People of the Book: A Decade of Jewish Science Fiction and Fantasy

Overview

From Sholom Aleichem to Avram Davidson, Isaac Bashevis Singer to Tony Kushner, the Jewish literary tradition has always been one rich in the supernatural and the fantastic. In these pages, gathered from the best short fiction of the last ten years, twenty authors prove that their heritage is alive and well-in the spaces between stars that an alphabet can bridge, folklore come to life and histories become stories, and all the places where old worlds and new collide and change.

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Overview

From Sholom Aleichem to Avram Davidson, Isaac Bashevis Singer to Tony Kushner, the Jewish literary tradition has always been one rich in the supernatural and the fantastic. In these pages, gathered from the best short fiction of the last ten years, twenty authors prove that their heritage is alive and well-in the spaces between stars that an alphabet can bridge, folklore come to life and histories become stories, and all the places where old worlds and new collide and change.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The strength of Michael Chabon's contribution to this uneven anthology, "Golems I Have Known, or, Why My Elder Son's Middle Name Is Napoleon: A Trickster's Memoir," only emphasizes, by contrast, the middling quality of many of the other 19 entries. Chabon blends reality and fiction in his fascinating account of how his life was affected by meeting golems. The most science-fictional tale, Matthew Kressel's "The History Within Us," explores Jewish and alien concepts of the afterlife 6,000 years in the future. The line between fantasy and scripture blurs in Rachel Pollack's "Burning Beard," which explores Joseph's gift—or curse—of dream interpretation. There are probably interesting reasons why there are no Jewish Narnias or Middle Earths, but the short introduction offers little guidance. (Mar.)
Library Journal
From Rachel Pollack's distinctive retelling of the story of Joseph ("Burning Beard: The Dreams and Visions of Joseph Ben Jacob, Lord Viceroy of Egypt") to Matthew Kressel's far future tale of apocalypse and historic preservation ("The History Within Us"), the 20 stories in this collection reveal the Jewish experience through the medium of fantastic literature. Contributions by Jane Yolen, Neil Gaiman, Peter S. Beagle, Michael Chabon, and other authors demonstrate the rich literary tradition of Jewish culture. VERDICT From tales of golems and dybbukim to stories that touch on the Holocaust, this sampling of tales from the last decade will appeal to both sf fans and readers interested in Jewish literature.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781607012382
  • Publisher: Prime Books
  • Publication date: 12/14/2010
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction Ann VanderMeer 11

Burning Beard: The Dreams and Visions of Joseph ben Jacob, Lord Viceroy of Egypt Rachel Pollack 13

How the Little Rabbi Grew Eliot Fintushel 27

Geddarien Rose Lemberg 36

The Wings of Meister Wilhelm Theodora Goss 47

The Dybbuk in Love Sonya Taaffe 67

Fidelity: A Primer Michael Blumlein 83

Niels Bohr and the Sleeping Dane Jonathon Sullivan 101

The Tsar's Dragons Jane Yolen 118

Going East Elana Gomel 149

Dark Coffee, Bright Light and the Paradoxes of Omnipotence Ben Burgis 161

Biographical Notes to "A Discourse on the Nature of Causality, with Air-planes" Benjamin Rosenbaum Benjamin Rosenbaum 170

Alienation and Love in the Hebrew Alphabet Lavie Tidhar 188

The Problem of Susan Neil Gaiman 196

Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel Peter S. Beagle 203

Eliyahu ha-Navi Max Sparber 231

Reuben Tamar Yellin 236

The Muldoon Glen Hirshberg 247

Semaphore Alex Irvine 269

Golems I Have Known, or, Why My Elder Son's Middle Name Is Napoleon: A Trickster's Memoir Michael Chabon 282

The History Within Us Matthew Kressel 297

About the Contributors 311

Publication History and Copyrights 317

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