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About the Author

Zoran Zivkovic was born in Belgrade, Serbia, on October 5, 1948. Until his recent retirement, he was a full professor at the Faculty of Philology, the University of Belgrade, teaching creative writing. He is one of the most translated contemporary Serbian writers: by the end of 2017 there were 93 foreign editions of his books of fiction, published in 23 countries, in 20 languages. Zivkovic has won several literary awards for his fiction, beginning with the Milos Crnjanski award in 1994 for his novel The Fourth Circle. In 2003, Zivkovic's mosaic novel The Library won a World Fantasy Award for Best Novella; in 2007 his novel The Bridge won the Isidora Sekulic award; and in 2007 he received the Stefan Mitrov Ljubisa award for lifetime achievement in literature. In 2014 and 2015 he received three awards for his contribution to the literature of fantastika: Art-Anima, Stanislav Lem and The Golden Dragon. Zoran Zivkovic has been recognized with his selection as European Grand Master for 2017 by the European Science Fiction Society at the 39th Eurocon in Dortmund, Germany. Tamar Yellin is the author of three works of fiction: The Genizah at the House of Shepher was shortlisted for the Jewish Quarterly/H.H. Wingate Prize, was awarded the Harold U. Ribalow Prize and was the inaugural winner of the international Sami Rohr Prize for emerging Jewish writers. Kafka in Bronteland and other stories was awarded the Reform Judaism Prize for Literature, was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize and longlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. Her most recent book is Tales of the Ten Lost Tribes. She lives in Yorkshire, England, where she is a current Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund. Youchan Ito was born 1968 in Aichi prefecture, Japan. She launched her career as a graphic designer in 1988, becoming a freelancer illustrator in 1991 and founding Togoru Co., Ltd. with her husband in 2000. In 2017 the company was reborn as Togoru Art Works. She works with a wide range of genres including cover art and design for science fiction, mysteries and horror titles, as well as illustrations for children's books.


  • ...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, Zivkovic has produced a thought-provoking story, and the fine translation by Alice Copple-Tosic 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

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