what zivkovic calls a mosaic novel, told in 5 parts from 5 stories, investigates the unreality of reality, via a metaphor of mist descending so that the character is totally enveloped and must rely on their inner dialog to figure out their fate death, of course i like zivkovic for has style of very matter of fact telling, but very surreal circumstances and that usually end in miserable and mostly violent death Author continually questions fate, choices, freewill, and chance, usually to the detriment of his characters that said, i liked his novel hidden camera better because it does all of the above in great detail and with just one character, instead of 5 it is a dalkey he also has nice blog and pics, and vids here other usa publisher is AIO, who seem kind of interesting toohttp www.aiopublishing.com Reminiscent of the best of Frederic Brown, Anthony Boucher, and Jonathan Carroll, Serbian writer Zoran Zivkovic s latest book Steps Through the Mists Atelier Polaris, 2003 traverses the unpredictable worlds of Fate Five women of various ages, occupations, and mental states encounter their unique futures a school girl journeys in others dreams a woman in a straightjacket not only sees the future, but determines it as well a middle aged skier encounters a mysterious being who attempts to control her a fraudulent fortune teller who mistrusts her own abilities and an old lady whose precious alarm clock breaks Through five short stories, Zivkovic weaves these disparate elements into a masterpiece that can t be laid down.Steps Through the Mist is littered with scenes that question what is real and what is not The endings are almost all shockers, but of the good kind The surprise that puts everything into context or of the type that you hope the writer would go through with if they had the balls or the vision Zivkovic has both in spades And the talent His writing is deceptively simple and beautifully elegant all at the same time His translator Alice Copple Tosic is to be congratulated A poor translation often destroys an otherwise good book Zivkovic has used Copple Tosic on most of his English translated works with good reason, as evident with Steps Through the Mist which reads like it was originally written in English The prose is flawless.Zivkovic brings us into the minds of the women We become familiar with each one s fears, hopes, and neuroses As each made her way through the mists to the future, I empathized with her plight Their confusion, trepidation, and concerns became my own.My complaints about this book are mainly cosmetic and most of them rise out of my experience as a bookseller and publisher Though nicely packaged with good cover stock and quality paper, there is nothing on the outside of the book to tell you about it On the cover is an attractive painting with the author and title The back cover is black with a small moon and the publisher s logo If this book hadn t been sent to me and if I weren t already familiar with Zoran Zivkovic, I would have never picked this up, never mind read it Sadly, these problems along with the current lack of distribution will most likely prevent Steps Through the Mist from getting the audience it deserves.With this book, Zoran Zivkovic demonstrates why he is one of the great, although unheralded, masters of the contemporary fantasy Steps Through the Mist is a must have for people who like their fiction a little surreal and a lot off center This review originally appeared on RevolutionSF Link Five interlocking short stories that walk through the eternal debate is life predetermined or is it left up to chance Can possibly leave you feeling a tad creeped out Don t read before you go to sleep. A handful of decent short stories 3.5 stars Five Women In Various Stages Of Life All Connected By A Mysterious, Obscuring Mist Face The Deterministic Trap Of Fate In This Mosaic Novel A Freshman At A Girl S Boarding School Gains The Strange Ability To Share Other People S Dreams, Whereas A Young Woman In A Straitjacket Desperately Tries To Select A Very Particular Future From Among Countless Possibilities A Middle Aged Skier Refuses To Be A Puppet On A String, While A Mature Fortune Teller Experiences A Faltering Faith In Her Trade, And When An Elderly Woman S Precious Alarm Clock Suddenly Breaks, She Suffers A Vivid And Troubling Encounter With Her Past An Enticing Mix Of The Ordinary With The Surreal And The Mundane With The Sublime, These Tales Quietly Twist Trusted Concepts I really was drawn in by this book, because it was so mysterious I had no idea what to expect There was no description, just a black book with an interesting title I loved the writing style the book contained a few short stories which all had a sense of chilling finality to them, all feeling complete as they were read on their own, yet were connected to a central theme, which gave the stories some fluency as they shifted The writing is eerie, but in a wonderful and subtle way.The most interesting story was the one about the woman who was in the psychiatric ward who had the ability to choose the future and didn t want the responsibility of choosing the best possible future Very interesting idea presented there, that the future outcomes are only fair if directed by chance, no matter how chaotic, rather than conscious choice, no matter how planned and well intentioned Because even when choosing to decrease suffering, it would still require choosing which few people would suffer for the majority.I thought the ideas in the stories were presented with simplicity that was a bit lacking in complexity I didn t mind that so much, but it just didn t take me long to read at all , but overall, I found the writing eloquent. So bizarre Can a girl visit the dreams of others What is a dream and what is reality Should someone be allowed to dictate the future Can you stop time What if you re dead and can t tell Can you choose when it s time to die This book creeped me out There s no logical reason as to why it freaked me out as much as it did There are five simple stories about five different women Through every story flows the ethereal mist disguising and distorting reality The women, themselves, were a little, shall we say, strange Then they had these bizarre experiences that left the reader wondering what was true and what was imagined I honestly can t explain why it was so disturbing, but it was I couldn t read it at night I gave it two stars because I didn t love it I don t love books that leave me feeling so strange Also, I think the author was trying to make a point, but I couldn t really figure out what it was If you like weird psychologically disturbing stories, then you should check this book out. I needed a book from the bottom shelf for my libraries winter reading club and I chose this one at random based solely on it s cover I didn t read what it was about, or who the author was, I barely even paid attention to the title until after I had finished reading it and I m glad I did it this way The cover is black on black with silver writing and the texture of half is softer, almost leathery with a black lamppost overlaid on it The edges of the book are printed in black and inside on each page is the authors signature in the spine so you see parts of it peeking out as you read.The stories were fairly short with a common thread running through them, but each stood alone and had it s own meaning They are evocative, disquieting without being disturbing and thought provoking without being obvious, each one was just a subtle little gem that challenges how you see things I am hoping this author hasworks translated into English so I can readby him. Miss Alexandra dreamed that she was in an asylum for the mentally disturbed after a traffic accident in which she hurt her head She had terrible visions that frightened her A doctor came to visit and she told him about her visions, but he didn t believe them Miss Theodora dreamed that she was skiing An unusually dressed man sat next to her on the ski lift He explained that he was not there by accident He had come to see which path she would take to ski down the slope For some reason this was very important Miss Clara dreamed that she was a clairvoyant A young man came to her parlor with a strange request He wanted her to confirm that he only had a short time left to live. The Complete Review has never let me down Zoran Zivkovic s Steps Through the Mist is a collection of inter connected short stories a mosaic novel, if you will about five women, each with a unique relationship to their fate There is an interesting investigation here into creation, knowledge and command in each story, a woman may have all or none regarding her fate but her possession of any of them forms the crux of each story or tile This was a fresh, exciting piece of writing and I m glad that I came across it I will readby this author in the future If you like philosophy with your fiction, this is for you.