Four Stories Till the End :: Zoran Živković

In production

Four Stories Till the End

by Zoran Živković

Translated from Serbian by Alice Copple-Tošić
Part of The Zoran Živković Collection


In what strange edifice of the imagination do you find a condemned cell, a hotel room and a hospital room? What kind of hotel offers a zinc mine, a meat-packing plant, a weapons factory and a cemetery of famous artists among its attractions? Why do four people commit suicide in the same bathroom and why does a literature professor cut up several of the greatest works of literature into a confetti of letters? In this wildly imaginative, wildly funny satire on Art and Death nothing is quite what it seems and the maze of symbols grows more complex with each encounter.

Also included in Impossible Stories II.


Reviews

  • Živković continues his meditation on the nature and process of becoming an artist, but this time from a much darker and more satirical point of view. This is the most complex of all his story-suites, put together with the teasing intricacy of an Escher drawing.
    —Tamar Yellin, Infinity Plus
  • …the pinnacle of both storytelling and strangeness, features four people, each interrupted in turn by guests who tell art-themed stories with delightful digressions…
    —Publisher’s Weekly

    Details

    • Pages: Pending
    • Trim size
      Softcover: Trim size 5″ x 8″ (127mm x 203mm)
    • ISBN
      Softcover: 978-4-908793-17-2
    • List Price: Pending
    • Cover: Youchan Ito (Togoru Co.,Ltd.)

    In production

    Compartments :: Zoran Živković

    In production<

    Compartments

    by Zoran Živković

    Translated from Serbian by Alice Copple-Tošić
    Part of The Zoran Živković Collection


    On a strange train journey, in a series of six compartments, a traveller experiences unpredictable encounters, culminating in a meeting of epiphanic power. Through a narrative of dreamlike sharpness Compartments taps into the fears and absurdities, the beauties and mysteries of the unconscious mind, to achieve a consummation both moving and full of hope.


    Reviews

    • …our hero travels through a surreal and allegorical sequence of compartments in much the same way as a mediaeval alchemist travels through the sequence of transformations that lead him to the Philosopher’s Stone. Once again, Živković has produced a thought-provoking story, and the fine translation by Alice Copple-Tošić gives no clue that the piece was not written by a native English speaker.
      —Cheryl Morgan, Emerald City
    • The story is written in a deceptively simple style, apparently with little attempt to be overly descriptive and yet full of telling details. The conductor is by far the best character, filled with yearning for the mysterious woman. …recommended to fans of the surreal.
      —Chris Butler, Infinity Plus

    Details

    • Pages: Pending
    • Trim size
      Softcover: Trim size 5″ x 8″ (127mm x 203mm)
    • ISBN
      Hardcover: 978-4-908793-04-2
      Softcover: 978-4-908793-16-5
      Ebook: 978-4-908793-32-5
    • List Price: Pending
    • Cover: Youchan Ito (Togoru Co.,Ltd.)

    In production

    Steps Through the Mist :: Zoran Živković

    In production

    Steps Through the Mist

    by Zoran Živković

    Translated from Serbian by Alice Copple-Tošić
    Part of The Zoran Živković Collection


    Five women of various ages face, each in her own way, what seems to be the deterministic trap of Fate: a freshman in a girls’ boarding school with the strange ability to share other people’s dreams; a young woman in a straitjacket, desperately trying to locate a very particular future; a middle-aged skier refusing to be just a puppet on a string; an elderly fortune-teller with insufficient faith in her own trade; finally, an old lady whose very precious alarm clock is suddenly broken. And engulfing all of them, a strange mist through which no-one can see clearly…

    A November 2007 BookSense Notable Book
    Winner of the 2008 Gold Award for Superb Craftsmanship from the Detroit Club of Printing House Craftsmen

    Also included in Impossible Stories I


    Reviews

    • [It] isn’t so much a literary work to be read as it is one to be reveled in. Like a great work of abstract art, this surrealistic novel–about five women who contend with fate in very different ways–is layered with subtle symbolism and nuance, and should be savored slowly.
      — Publisher’s Weekly
    • With this book, Zoran Živković demonstrates why he is one of the great, although unheralded, masters of the contemporary fantasy. Steps through the Mist is a must have for people who like their fiction a little surreal and a lot off center.
      —Rick Klaw, Revolutionsf.com
    • It’s a thoughtful, thought-provoking and I have to say faintly disquieting volume, one that raises the sort of questions about the way we move through our lives, and the predetermination or otherwise of our actions, that I for one find are best faced in the company of good friends and with the aid of a couple of bottles of good wine.
      —Ariel, Thealienonline.net
    • Another artful, mathematically perfect creation
      —Miranda Siemienowicz, Horrorscope

    Details

    • Pages: Pending
    • Trim size
      Softcover: Trim size 5″ x 8″ (127mm x 203mm)
    • ISBN
      Softcover: 978-4-908793-15-8
    • List Price: Pending
    • Cover: Youchan Ito (Togoru Co.,Ltd.)

    In production

    The Library :: Zoran Živković

    In production

    The Library

    by Zoran Živković

    Translated from Serbian by Alice Copple-Tošić
    Part of The Zoran Živković Collection


    A cycle of six thematically linked stories, droll renditions of the nightmares ensuing upon misplaced, or (of course) excessive, bibliophilia. A writer encounters a website where all his possible future books are on display; a lonely man faces an infinite flow of hardback books through his mailbox; an ordinary library turns by night into an archive of souls; the Devil sets about raising standards of infernal literacy; one book houses all books; a connoisseur of hardcovers strives to expel a lone paperback from his collection.

    Winner of the 2003 World Fantasy Award for Best Novella!

    Also included in Impossible Stories I


    Reviews

    • Živković explores and fantasises about the relationship between author, text, and reader—but where a lesser talent would slip into self-indulgence, Živković combines authentic modesty and memorable imagery to create a set of worlds that linger in the reader’s memory.
      —Nicholas Whyte, Strange Horizons
    • …a cycle of six thematically linked stories, droll renditions of the nightmares ensuing upon misplaced, or (of course) excessive, bibliophilia. Zivkovic is, as ever, polished, and frighteningly intelligent; book-lovers will recognize intimately the frissons and frustrations he evokes.
      —Nicholas Gevers, Locus
    • Živković piles invention on invention with unselfconscious ease.
      —Peter Loftus, Interzone
    • Like Jorge Luis Borges, he can create strange, alternate universes. Like David Lynch, he can balance menace and melancholy—be cruel and be funny at the same time.
      —Richard Wallace, The Seattle Times

    Details

    • Pages: Pending
    • Trim size
      Softcover: Trim size 5″ x 8″ (127mm x 203mm)
    • ISBN
      Softcover: 978-4-908793-14-1
    • List Price: Pending
    • Cover: Youchan Ito (Togoru Co.,Ltd.)

    In production

    Impossible Stories I :: Zoran Živković

    Impossible Stories I

    by Zoran Živković

    Translated from Serbian by Alice Copple-Tošić
    Part of The Zoran Živković Collection


    Impossible Stories I is a collection of several of the author’s finest works, including Time Gifts, Impossible Encounters, Seven Touches of Music, The Library (winner of the 2003 World Fantasy Award for Best Novella), and Steps through the Mist. The perfect introduction to the incredible world of Zoran Živković.


    Reviews

    • …bursting with inventive scenarios, imaginative writing, and unforgettable characters.
      World Literature Today
    • Why isn’t Zoran Živković better known in this country? He possesses an imaginative ingenuity and charm similar to that of, say, Paul Auster or Italo Calvino, with bits of Kafka, Borges and Beckett mixed in… the narrative seductiveness of Zivkovic’s “impossible stories” remains distinctly his own. Open one of his books and prepare to be enchanted.
      Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book Review
    • …each of his novellas seems to spring from a single philosophical question. … Dreams, time-travel, reincarnation, storytelling: these are the building blocks of Živković’s stories. He forces us to think deeply about the act of writing and creation, and how the line between “reality” on the page and off is just a hazy shadow, and maybe only exists because we will it to. If these stories sound very “Borgesian,” then I’ve managed to convey their unique strangeness to you.
      Rachel Cordasco, Speculative Fiction in Translation
    • Impossible Stories might be approached as if one were inspecting a handsome piece of furniture, a cabinet in which each of any number of regularly sized and shaped drawers is built precisely to contain and to somehow exemplify its own metaphysical freight or uncanny puzzle, and it is in the rhythm and variety of the whole, too, that the nature of Živković’s craft can be apprehended and enjoyed.
      —Tony White, Wasafiri
    • …even though they own and use computers, Živković’s characters seem decidedly nineteenth century. They are as intelligent and as neurotic as Poe’s personae, and admirers of that master of the outre–or of Borges, Gogol, Capek, and Lem–will be enthralled by them.
      —Ray Olson, Booklist
    • …well worth reading for the ingenuity of Živković’s stories. He is extraordinarily clever and has a particular talent for devising awkward moral dilemmas for his characters. His writing is also … quite unlike that of anyone else.
      —Cheryl Morgan, Emerald City
    • …a rare masterpiece that achieves its objective with fluent and calculated flair.
      —Miranda Siemienowicz, Horrorscope

    Details


    Available from

    Seven Touches of Music :: Zoran Živković

    In production

    Seven Touches of Music

    by Zoran Živković

    Translated from Serbian by Alice Copple-Tošić
    Part of The Zoran Živković Collection


    Seven stories about moments of divine revelation through music, which leave no mark beyond the ephemeral instant of their perception: a teacher whose autistic ward inexplicably writes down one of the fundamental values of theoretical physics; a librarian whose dream of the Great Library is reenacted upon her computer screen; a man who buys a music box that when played provides a glimpse into his alternative life; an elderly woman that, hearing a hand organ in a train station, begins to have visions of the death of everyone she encounters; a retired SETI scientist who, despite having no real interest in art, suddenly begins to paint a strange first contact signal; a dying professor who finally has a chance to hear in the form of music the answers to the ultimate questions; and a violin-maker’s apprentice who knows the truth behind his master’s mysterious suicide.

    Winner of the Award of Excellence in the General Trade Category at the 55th Annual Chicago Book Clinic Book and Media Show

    Also included in Impossible Stories I


    Reviews

    • …music—like fiction—provides a portal through which to perceive reality, [but] how little we understand the insight it may provide…. an autistic student writes down a complex mathematical concept of theoretical physics only when Chopin’s Piano Concerto in F Minor, Opus 21, is played in class. The mathematician whom the teacher consults to determine what the numbers written down by student mean says, “it must be God Himself who whispered them to you because at this moment only HE is able measure after the eleventh significant feature.”
      —David Soyka, The New York Review of Science Fiction
    • Seven Touches of Music insinuates an imp into a variety of mundane environments. That imp is music: somewhere a melody plays; revelations are vouchsafed; and consternation follows. An autistic child veers into truly inexplicable abstraction; a woman has a powerful dream of the burning of the Great Library of Alexandria; a widower spies his alternate self; an old lady becomes selectively, morbidly, prescient; an astronomer senses subliminal alien communications; the dying Einstein completes the ultimate puzzle; a violin-maker confronts the perfect violin. Živković explores here the ambiguity of all knowledge, the perverse destructiveness of wish-fulfillment.
      —Nick Gevers, Locus
    • As might be expected of a European academic trained in literary theory, Živković mingles postmodern flourishes—self-reflexivity, deconstructionist ruminations—with the materials of speculative fiction. Overall, he perhaps most strongly resembles Italo Calvino in the latter’s fantastic vein. Surrealism, incongruous introspection, teasing narrative geometries, and startling systems of hyperbolic wit shape and illuminate his yarns, lending them an Escheresque elegance.
      —Nick Gevers, Locus
    • One thinks, indeed, of Ligotti, of Lovecraft’s “The Music of Erich Zann,” but also of Sagan’s Contact and Lem’s Solaris. The mystery, expressed metaphorically as music, defies humanity’s limitations. Mr. Adam, in “The Puzzle,” asks, “What if extraterrestrials exist and are communicating, but we don’t recognize it? What if they are doing it in some other way, not the way we presumed?”
      Given Živković’s fondness for metafiction, these quiet, subtle, elegant stories are both the question, and the answer.
      —Darrell Schweitzer. The New York Review of Science Fiction

    Details

    • Pages: Pending
    • Trim size
      Softcover: Trim size 5″ x 8″ (127mm x 203mm)
    • ISBN
      Softcover: 978-4-908793-13-4
    • List Price: Pending
    • Cover: Youchan Ito (Togoru Co.,Ltd.)

    In production

    Impossible Encounters :: Zoran Živković

    In production

    Impossible Encounters

    by Zoran Živković

    Translated from Serbian by Alice Copple-Tošić
    Part of The Zoran Živković Collection

    Six strangely related stories about six encounters that could or should have never happened. A post mortem encounter with a clerk who has a most bizarre offer; an elusive encounter with oneself, only decades older; a seemingly innocent encounter with a bookshop visitor who is desperately looking for an ordinary SF story; a memorable encounter with God in a train which, unfortunately, has to be forgotten; a dreamlike encounter with Devil in a Church as a first step on a road which doesn’t lead to Hell; finally, a forbidden encounter of a dying author with one of his protagonists who brings an impossible book as a gift.

    Stories from the book have been published in the UK (Interzone: February, May, July, September, October, November and December 2000), in the USA (Year’s Best Fantasy anthology, Harper-Collins, 2001), in Poland (the magazine Nowa Fantastyka, July 2000), and in Japan (an anthology of the Middle European “fantastika”, 2011).

    The story “The Train” was broadcast by BBC Radio 4 on 29 September 2005.

    Also included in Impossible Stories I


    Reviews

    • Impossible Encounters is a series of tales about, well, impossible encounters. The first line of “The Window” is “I died in my sleep.” It then proceeds to recount what happens thereafter…
      —David Soyka, The New York Review of Science Fiction
    • As might be expected of a European academic trained in literary theory, Živković mingles postmodern flourishes—self-reflexivity, deconstructionist ruminations—with the materials of speculative fiction. Overall, he perhaps most strongly resembles Italo Calvino in the latter’s fantastic vein. Surrealism, incongruous introspection, teasing narrative geometries, and startling systems of hyperbolic wit shape and illuminate his yarns, lending them an Escheresque elegance.
      —Nick Gevers, Locus
    • The stories carry about them the feel of myth, of primal, perhaps archetypal, confrontation. Although the reader may not be aware of it as he or she progresses through the book, it becomes clear in retrospect that Živković has consciously built towards his final story.
      —Michael Levy, The New York Review of Science Fiction
    • Encounters that are impossible, encounters that are from beyond the boundaries of what we have decided is reality and possibility, and yet remain within the realms of what we call ordinary. They’re quiet and soft in the nature of the extraordinariness. Subtle, delicate, and unassuming.
      —Tessa, Silence Without

    Details

    • Pages: Pending
    • Trim size
      Softcover: Trim size 5″ x 8″ (127mm x 203mm)
    • ISBN
      Softcover: 978-4-908793-12-7
    • List Price: Pending
    • Cover: Youchan Ito (Togoru Co.,Ltd.)

    Time Gifts :: Zoran Živković

    In production

    Time Gifts

    by Zoran Živković

    Translated from Serbian by Alice Copple-Tošić
    Part of The Zoran Živković Collection


    A mysterious visitor comes to see three desperate human beings: an astronomer in his prison cell the night before his execution for the ultimate heresy; a paleolinguist with a wasted life behind her who has been forgotten by everybody in her dusty basement office; an old watchmaker with a dark, painful spot in his past that has haunted him for decades. The visitor has a unique but ambiguous time-gift for each one of them. His true identity is only known by an insane artist locked up in her asylum atelier. But who would believe an artist in this world, even if she were not insane?

    Runner-up for the 1998 NIN Award

    Also included in Impossible Stories I


    Reviews

    • As might be expected of a European academic trained in literary theory, Živković mingles postmodern flourishes—self-reflexivity, deconstructionist ruminations—with the materials of speculative fiction. Overall, he perhaps most strongly resembles Italo Calvino in the latter’s fantastic vein. Surrealism, incongruous introspection, teasing narrative geometries, and startling systems of hyperbolic wit shape and illuminate his yarns, lending them an Escheresque elegance.
      —Nick Gevers, Locus
    • Think of the Imaginative as a vast ocean, in which are located a number of islands, one of them called American genre sf, another called (or at least inhabited by) Umberto Eco, another for Patrick Süskind, and another for Zoran Živković. It’s not a matter of turning in “other directions,” because all directions of the Sea of Imagination are part of the whole, and wherever he turns, Zoran Živković adds to our archipelago and enriches all of us.
      — Darrell Schweitzer, The New York Review of Science Fiction
    • …sophisticated, philosophical fantasy of a high order.
      —Tom Arden, Interzone
    • Provocative and compelling, these are stories that will tease you long after the pages are completed, the questions raised eluding any definitive answer. An impressive work.
      — William Thompson, SFSite.com
    • Živković writes with a light and unpretentious touch—welcome and refreshing in the wake of post-Borges, post-Calvino practitioners of labored postmodern fiction. His tales are strangely stimulating not so much for their philosophical insight as for their intimate appreciation of contemporary readers’ experience of time and space.
      —Publishers Weekly

    Details

    • Pages: Pending
    • Trim size
      Softcover: Trim size 5″ x 8″ (127mm x 203mm)
    • ISBN
      Softcover: 978-4-908793-10-3
    • List Price: Pending
    • Cover: Youchan Ito (Togoru Co.,Ltd.)

    The Book :: Zoran Živković

    In production

    The Book

    by Zoran Živković

    Translated from Serbian by Aleksandar B. Nedeljković
    Translation edited by Tamar Yellin
    Part of The Zoran Živković Collection

    The Book is not quite a novel, although almost half of it takes the form of a narrative, neither is it an essay, although quite a lot of what is said in it adopts that style. It is actually closest to that rare type or “para-genre” of satirical prose embodied in the exemplary In Praise of Folly by the famous humanist from Rotterdam. Instead of the “Folly,” of human manias and absurdities, here, in a similar kind of double-talk, the books themselves “speak,” those monuments to our intelligence, ambitions and self-importance, and they primarily “speak” by making an analogy between man’s fate and that of books—to man’s detriment, of course.


    Reviews

    • …a vicious critique of contemporary publishing as well as a tribute to books as both precious objects and valuable literature—and it’s narrated by a book, mostly.
      —Scott Bryan Wilson, Review of Contemporary Fiction
    • You may not be aware of this, but there are in fact two intelligent life forms on Earth. One of them is humans, although at times their right to describe themselves as intelligent is cast into doubt by their own behavior. The other is books.
      —Cheryl Morgan, Emerald City
    • The Book, though, is a very broad, highly sarcastic satire, with some characters but no protagonist, essentially a long allegorical disquisition with amusing exemplary episodes. Its subject is, indeed, Books: their nature, nurture, purpose and pride: the way they see themselves, and the way they see us. Of course, underneath this elaborated whimsy, a very serious point is being made, concerning the (putative) death of the human culture of reading. … But The Book is also, implicitly, an affirmation: so long as fine novels like this are published, how can the taste for reading ever truly die?
      —Nick Gevers, Locus

    Details

    • Pages: Pending
    • Trim size
      Hardcover: Trim size 5″ x 8″ (127mm x 203mm), with dj
      Softcover: Trim size 5″ x 8″ (127mm x 203mm)
    • ISBN
      Hardcover: 978-4-908793-07-3
      Softcover: 978-4-908793-11-0
      Ebook: 978-4-908793-29-5
    • List Price: Pending
    • Cover: Youchan Ito (Togoru Co.,Ltd.)

    The Fourth Circle :: Zoran Živković

    In production

    The Fourth Circle

    by Zoran Živković

    Translated from Serbian by Mary Popović
    Part of The Zoran Živković Collection

    What could a computer wizard self-exiled in an abandoned Buddhist temple possibly have in common with the humble servant of a medieval fresco painter? What is the link between the enigmatic mission of a giant radio-telescope and a tribe of spherical beings who dwell in a world full of unearthly scents and herbs? What will bring four great scientists from various centuries, Archimedes, Ludolph van Ceulen, Nikola Tesla and Stephen Hawking, to the same spot in time? What has this got to do with Rama, a female computer program, impregnated by a strange ape? And, above all, why is it necessary for Sherlock Holmes and Moriarti to join forces so that the Fourth Circle can finally be closed?

    Winner of the 1994 Milos Crnjanski Award


    Reviews

    • Serbian author Zoran Živković’s most ambitious book to date. … a marvel of both the fictional imagination and the author’s adopted compositional form. Masterful in execution, at once playful and earnestly serious, its conjecture as to an alternative vision of humanity and creation.
      —William Thompson, SFSite.com
    • …the Živković oeuvre—the surreal, cerebral short stories, with their finely calculated transitions from quotidian sedateness to ontological disorientation and derangement, the acutely structured, drolly satirical novels. Circle is an intricate, ludic cathedral of meaning, an array of episodes which, elegant and sometimes seemingly self-contained, accumulate into a system for describing the entire universe. One of the more extraordinary moments in recent SF, and one of the most beautiful.
      —Nicholas Gevers, Locus
    • The Fourth Circle transcends these constituent parts like a poem whose luminous effect can be experienced but never quite successfully analyzed line by line.
      —Paul Witcover, Realms of Fantasy
    • Bringing together such disparate figures as Stephen Hawking, Archimedes, Tesla, and Arthur Conan Doyle while telling the tale of a sentient computer program named Rama, Serbian sf author Živković crafts a heady amalgam of sparkling prose reminiscent of Samuel Delaney and Stanislaw Lem.
      —Library Journal
    • The book is huge in its scope, bouncing across different worlds and epochs. It combines science, religion, and breathtaking imagery into a wonderful read.
      —Matthew Cheney, Mumpsimus
    • I was mystified at the beginning, because nothing seemed to cohere, but then, about forty pages in, I discovered I was in love with the book—utterly enchanted and transfixed by the swirl of ideas and settings and characters and allusions, the sheer breadth of it.
      —Matthew Cheney, Typepad.com
    • Superb, brilliant stuff, with interesting things done in both nitty-gritty technical craft and over-arching story telling. Must dig out more, oh yes, must. Gods that was awesome.
      —Tessa, Silence Without

    Details

    • Pages: Pending
    • Trim size
      Hardcover: Trim size 5″ x 8″ (127mm x 203mm), with dj
      Softcover: Trim size 5″ x 8″ (127mm x 203mm)
    • ISBN
      Hardcover: 978-4-908793-08-0
      Softcover: 978-4-908793-09-7
      Ebook: 978-4-908793-28-8
    • List Price: Pending
    • Cover: Youchan Ito (Togoru Co.,Ltd.)