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

Winner of the 1994 Milos Crnjanski Award


Reviews

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

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


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The Papyrus Trilogy :: Zoran Živković

The Papyrus Trilogy

 

by Zoran Živković

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

A series of mysterious deaths in the Papyrus Bookstore brings literature-loving police inspector Dejan Lukić to investigate. Together with the attractive owner, Vera Gavrilović, they discover the elusive Last Book is responsible. Seemingly causeless deaths multiply, the National Security Agency, a secret apocalyptic sect, and others are drawn in, and the secrets of immortality, death, and reality itself are revealed in a masterful trilogy that demonstrates the magical and ultimately benevolent power of literature.

Includes The Last Book, The Grand Manuscript, and The Compendium of the Dead.


Reviews

  • The Papyrus
    Trilogy is in effect a police procedural series—but with (of course) a difference. We are in Živković territory. Throughout the trilogy everything seems, on the surface, to be ordinary and civilised—but death and disappearance is everywhere. For Inspector Lukić works in a city of magic, conspiracy, and paranoia; only the strange and bizarre seems expected. His world is a literary contrivance, intricately constructed, yet full of human warmth and life. It is spirited and ironic, and—of course—darkly murderous. Lukić is an engaging character who plays and is played with — and so are we.
    —Mark Valentine, Wormwood
  • Selected as one of the 75 Notable Translations of 2017 by World Literature Today!
  • …witty, intricate development; richly drawn, engaging characters; and Živković’s diverse play with the underlying challenge he has set for himself: like Arkady and Boris Strugatsky’s The Dead Mountaineer’s Inn, these novels interrogate the possibilities and limitations of the detective genre. … If you’ve not read Živković, indulge yourself: worlds of wonder await you.
    Michael A. Morrison, 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
  • Serbian master fantasist Zivkovic has written what may be the most delicious mystery by a speculative-fiction specialist since Stanislaw Lem’s mind-boggling The Investigation (1974). Unlike Lem’s novel, it is also a discreet, witty love story.
    —Publishers Weekly, USA
  • Fans of Zivkovic’s stripped-down, elliptical fables will be delighted by this elusive metafiction.
    —The Guardian, UK

Details


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The Five Wonders of the Danube :: Zoran Živković

The Five Wonders of the Danube

by Zoran Živković

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


On five bridges over the Danube, five strange and remarkable tales are told: tales of the sacrifices that are made for Art. For the painter, the sculptor, the writer and the composer, creation is inextricably entwined with violence, suffering and the darkest reaches of the psyche, and the bridge to enlightenment is the hardest of all to cross. Yet through the innocence of a dog all can be redeemed, in the miraculous climax of this complex and exotic fable.

Zoran Živković’s latest masterpiece, available in English to readers around the world.
Perhaps his finest work to date, The Five Wonders of the Danube is another of his famous “mosaic” novels, cleverly weaving multiple narrative threads into a tapestry of surrealism, reaching a magnificent conclusion in the final tale. Readers eager for more of his unique stories, combining simplicity of language and structure with thought-provoking explorations of life and death and reality will reread this one again and again.

Long-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, 2013.
The Five Wonders of the Danube was originally brought out as a five-volume set in five languages: Serbian, English, German, Hungarian and Slovakian.


Reviews

  • …fantastic and dream-like accounts fully burst into gaudy bloom, with the connections between beginning and end—the wonders—being gathered together, as strung pearls, uplifting, warming, enigmatic. ‘[People] would want an explanation. That was their natural tendency, something they couldn’t get rid of, even though it was only to their detriment.’ …
    We are scarcely in our world, but rather at five points of interaction between reality and the not-quite real, and that porous, fuzzy border (or river) distinguishing them. This is territory of which Živković is a seasoned and skilled explorer. The stories retrieved bridge the divide.
    Review by John Howard, Wormwood
  • Reading the stories once allows the unexpected to hit you. Reading them twice allows us to follow the presence of motifs (the bridges, obviously: the concerns about art, naturally, but also the characters, especially the small dogs and the animals that appear, Lewis Carroll-like, in the second “Wonder”) which occur and develop like musical themes. Živković is also one of our funniest fantasists. … Ably translated, as ever, by Alice Copple-Tošić, it makes us want to go with the flow of increasingly imaginative narrative, but also to stop (as you can do so much on such a river) and think about the context of where we are.
    Andy Sawyer, Strange Horizons
  • 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
  • Živković expertly crafts two stories in one; the events you read about, and the story in the connections between the unconnected. As you read further into the book, the parallel images stack up and craft a narrative like no other.
    Rick Kleffel, Narrative Species
  • Živković reveals himself to be a true surrealist by piercing the veil of manifest reality to expose the latent content of the dream-world. … As with the best of Živković’s prose, The Five Wonders of the Danube resists easy categorization, but its ironic amusement at the complexities of truth and perception should entertain readers of sf and experimental fiction alike.
    Paul March-Russell, Foundations No. 123


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