For years, Zoran Živkovic has awed, entertained, and tantalized the world of fantastic literature with his ingenious and moving fabulations, tales of ordinary, often isolated people facing and being transfigured by the strange, the improbable. Logic and illogic meet head-on in Zivkovic's stories, and the outcome is always deeply memorable. Now, for the first time, Impossible Stories assembles between a single set of covers five of the author's distinguished story-cycles, as well as the stand-alone 'The Telephone': twenty-nine stories in all.
In Impossible Stories you will find:
Time Gifts: A mysterious visitor comes to see three desperate human beings across the ages: an astronomer, a paleolinguist, and an old watch-maker; he has a unique but ambiguous time-gift for each one of them. His true identity is known only to an insane artist locked up in her asylum studio. But who would believe an artist in this world, even if she were not insane?
Impossible Encounters: Six strangely related stories about encounters that could or should never have happened. Including conversations with God and the Devil, with an alien and one's older self; and the answer to the enigma: where do off-duty story characters go?
Seven Touches of Music: Seven stories about moments of divine revelation through music, which leave no mark beyond the ephemeral instant of their perception. Among the remarkable epiphanies witnessed are an old widower glimpsing an alternate existence, a librarian dreaming the death of all knowledge, and an artist's rendering of inscrutable alien messages.
The Library: 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; a connoisseur of hardcovers strives to expel a lone paperback from his collection...
Steps Through the Mist: Five women of various ages face, each in her own way, what seems to be the deterministic trap of Fate. A schoolteacher, a fortune-teller, a young woman on a skiing holiday, an inflexible old spinster, a girl who can collapse reality into any shape: when another dreams you, or controls you, or invests you with godlike power, can there be any escape, ever?