The Fifth Dimension

By Martin Vopenka

Category: Crime, Fiction, LGBT+, SciFi, Translation

Formats available: Paperback, Ebook

Publication date: 09/09/15

ISBN-13: 9781909954083

ISBN-10: 190995408X

‘Absorbing, haunting and intellectually engaging throughout, with a gut-punch denouement.’ – The Financial Times

Striking world fiction from the Czech Republic, translated by Hana Sklenkova.

To support his family, a man submits himself to a solo science experiment in the High Andes. A cosmic adventure story of big ideas and murder. Your business is dead. It seems like a deal: leave your family behind in Prague for a year, isolate yourself in a research station in the Andes, and come home with a fortune. With a treatise on black holes for company, Jakob settles in at altitude. The air is thin. Strangers pass by on dangerous pilgrimage while his young wife and kids take life in his mind. One visitor provides a startling challenge to his sexuality. In mountain starkness, the big questions take shape: like what happens to love inside a black hole?

Part murder mystery, part science fiction, part mystical quest, part mountain adventure, always remarkable.


I loved it: simple as that. I started reading thinking I'd start with a few chapters and pace it over a week or two, but I found I couldn't stop. A potent and haunting novel of black holes, solitude and the sublime, it is never less than immensely readable and absorbing.

- Adam Roberts

Ably translated from the original Czech by Hana Sklenkova, The Fifth Dimension is a weighty and at times challenging read, its themes nothing less than life, death, the universe and love. It is absorbing, haunting and intellectually engaging throughout, with a gut-punch denouement.

- James Lovegrove, The Financial Times

Hana Sklenkova

Hana Sklenkova translated Martin Vopenka’s novel The Fifth Dimension from its native Czech into English. Hana has a Creative Writing MA (Distinction) from Plymouth University. An excerpt from her first novel appeared in the Czech Issue of The Edinburgh Review in 2010. In the same year she received a Playwright Development Bursary from the Theatre Royal Plymouth. She was a finalist in the Aesthetica Creative Works Competition and her play was featured at the Hidden City Festival. More recently, her novella was awarded first prize in The New Writer Prose …

Martin Vopenka

The Jewish-Czech author Martin Vopěnka is one of the leading voices in world literature, writing with ‘with a deft and compellingly simple control of sentences that is reminiscent of both Kafka and Kundera’ – Choice. “Martin Vopenka is one of my favourite Czech writers because, like Milan Kundera, he is beyond geography. You can’t find one anecdote or joke in his works; he is not boasting about his sense of humour. He is a modern writer for people under forty who have realized that real life is elsewhere. His writings …

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