Ice (Dukaj novel)

Ice (Dukaj novel)

Infobox Book
name = Ice
title_orig = Lód
translator = not translated
author = Jacek Dukaj

image_caption = Polish edition cover.
cover_artist = Tomasz Bagiński
country = Poland
language = Polish
genre = science fiction/alternate history
publisher = Wydawnictwo Literackie
release_date = 2007
pages = 1054

"Ice" ( _pl. Lód) is a Janusz A. Zajdel Award-winning novel written in 2007 by the Polish science fiction writer Jacek Dukaj, published in Poland by Wydawnictwo Literackie. The novel mixes alternate history with science fiction (alternative physics) elements.


The story of the book takes place in an alternate universe where the First World War never occurred and Poland is still under Russian rule. Following the Tunguska event, the Ice, a mysterious form of matter, has covered the whole of Russia and reached Warsaw. The appearance of Ice results in extreme decrease of temperature, putting the whole continent under constant winter, and is accompanied by "Lute", angels of Frost, a strange form of being which seems to be a native inhabitant of Ice. Under the influence of the Ice, iron turns into "zimnazo" (cold iron), a material with extraordinary physical properties, which results in the creation of a new branch of industry, zimnazo mining and processing, giving birth to large fortunes and an industrial empire led by a Siberian mogul, Pobiedonoscew. Moreover, the Ice freezes History and Philosophy, preserving the old political regime, affecting human psychology and changing the laws of logic from many-valued logic of "Summer" to two-valued logic of "Winter" with no intermediate steps between True and False.

Dukaj notedDiscussion by Przemysław Czapliński, Paweł Dunin-Wąsowicz, Roman Kurkiewicz and Jacek Dukaj, "Pod Tytułem, program o książkach i czytaniu", 9 December 2007, TOK FM, [,74635,,,,4756012.html Listen here] ] that in this book, the science - from science-fiction - that is being tweaked is the philosophy of history.


The protagonist of the novel is Benedykt Gierosławski, a Polish mathematician and notorious gambler, collaborating with Alfred Tarski on his work on many-valued logics. The Ministry of Winter's officials visit Gierosławski and make him embark on a Transsiberian journey to find his lost father, who is said to be able to communicate with Lute. During his journey Gieroslawski finds out that he is caught in a political intrigue, brought about by rivalry between two palace factions, "liedniacy" (conservatives and Siberian entrepreneurs backing the idea of "frozen Russia") and "ottiepelnicy" (mostly revolutionaries aiming for a literal and political "thaw"), supported also by the Tsar. He also meets Nikola Tesla in disguise, who has conceived a technology for manipulating and eventually destroying the Ice and has been hired by the Tsar to relieve Russia from the Winter. During the journey and upon his arrival in Irkutsk Gierosławski discovers that various political forces, including Followers of St. Marcyn, a sect worshiping the Ice led by Rasputin, followers of Nikolai Fyodorovich Fyodorov, who strive for assuring human immortality, and Siberian industrial potentates, are interested in his person and that Józef Piłsudski, in this reality leading a group of Sybiraks and Siberian separatists fighting for Polish independence, may possess knowledge about his father.

Critical reception

"Lód" was planned as a short story for "Król bólu" anthology, but has grown into an epic-length novel. The book, counting over 1,000 pages, was published in early December 2007 (samples were released in October issue of "Nowa Fantastyka"). It has been long awaited by fans, as the last book by Dukaj - "Perfect Imperfection "- was published in 2004. Around the time of book's premier, Dukaj was interviewed by Radio Kraków [Jacek Dukaj interviewed by Marcin Baniak, Radio Kraków, Tam i z powrotem, 29 November 2007, [ Listen here] ] (one of Polish local radio stations) and by TOK FM (another Polish radio station). In December 2007, the book has received the honorary prize at the Poznań Review of New Publications and was named "Book of Autumn 2007" organized by Raczyński Library in Poznań. [ [ Review of New Publication page at the Raczyński library] ] .

According to Wojciech Orliński's review [Wojciech Orliński, [,75248,4729837.html Dukaj, Jacek: Lód] (review), "Gazeta Wyborcza", 3 December 2007] , writes that unlike many of previous books by Dukaj, this one has excellent action, and calls it a "sensational novel "par excellence", and compares it to books by Ludlum (albeit in the science-fiction, alternate history genre). Maciej Lewandowski [Lewandowski, [ New Year reads - Poland: Jacek Dukaj, Lód] ,, 18 December 2007] wrote that features "an incredibly interesting plot, full of amorous and political intrigues, presenting readers the remote world of twentieth century history, history that has never happened".



*pl icon [ Lód on official pages of Jacek Dukaj]
*pl icon [ News section on official pages of Jacek Dukaj]

External links

*pl icon [ First four chapters free for download as a sample]
*pl icon Jakub Demiańczyk [ Interview with Jacek Dukaj and discussion of "Lód"] ,, 21 December 2007
*pl icon [ Chat with Jacek Dukaj on "Lód"] , Wirtualna Polska, 6 December 2007
*pl icon Wojciech Orliński, [,75248,4729837.html Dukaj, Jacek: Lód] (review), Gazeta Wyborcza, 3 December 2007

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