Earlier this year I was fascinated by Michael Weingrad’s article over at Jewish Review of Books titled Why There is No Jewish Narnia. I have only a cursory knowledge of most of the world’s religions, so why members of one faith might be more inclined toward writing fantasy over science fiction (or vice versa) had never occurred to me…and if it had, I don’t have the knowledge base necessary to make reasonable assumptions or broad generalizations anyway.
I thought the article was interesting, though, and it’s been in the back of my mind for a while. I revisited it recently when I came across the listing for a December release that immediately went on my “want!” list:
People of the Book: A Decade of Jewish Science Fiction and Fantasy
Rachel Swirksy and Sean Wallace, editors
Science Fiction & Fantasy
December 14, 2010
The blurb from goodreads:
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.
According to amazon.com, the list of contributing authors includes Peter S. Beagle, Michael Chabon, Neil Gaiman, Lavie Tidhar, Tamar Yellin, and Jane Yolen. To me, Beagle and Gaiman alone are reason enough for me to check this out. So, yes. I guess you could say I’m excited to see this anthology. I’m also curious to see if the fantasy/science fiction split within it reflects the statements of of the Weingrad article.
Dec. 3: Edited to add that SFF Chat, in honor of Chanukah, has a series of posts and interviews about/of Jewish authors in SFF this month. Head over and check it out!