The Fourth Circle :: Zoran Živković

The Fourth Circle

by Zoran Živković

Translated from Serbian by Mary Popović

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 Moriarty to join forces so that the Fourth Circle can finally be closed?

Winner of the 1994 Milos Crnjanski Award


  • …a fresh point of view, an idiosyncratic angle of attack … one of the finest writers currently at work in the ‘New Europe’.
    —Michael Moorcock
  • 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,
  • …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,
  • 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


  • Pages: 328
  • Trim size
    Hardcover: Trim size 5″ x 8″ (127mm x 203mm), with dj

  • ISBN:
    Hardcover: 978-4-908793-08-0
    Softcover: 978-4-908793-09-7
    Ebook: 978-4-908793-28-8
  • List Price
    Hardcover: US$25.00
    Softcover: US$13.00
    Ebook: US$5.99
  • Cover: Youchan Ito (Togoru Art Works)

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