Živković, Zoran

Tagged: Author

(1948-    ) Serbian publisher, researcher, translator and author, who received his doctorate at Belgrade University in 1982; a version of his dissertation, "The Appearance of Science Fiction as a Genre of Artistic Prose", was published in his Savremenici budućnosti ["Contemporaries of the Future"] (anth 1983), along with some of the stories he discusses. He has translated more than fifty sf books and published a large number of titles under his Polaris imprint, the first privately owned sf publishing house (founded 1982) in Yugoslavia. Zvezdani ekran ["The Starry Screen"] (1984) is a book about sf cinema, based on the television series of the same title which he wrote and hosted. His most ambitious work of nonfiction is the two-volume Enciklopedija naučne fantastike ["Encyclopedia of Science Fiction"] (1990). Živković originally wrote the Yugoslavia entry for the 1993 edition of this encyclopedia; it is retained here pending revision into several entries.

In the 1990s, Živković began to publish fiction more and more widely; and now is best known for his stories and novels, most of which are structurally and thematically intriguing examples of Fantastika, and some of which can be profitably read in sf terms. His first novel, Četvrti krug (1993; trans Mary Popović as The Fourth Circle 1994; trans rev by L Timmel Duchamp 2004), which is set in at least two Parallel Worlds, comprehensively demonstrates his range and adventurous poise (see Equipoise), typical of Continental authors in its unembarrassed use of apparently disconnected genres and venues. In one of these realities, a Buddhist Mad Scientist creates a female AI called Rama, who sires a child with an ape Apes as Human; the scientist then gathers together several of his fellow scientists (some from other epochs) including Nikola Tesla to confront some of the Cosmological cruces he (and others) have uncovered, and to penetrate to some common ground before the End of Time. In another reality, Recursive SF elements are discernible; and Sherlock Holmes (see Arthur Conan Doyle) applies ratiocination to the imponderable. The Papyrus Trilogy (omni 2016) [for details see Checklist below] combines elements of the bibliomystery with metafictional expatiations on the procreative power of the Word and the Book; the eponymous volume in the first tale, Poslednja knjiga (2007; trans Alice Copple-Tošić as The Last Book 2008), is a Basilisk: because it contains the story of The Last Book as written by a Doppelganger-like mirror of the author in another Dimension, it is death to read it in our world (see Basilisks). In The Last Book, two identical realities told in one world are incompossible.

Several of Živković's titles could be viewed as collections of linked stories or as fixups, narratives constantly fluctuating between autonomy and almost occult internal marriages; but as leitmotifs surface and submerge operatically throughout, combining into entities larger than the sum of the parts, his titles are cited here and in the Checklist below under the latter heading (see Fixup for context). The tales worked into Vremenski darovi (fixup; 1997; trans Alice Copple-Tošić as Time-Gifts 1998; vt Time-Gifts: Writing from an Unbound Europe 2000) are linked by Time Travel: a benefactor from the future gives four psychologically constrained characters some chance of freedom, one through access to a Time Viewer, other through access to a Time Machine. The three titles ultimately assembled as The Book, The Writer, The Reader (omni 2009) [see Checklist for history of this compilation] contain closely linked metafictional Fabulations focused on intersections between the written and the read.

Later fictions transact further intersections among the genres, laying down problematics – sometimes so abstractly that a tale can seem told in vacuum – without, as a rule, coming to conclusions. Živković's ambitious oeuvre can perhaps be most clearly distinguished from Anglophone Fantastika precisely in its gnomic clarity, its Slingshot Endings which give no hint of a landing. Further titles available in English include the Impossible Stories sequence; comprising Impossible Stories (omni 2006) and Impossible Stories II (omni 2009) [see Checklist for details]. Several of the titles here assembled – like Nemogući susreti (fixup 2000; trans Alice Copple-Tošić as Impossible Encounters 2000; vt Impossible Encounters: A Mosaic Novel 2008), or Sedam dodra muzika (fixup 2001; trans Alice Copple-Tošić as Impossible Encounters 2001; vt Impossible Encounters: A Mosaic Novel 2008) – explicitly embody the disjunctions inherent in Živković's overall method and philosophy. These disjunctions comprise, in the end, and very variously, an attempt to capture the world today. [JC/PN]

Zoran Živković

born Belgrade, Yugoslavia [now Serbia]: 5 October 1948

died

works

series

The Papyrus Trilogy

  • Poslednja knjiga (Belgrade, Serbia: Kompanija Novosti, 2007) [Papyrus Trilogy: binding unknown]

individual titles

Fixups listed below may have elsewhere been described as collections or collections of linked stories.

  • Cetvrti krug (Belgrade, Serbia: Izdavački atelje Polaris, 1993) [binding unknown/]
    • The Fourth Circle (Belgrade, Yugoslavia: Zoran Živković, 2002) [trans by Mary Popović of the above: pb/]
  • Pisac (Belgrade, Serbia: Stubovi Kulture, 1998) [binding unknown/]
    • The Writer (Belgrade, Serbia: Polaris, 2002) [trans by Alice Copple-Tošić of the above: pb/Salvador Dali]
  • Knija (Belgrade, Serbia: Stubovi Kulture, 1999) [binding unknown/]
    • The Book (Belgrade, Serbia: Atelier Polaris, 2003) [trans by Aleksandar B Nedelijkovic with Tamar Yellin of the above: pb/Theodore Roussel]
    • The Book/The Writer (Holicong, Pennsylvania: Prime Books, 2003) [omni of the above two: trans by Alice Copple-Tošić of both above: pb/]
      • The Book, The Writer, The Reader (Hornsea, East Yorkshire: PS Publishing, 2009) [coll/omni: exp of the above adding "The Reader" not previously translated: trans by Alice Copple-Tošić of all three above: hb/Luis Rodriguez]
  • Vremenski darovi (Belgrade, Serbia: Stubovi Kulture, 1997) [fixup: binding unknown/]
    • Time-Gifts (Belgrade, Serbia: Atelier Polaris, 1998) [fixup: trans by Alice Copple-Tošić of the above: pb/from Salvador Dali]
  • Nemoguci susreti (Belgrade, Serbia: Atelier Polaris, 2000) [fixup: binding unknown/]
  • Sedam dodra muzika (Belgrade, Serbia: Atelier Polaris, 2001) [fixup: binding unknown/]
  • Biblioteka (Belgrade, Serbia: Narodna knj. Alfa, 2002) [fixup: binding unknown/]
    • The Library (Belgrade, Serbia: Atelier Polaris, 2003) [fixup: trans by Alice Copple-Tošić of the above: pb/from Edouard Manet]
  • Koraci kroz maglu (Prosza, Serbia: Biblioteka Alfa, 2003) [fixup: hb/]
    • Steps Through the Mist (Belgrade, Serbia: Atelier Polaris, 2003) [fixup: trans by Alice Copple-Tošić of the above: pb/Nenad Bacanocic]
      • Impossible Stories (Hornsea, East Yorkshire: PS Publishing, 2006) [omni of the above five: all trans Alice Copple-Tošić: introduction by Paul Di Filippo: hb/Hawk Alfredson]
  • Skrivena Kamera (Belgrade, Serbia: Laguna, 2005) [binding unknown/]
    • Hidden Camera (Normal, Illinois: Dalkey Archive Press, 2005) [trans by Alice Copple-Tošić of the above: pb/]
  • Most (Belgrade, Serbia: Laguna, 2006) [binding unknown/]
    • The Bridge (Hornsea, East Yorkshire: PS Publishing, 2009) [trans by Alice Copple-Tošić of the above: introduction by John Grant: hb/Luis Rodriguez]
  • Esherove petlje (Belgrade, Serbia: Geopoetika, 2008) [pb/]
    • Escher's Loops (Belgrade, Serbia: Geopoetika, 2008) [trans by Alice Copple-Tošić of the above: pb/]

collections and stories

  • Compartments (Belgrade, Serbia: Atelier Polaris, 2004) [coll: trans by Alice Copple-Tošić perhaps simultaneous with Serbian version from same publisher: binding unknown/]
    • Compartments (Fukuoka, Japan: Kurodshan Press, 2010) [coll: exp of the above: pb/]
  • Four Stories Till the End (Belgrade, Serbia: Atelier Polaris, 2004) [coll: trans by Alice Copple-Tošić perhaps simultaneous with Serbian version from same publisher: pb/]
  • Dvanaest zbirki i ajdinica (Belgrade, Serbia: Atelier Polaris, 2005) [coll: binding unknown/]
    • 12 Collections & The Teashop (Hornsea, East Yorkshire: PS Publishing, 2007) [coll: trans by Alice Copple-Tošić of the above: introduction by Michael Moorcock: hb/Hawk Alfredson]
  • Miss Tamara, the Reader (Belgrade, Serbia: Atelier Polaris, 2006) [coll: trans from various sources: pb/]
  • Amarcord (Fukuoka, Japan: Kurodahan Press, 2007) [novella: trans by Alice Copple-Tošić from untraced 2007 original: binding unknown/]
    • Impossible Stories II (Hornsea, East Yorkshire: PS Publishing, 2009) [omni of the above: plus Compartments and Four Stories Till the End above: plus added stories: hb/Frank Alfredson]
  • The Ghostwriter (Hornsea, East Yorkshire: PS Publishing, 2012) [novella: trans by Alice Copple-Tošić from untraced 2009 original: hb/Michael Smith]
  • The Five Wonders of the Danube (Belgrade, Serbia: Zavod za Udžbenike, 2011) [coll: trans by Alice Copple-Tošić perhaps simultaneous with Serbian version from same publisher: illus/hb/Boris Kuzmanović]

nonfiction

works as editor

links

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