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The page of Dukaj, Jacek, English biography

Image of Dukaj, Jacek
Dukaj, Jacek


Jacek Dukaj (born July 30, 1974 in Tarnów, Poland) is a Polish science fiction writer. Winner of the Janusz A. Zajdel Award (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2010), Śląkfa (2000, 2007, 2009), Żuławski Award (2008, 2010, 2011, 2012), Kościelski Award (2008) and the European Union Prize for Literature (2009).


Dukaj studied philosophy at the Jagiellonian University. The first science fiction story he read was The Investigation by Stanisław Lem, which inspired him to write his own stories in that genre. He successfully debuted at the age of 16 with a short story Złota Galera (Golden Galley). Winner of the Janusz A. Zajdel Award for 2001 for his novel Czarne oceany (Black Oceans), for 2003 for his novel Inne pieśni (Different Chants), for 2004 for his novel Perfekcyjna niedoskonałość (An Ideal Imperfection), for 2007 for the novel Lód (Ice) and for 2000 for short story Katedra (The Cathedral). A short animated movie by Tomasz Bagiński based on this short story was nominated to Academy Award in 2003.

His short stories have been translated into English, German, Russian, Czech, Hungarian. His first story, "Golden Galley," was translated into English by Wiesiek Powaga and published in The Dedalus Book of Polish Fantasy. Michael Kandel's translation of "The Iron General" has been published in A Polish Book of Monsters and his translation of fragments of "The Cathedral" into English is available online. "The Apocrypha of Lem", a mock-review in Borges' tradition, written as an afterword for reedition of Lem's "A Perfect Vacuum", was published in "Lemistry", translated by Danusia Stok.

He is known for the complexity of his books, and it is often said that a single short story of Dukaj 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 thus his books often can be classified as hard science fiction. Among his favorite writers is Australian writer Greg Egan, and Dukaj's books bear some resemblance to Egan's, or to the likes of David Brin's, although his stylistic brio makes him as much a 'literary' as a 'hard science fiction' writer.

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