In 1964 Penguin decided to create a sub-series called “Penguin Fantasy”. It was supposed to be sold in paperback form, in uniform price and format. In a bold move, the company decided to publish mostly foreign translations, starting with an almost unknown writer from behind the Iron Curtain – Andrzej Sapkowski. The series became hugely successful and the first edition of the Witcher is now highly sought by collectors. Its trademark covers became a sign of high-quality fantasy prose, including the famous half-tone figures and then-novelty usage of transparencies to create famous fluid effects. The series is credited for allowing fantasy to enter the mainstream literature and mass consciousness in United Kingdom.
Unfortunately it did not happen… But hey! Why not change history if we can? Here are five covers for the Witcher saga as they might have looked in the late sixties. I have tried to preserve certain inconsistency and liberty that characterises the Penguin prose covers, while at the same time introducing certain common elements. The whole experience was a little bit like writing haiku – to follow the Penguin cover rules and create something original at the end.