Rafał A. Ziemkiewicz

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Rafał A. Ziemkiewicz
Rafał Ziemkiewicz Sejm 2016.jpg
Born Rafał Aleksander Ziemkiewicz
(1964-09-13) September 13, 1964 (age 53)
Piaseczno, Poland
Occupation Writer
Genre Political fiction, science fiction, journalist

Rafał Aleksander Ziemkiewicz (born 13 September 1964 in Piaseczno) is a Polish political fiction and science fiction author and journalist.


Science-fiction writer[edit]

During his studies at the University of Warsaw (Polish language and literature) in 1984 he joined SFAN science fiction fan association and started writing short stories. His first science-fiction short story (Z palcem na spuście) was published in 1982. His book debut was Władca szczurów (Warsaw), (1987). He also worked for two Polish science-fiction magazines: Fantastyka (1986–1990) and as a chief editor for Fenix (1990–1994), and collaborated with an underground publishing house "STOP" by distributing its books at the Department of Polish, University of Warsaw.

In the 1990s, he became one of the most popular Polish science-fiction authors. For his novels Pieprzony los kataryniarza (1995) and Walc stulecia (1998), as well as his short story Śpiąca królewna (1996), he was awarded the Zajdel Award, the most prestigious Polish award for science fiction and fantasy literature. He was also awarded Śląkfa for Writer of a Year in 1990 and 1998.

A popular theme in his works is the fate of Poland and more broadly, Europe, in the near future (from several to several dozen years). His books often paint the future in dark colors, showing the Commonwealth of Independent States disintegrate into a civil war, European Union becoming powerless in the face of Islamic terrorism, and predatory capitalism and political correctness taken ad absurdum leading to the erosion of morality and ethics. Thus his books are often classified as political fiction and social science fiction, although they are not seen as dystopian fiction.

Journalist and publicist[edit]

After the fall of communism, Ziemkiewicz became a conservative journalist and essayist. He began this career in the early 1990s as a publicist for Najwyższy Czas! weekly magazine. Until February 1997, Ziemkiewicz wrote political and socio-economical essays for Gazeta Polska (1993–1997). He was also a columnist of popular Polish magazine Wprost (2001–2003) and the Polish edition of Newsweek (2003–2007), and occasionally published essays in Polityka. Currently his columns are being published in Rzeczpospolita, Uważam Rze, Gazeta Polska, Niezależna Gazeta Polska and Interia.pl webportal.

He was also a radio journalist, working for Radio WAWA and Polskie Radio Program IV in the 1990s, Radio TOK FM in the early 2000s, later with Radio VOX FM and Program 1 Polskiego Radia. He hosts TV talkshow on TVP Info and a program on TVP Historia.

Many of his essays have been collected and published in book format. In 2001 he won the Kisiel Prize.

His essays are sometimes controversial. In September 2006, Ziemkiewicz published an article in the Polish edition of Newsweek criticizing the editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wyborcza, Adam Michnik; Michnik brought a civil suit against Ziemkiewicz, which was settled in 2007 after Ziemkiewicz agreed to publish an apology.[1]

He was a spokesman for the Real Politics Union (Unia Polityki Realnej) party (1993–1994). In 1995 as a stipendiary of the National Forum Foundation he worked for the Republican Party in United States.



  • Władca szczurów Warsaw, 1987 (short stories anthology)
  • Skarby stolinów Warsaw, 1990 (second edition in 1993) (short stories anthology)
  • Zero złudzeń Białowieża, 1991 (short stories anthology)
  • Wybrańcy Bogów Warsaw, 1991 (second edition in 2000)
  • Pieprzony los Kataryniarza Warsaw, 1995
  • Czerwone dywany, odmierzony krok Warsaw, 1996
  • Walc Stulecia Warsaw, 1998 (second edition in 2010)
  • Cała kupa wielkich braci Lublin, 2002 (short stories anthology)
  • Ciało obce Warsaw, 2005
  • Ognie na skałach Lublin, 2005
  • Coś mocniejszego Lublin, 2006 (short stories anthology)
  • Żywina (2008)
  • Zgred (2011)


  • Zero zdziwień Warsaw, 1995 (essays)
  • Viagra mać Warsaw, 2002 (essays)
  • Frajerzy Lublin, 2003 (essays)
  • Polactwo Lublin, 2004 (essays)
  • Michnikowszczyzna. Zapis choroby Lublin, 2006
  • Czas wrzeszczących staruszków Lublin, 2008
  • W skrócie, 2009
  • W sieci, 2009
  • Wkurzam salon, 2011
  • Myśli nowoczesnego endeka, 2012


Preceded by
Andrzej Sapkowski
ESFS award for Best Author
Succeeded by
James White


  1. ^ "Rafał Ziemkiewicz przeprosi Adama Michnika" (in Polish). Gazeta Wyborcza. 2007-03-01. Retrieved 2009-07-09. 

External links[edit]