building vast, complicated fictional worlds based on certain worldviews (e.g. the philosophy of Aristotle). This results in each of his books being nothing like previous ones, as physical, political, social and linguistic aspects of the world change with each work. Like {{Stanislaw Lem}} Creator/StanislawLem (who is often cited as one of Dukaj's inspirations), he frequently invents new words to describe beings and ideas from different realities. His books are notable for overwhelming the reader with many unexplained concepts and neologisms, thus presenting the fictional world as a riddle to solve. Dukaj's favourite topics include space exploration, aliens, transhumanism, parallel worlds, alternate history, cybernetics, virtual realities and scientific progress.

Added DiffLines:

* GenreAdultery: ''The Crowe'' is a dark fairytale with a child protagonist, which stands out among Dukaj's adult-centered, hard SF works.


* AGodAmI: famous words spoken by [[spoiler: Benedykt Gierosławski at the very end of ''Ice'']] are basically this.

to:

* AGodAmI: famous words spoken by [[spoiler: Benedykt Gierosławski at the very end of ''Ice'']] are basically this.



* DealWithTheDevil: [[spoiler:Young Adam agrees to sacrifice his magical storytelling powers in order to get his father back.]]

to:

* DealWithTheDevil: [[spoiler:Young Adam agrees to sacrifice his magical storytelling powers in order to get his father back.back in ''The Crowe''.]]



* DisappearedDad: Gierosławski's father in ''Ice''. Finding him is one of the protagonist's main quests.

to:

* DisappearedDad: Gierosławski's father in ''Ice''. Finding him is one of the protagonist's main quests.goals.



* EveryoneIsASuspect: on the Trans-Siberian Express.

to:

* EveryoneIsASuspect: on the Trans-Siberian Express.Express in ''Ice''.



* FleshGolem: mad scientist called Piegnar tried to create those in ''Ice''. [[spoiler: Apparently, he succeeded as flesh golems attack Benedykt Gierosławski shortly before he meets his father.]]

to:

* FleshGolem: mad scientist called Piegnar tried tries to create those in ''Ice''. [[spoiler: Apparently, he succeeded as flesh golems attack Benedykt Gierosławski shortly before he meets with his father.]]



* InterdimensionalTravelDevice: several in short story collection ''In The Land Of Infidels''.

to:

* InterdimensionalTravelDevice: several in short story collection ''In The Land Of Infidels''.Unbelievers''.



* RandomNumberGod: probability and unpredictability are amongst the most popular of Dukajís themes.

to:

* RandomNumberGod: probability and unpredictability are amongst the most popular one of Dukajís favourite themes.



* SelfServingMemory: ''Ice'' argues that every memory is like that: the memories are altered, created or deleted to fit our present state of mind.

to:

* SelfServingMemory: ''Ice'' argues that every memory is like that: the our memories are altered, created or deleted to fit our present state of mind.

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