Born 1954, Marek S. Huberath, a pen name, is a novelist and researcher at the Jagiellonian University’s Institute of Physics. His short stories and novels are enjoyed by fantasy fans and he is thrice winner of the prestigious Zajdel Award. Some of his works, such as the short story “A Greater Punishment” (1991), are already regarded as classics of Polish fantasy.
Huberath’s prose is sometimes classed as so-called religious fantasy, which includes metaphysical themes or aims to portray transcendental realms. And in fact, he devotes a lot of space in his work to developing images of a world beyond, seeking inspiration as much in history as in cultural tradition. In his impressive story, A Greater Punishment, the main characters, in order to atone for the crimes they have committed in life, end up in a place that resembles a Nazi concentration camp. In the full-length novel The Cities Under the Rock, Huberath presents his own version of the story of Adam, with references to the Biblical Apocrypha and the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch.
Yet Huberath’s writing cannot be defined by a single interpretative formula. Another important feature of his work are what might be termed “catastrophe” stories, presenting visions of human societies forced to struggle with the consequences of major disasters, such as the collapse of their civilization or war (e.g. The Don’s Three Women). Yet the main aim in these stories is not so much to diagnose the state of contemporary civilization or to point out the potential threats entailed in the development of science and technology, but to analyse the reactions of the heroes who find themselves in a critical situation where their humanity is put to the test.
Like several other Polish fantasy writers, such as Jacek Dukaj, Huberath is extremely good at creating absorbing plots rounded off with stunning denouements and full-blooded heroes with whom the reader can easily identify.
- Ostatni, którzy wyszli z raju, Zysk i S-ka, Poznań 1996
- Druga podobizna w alabastrze, Zysk i S-ka, Poznań 1997
- Gniazdo światów, SuperNOWA, Warszawa 1999
- Miasta pod Skałą, Wydawnictwo Literackie, Kraków 2005
- Balsam długiego pożegnania, Wydawnictwo Literackie, Kraków 2006
- Vatran Auraio, Wydawnictwo Literackie, Kraków 2011