Larry.

Andrzej Sapkowski II

219 posts in this topic

After seven years, time for a new thread devoted to one of the most popular non-Anglophone SF/F writers of the past 25 years.



It seems there are some interesting translations coming out this year. I've been reading Sapkowski in Spanish translation for the past six years and I just received my ordered copy of Víbora (Viper) in the mail from Spain. Turns out that those who ordered it also received a chapbook sampler of the forthcoming translation of Estación de Tormentas (Storm Season), which seems to be slated for release later in 2014. Needless to say, this makes me pleased, even if it means that the Spanish translation of Lux Perpetua might be delayed until 2015 or 2016.



I am also reading the Italian translations of the Witcher series and in February, Baptism of Fire was released in Italian. It seems the Italian publisher, Nord, is publishing a volume roughly every 12 months, based on the e-book release dates on iBooks. Seems that this translation, along with the English translation of the series, are the only ones available on iBooks, although I know the French translations (already complete for the Witcher novels) are available in e-book formats through an independent e-tailer.



As far as I know, the English translation of Baptism of Fire should be available in the US in late June and I think is already available in the UK. Hopefully the original Witcher series will be complete in the next 18-24 months.



That's about it. Perhaps others would like to add their thoughts on Sapkowski's various stories or perhaps share news on new translations or original Polish stories coming out in the near future?


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I read the fan translations into English of the whole series (other than the most recent one) and the official translations of The Last Wish and Blood of Elves. I enjoyed the books quite a bit, but I wish I could read them in Polish because the official translations are not very good.


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I've read translations in a few languages (English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German) and surprisingly, the English ones are a bit worse in comparison. I say surprisingly because it's been my experience reading translated fictions over the years that more time seems to be devoted to the translation editing in English and in finding outstanding translators. I do know the Spanish ones read fairly well (and one of the two translators has received an award for his translations from Slavic languages like Polish into Spanish) and the Italian and French ones aren't bad.


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I've read translations in a few languages (English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German) and surprisingly, the English ones are a bit worse in comparison. I say surprisingly because it's been my experience reading translated fictions over the years that more time seems to be devoted to the translation editing in English and in finding outstanding translators. I do know the Spanish ones read fairly well (and one of the two translators has received an award for his translations from Slavic languages like Polish into Spanish) and the Italian and French ones aren't bad.

I suspect that the publishers of the English language volumes are viewing the series as a video game cash in, rather than an epic fantasy series that deserves respect.

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That is a possibility, but I think the latest translator, David French, is an improvement of sorts over the previous one, Danusia Stok.



As for recent Sapkowski, I finished reading Víbora/Viper last night. I'll try to write a review in the coming days.


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I suspect that the publishers of the English language volumes are viewing the series as a video game cash in, rather than an epic fantasy series that deserves respect.

That was the original plan - The Last Wish and Blood of Elves were timed on either side of the release of the original Witcher game - but it hasn't really worked out for them. It's also more overt in the USA, where they use the video game logo, artwork and iconography, rather than in the UK where they don't. In fact, they're currently re-using the Spanish cover artwork.

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Actually, Orbit US reissued all of the US paper books with artwork taken from the latest French edition a couple of years ago. Not a major step up, but one nonetheless. Speaking of Sapkowski cover art, I have to say that the Italian covers perhaps are the best-looking of the bunch.



And as for the promised Viper here, here it is. Mixed, but trending positive, I suppose.


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There has never been an official English translation for the second book, has there? I read the first, then the US publisher decided to skpi it for whatever reason. I've been told you need to read it to understand the rest of the series. Well maybe not understand, but it sets up a lot, I guess? I'm rambling, it's late.


Edited by Darth Richard II

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There has never been an official English translation for the second book, has there? I read the first, then the US publisher decided to skpi it for whatever reason. I've been told you need to read it to understand the rest of the series. Well maybe not understand, but it sets up a lot, I guess? I'm rambling, it's late.

There is a fan translation of it that is pretty good. I don't know if that would be considered piracy or not, but it's hosted on The Witcher's official fan forums, so obviously the copyright holder is aware of it.

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Can you post a link to that fan translation? I do have the Witcher book, The Last Wish, but if the fan translation is better, I want to read it pronto!



Thanks.


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OK so, no official English translation for the second book exists then, correct?

Correct... which is terrible, because the 2nd book is absolutely critical to the overall story and introduces a very important character.

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Correct... which is terrible, because the 2nd book is absolutely critical to the overall story and introduces a very important character.

You mean 2nd short story collection? Because I've read novels before reading Sword of Destiny and it wasn't that bad... True at the beginning you don't know who is Ciri etc., but you'll find out everything when reading novels, just later.

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You mean 2nd short story collection? Because I've read novels before reading Sword of Destiny and it wasn't that bad... True at the beginning you don't know who is Ciri etc., but you'll find out everything when reading novels, just later.

Well, if you skip a book in almost any series, you'll eventually get caught up to speed on what you missed... that doesn't mean it's supposed to be read that way.

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Reading the novels without having at least read "Something More" would make a certain scene or two in the first two novels rather less, I would think.


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Reading the novels without having at least read "Something More" would make a certain scene or two in the first two novels rather less, I would think.

I'd think not reading "A Question of Price" takes something away from the last book

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I've heard different things about why Sword of Destiny has not been published. One was that one of the stories was translated and published by itself in English donkey's years ago, and as a result there is a copyright issue. I've never seen that confirmed though.



The alternative is that novels outsell short story collections, but The Last Wish apprently did well in English and was presented as more of a novel with a linked narrative, so they could have done the same for Sword of Destiny. I'm certainly not keen on continuing the series without reading Sword of Destiny in English.


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The alternative is that novels outsell short story collections, but The Last Wish apprently did well in English and was presented as more of a novel with a linked narrative, so they could have done the same for Sword of Destiny. I'm certainly not keen on continuing the series without reading Sword of Destiny in English.

I've read the fan translation of Sword of Destiny and I'm afraid it's not a linked narrative like The Last Wish. It's just a short story collection. Also, despite the just adequate translation, I could tell The Last Wish had been written some time after Sword of Destiny when Sapkowski had improved a bit on his writing. When I read Blood of Elves the first time I certainly didn't have any trouble with not having read Destiny so...

I recently did a re-read of The Last Wish and Blood of Elves with a first reading of Sword of Destiny in between, then read Time of Contempt and Baptism of Fire for the first time. I have to say The Last Wish was the best book by far. I found Destiny rather weak and was really only necessary for the story that introduces Ciri. Both of the novels following Elves have problems with characterization and weak plotting. I'm invested enough in this series to finish it, but I hope they last two books show some improvement.

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I'd think not reading "A Question of Price" takes something away from the last book

Well, that too, but I was trying to limit myself to the books already translated into English.

As for the publication history, there was a different collection, The Witcher, that had five stories. It went OoP and 4/5 of its stories appeared in The Last Wish (the other appears in Something Ends, Something Begins, not yet available in English translation - there's another Geralt/Yen tale in that one, but it's "not canon" according to Sapkowski). Then came The Sword of Destiny and then The Last Wish, which added a frame tale and a couple of newer stories, like the titular title and I forget the other.

I liked the tone of the short stories better, but the latter novels won me over to the Saga, although apparently my liking of the final scene is a minority opinion ;)

I also happen to think that the Hussite trilogy contains some of Sapkowski's best writing. I have my doubts it'll ever be published in English, however. I'm lucky that it's been translated into Spanish and German, so I could read the trilogy at all.

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