hits counter People of the Book: A Decade of Jewish Science Fiction & Fantasy - Ebook PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

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

Availability: Ready to download

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, folklor 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.


Compare

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, folklor 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.

30 review for People of the Book: A Decade of Jewish Science Fiction & Fantasy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Megan Baxter

    Another collection of short stories I picked up on sale at the local comic book store during that one sale every year where such things appear. I thought Jewish science fiction sounded really interesting, and the authors on the cover sold me. Of course, having read it, this book is mostly Jewish fantasy, folklore brought to life. There are only, if I'm remembering correctly, two science fiction stories in it. That's a little disappointing, but in general, the quality of the stories in the collect Another collection of short stories I picked up on sale at the local comic book store during that one sale every year where such things appear. I thought Jewish science fiction sounded really interesting, and the authors on the cover sold me. Of course, having read it, this book is mostly Jewish fantasy, folklore brought to life. There are only, if I'm remembering correctly, two science fiction stories in it. That's a little disappointing, but in general, the quality of the stories in the collection was very high. Still, there isn't more Jewish science fiction out there? Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here. In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook

  2. 4 out of 5

    Shomeret

    I recall reading at least one other Jewish science fiction anthology, but it probably was during the 20th century long before I had a blog. People of the Book is a collection of 21st century stories. I hadn't read a single one of them previously though they are all reprints. This was another superior anthology because there were two stories that I considered excellent, and neither were by one of the well known contributors. Many readers, when they read anthologies at all, gravitate to stories by I recall reading at least one other Jewish science fiction anthology, but it probably was during the 20th century long before I had a blog. People of the Book is a collection of 21st century stories. I hadn't read a single one of them previously though they are all reprints. This was another superior anthology because there were two stories that I considered excellent, and neither were by one of the well known contributors. Many readers, when they read anthologies at all, gravitate to stories by writers with familiar names. I give every story a chance to hook me. I read seven stories out of the twenty listed in the table of contents of People of the Book. That's about a third of the collection. There have been many anthologies where I read no more than two or three stories. When that happens, I usually don't review them. The story that I loved the most was "Niels Bohr and the Sleeping Dane" by Jonathon Sullivan. This was a World War II story that dealt with the escape of Jews from Nazi occupied Denmark. I was transfixed by the characters and their situation. Yet that would earn the story a B+. What pushed Sullivan's tale up to an A was the excellent use of a figure from Danish folklore. This made the story richer and more resonant for me. Although this story is definitely fiction, I also learned things I didn't know about the life of the renowned physicist Niels Bohr. The story I discussed above, and the others that I reviewed in the blog version make this anthology a memorable one. For my complete review see http://shomeretmasked.blogspot.com/20...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Moira Russell

    Quick and dirty star ratings of each story from * to *****: Introduction by Ann VanderMeer * "Burning Beard: The Dreams and Visions of Joseph ben Jacob, Lord Viceroy of Egypt," Rachel Pollack ** "How the Little Rabbi Grew," Eliot Fintushe ** "Geddarien," by Rose Lemberg *** "The Wings of Meister Wilhelm," by Theodora Goss *** "The Dybbuk in Love," by Sonya Taaffe **** "Fidelity: A Primer," by Michael Blumlein * "Niels Bohr and the Sleeping Dane," by Jonathon Sullivan *** "The Tsar’s Dragons," by Quick and dirty star ratings of each story from * to *****: Introduction by Ann VanderMeer * "Burning Beard: The Dreams and Visions of Joseph ben Jacob, Lord Viceroy of Egypt," Rachel Pollack ** "How the Little Rabbi Grew," Eliot Fintushe ** "Geddarien," by Rose Lemberg *** "The Wings of Meister Wilhelm," by Theodora Goss *** "The Dybbuk in Love," by Sonya Taaffe **** "Fidelity: A Primer," by Michael Blumlein * "Niels Bohr and the Sleeping Dane," by Jonathon Sullivan *** "The Tsar’s Dragons," by Jane Yolen ** "Going East," by Elana Gomel ** "Dark Coffee, Bright Light and the Paradoxes of Omnipotence," Ben Burgis ** "Biographical Notes to 'A Discourse on the Nature of Causality, with Air-planes,'" Benjamin Rosenbaum **** "Alienation and Love in the Hebrew Alphabet," Lavie Tidhar * "The Problem of Susan," Neil Gaiman * "Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel," Peter S Beagle ***** "Eliyahu ha-Navi," Max Sparber ** "Reuben," Tamar Yellin *** "The Muldoon," Glen Hirshberg *** "Semaphore," Alex Irvine * "Golems I Have Known, or, Why My Elder Son’s Middle Name Is Napoleon: A Trickster’s Memoir," Michael Chabon * "The History Within Us," Matthew Kressel * .....AUGH, THIS HAS THAT NEIL GAIMAN BESTIALITY PORN STORY IN IT DAMN

  4. 4 out of 5

    LindaJ^

    There are 20 stories in this collection by 20 different Jewish authors. The best known, at least to this non-Jewish reader, were Michael Chabon and Neil Gaiman. The first story - Burning Bread - is a take on the biblical story of Joseph. In it Joseph is an old man looking back and forward in connection with his visions. The second story - How the Little Rabbi Grew - concerns a boy - Shlomo Beser - born into the "pure" Jewish community of Schuylertown, NY. He finishes his studies and becomes a ra There are 20 stories in this collection by 20 different Jewish authors. The best known, at least to this non-Jewish reader, were Michael Chabon and Neil Gaiman. The first story - Burning Bread - is a take on the biblical story of Joseph. In it Joseph is an old man looking back and forward in connection with his visions. The second story - How the Little Rabbi Grew - concerns a boy - Shlomo Beser - born into the "pure" Jewish community of Schuylertown, NY. He finishes his studies and becomes a rabbi at age 5 and knows much more than the rabbis who taught him and everyone else. The old rabbis tell his beloved aunt that she must report everything he says after he prays because he knows because they need to know his knowledge. She always stops before Shlomo is finished, until the last time. I enjoyed both of these stories. The third story - Geddarien - was incomprehensible to me. I cannot even summarize it. But the fourth story - The Wings of Meister Wilhelm was excellent. I place it as taking place sometime between 1900 and 1915 in South Carolina. Rose, a young tom boy, convinces her mother to let her give up piano and take violin lessons from a Mr. Wilhelm, a maestro. While Rose is a failure at making music, she begins to help Mr. Wilhelm to build a glider so he can carryout the wishes of his best friend (perhaps lover?) who died trying to make a glider that would take him to Orillion. When her beloved father finds out Mr. Wilhelm is Jewish, Rose learns discovers that her parents are not as white and black as she thought them. The fifth story - The Dybbuk in Love - was another that I just didn't get. The sixth story - Fidelity: A Primer was a rather funny and enjoyable tale. It tells the story of Lydell, Judith, their twin sons, and Wade. Lydell has a problem with circumcision. Judith has a problem with Lydell. Wade has a problem with impotence. This one may qualify as science fiction. The seventh story - Niels Bohr and the Sleeping Dane - was very good. It concerns a flight from the Nazis and a golem. The eight story - The Tsar's Dragon - concerns Rasputin's death. I did not understand what made it a Jewish story. The ninth story - Going East - concerns the son of a Jewish scholar who studies have taken him in a completely different direction - he is helping the Nazis distinguish Arians and Jews. He goes nuts. It's the hardest story to read but well done. The tenth story - Dark Coffee, Bright Light and the Paradoxes of Omnipotence - takes place, I think, in an alternate universe where the Palestinians rule and the Jews are strapping on bombs and blowing themselves up in populated places. The eleventh story - Biographical Notes to 'A Discourse on the Nature of Causality, with Air-planes' - takes place in a fantasy world where most of the world, including the US, is Muslim. Benjamin Rosenbaum is a plausible-fabulist who has been given the assignment "to construct a plausible-fable of a world without zepplins." But the story doesn't concern the assignment but rather a thwarted coup, I think. Not my favorite story by any means. The twelfth story - Alienation and Love in the Hebrew Alphabet - is divided into 22 segments, each labeled with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. I think it is about a mother and daughter saving a spaceman, as well as a mother and daughter trying to get accustomed to living on a kibbitz, but I could be wrong. The thirteenth story - The Problem of Susan - is Gaiman's story. Professor Hastings is being interviewed by Greta Campion for a literary magazine and asks questions about the Professor's book called "A Quest for Meaning in Children's Fiction." It seems the Professor may be someone from the Narnia stories by C.S. Lewis. This is a good story, especially if you've read the Narnia series. The fourteenth story - Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel - concerns an angel who visits a painter and tells him she has been assigned to him as a model and a mentor. The painter cannot get her to go and eventually doesn't want to. He paintings of her sell like hotcakes but his wife is getting worried. She brings the rabbi to the studio and the truth emerges. This is a great story. The fifteenth story - Elyahu ha-Navi - concerns Elijah, who in 1908 was brought to New York on the Lusitanna by the narrator's great-grandparents, who then kept him under their sink. This story concerns what happens to Elijah when he is the responsibility of the narrator while he is at college. I was not particularly fond of it. The sixteenth story Reuben is the story of a young boy who finds his wayward uncle far more attractive than his own father, even when the truth is told. It was okay. The seventeenth story - The Muldoon - takes place on the night after the shiva for Miriam's and Martin's grandfather. It's a bit on the scary side and things turn out not so good for Martin. It was okay. The eighteenth story - Semaphore - concerns a 69 year old man, whose Uncle Mike just died at age 97. He is remembering his brother Daniel who was killed in WWII and how he reacted and how Uncle Mike understood. It is a story of how one young person handled his grief. It is a good story. The nineteenth story - Golems I Have Known, or, Why My Elder Son's Middle Name is Napoleon: A Trickster's Memoir - is the one by Chabon. This however appears not to be fiction but rather a mini memoir about how he thought he inadvertently brought his uncle's golem to life, which leads to his learning about golems. It was interesting. The last story - The History Within Us - takes place in the very, very far future at what may be the end of all live as the last sun in the last solar system in the last universe is about to call it quits. Betsy is the last human. She is watching the recorded history of her family - thousands and thousands of years of it. Before it existed on the recorder, it was part of her DNA. Other species start talking to her. None have any reason to be nice to a human, as humans are the cause of the end of all life but for the most part, they are bearing no grudges. But one of them makes a comment that causes her to rethink going into deep sleep with her history. This one was okay. So ultimately, the very good and excellent stories were balanced by the ones I thought not so good and I arrived at a rating of 3. I am glad I read the book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)

    The average of all the ratings I gave these stories is 3.75 stars. I'm very happy with this collection. I've had bad experiences with anthologies of multiple authors before, but this one was really good. Being a Jew who loves fantasy, it's awesome to have a book full of fantasy that centers Jewish characters (well... mostly? There was one story where I couldn't find any connection to Judaism and I don't know what was up with that. Neil Gaiman explain yourself). My favorite stories: Geddarien by Ros The average of all the ratings I gave these stories is 3.75 stars. I'm very happy with this collection. I've had bad experiences with anthologies of multiple authors before, but this one was really good. Being a Jew who loves fantasy, it's awesome to have a book full of fantasy that centers Jewish characters (well... mostly? There was one story where I couldn't find any connection to Judaism and I don't know what was up with that. Neil Gaiman explain yourself). My favorite stories: Geddarien by Rose Lemberg, a devastating and beautiful story of a Jewish musician in a ghetto during the Holocaust who plays music for a dancing city. The Dybbuk in Love by Sonya Taafe, a gorgeously-written tale about exactly what the title says. Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel by Peter S. Beage, in which a grumpy Jewish painter is unimpressed by the literal actual angel who appears in his studio. Semaphore by Alex Irvine, about a boy struggling to come to terms with his brother's death by absorbing words and etymology. And those are just the ones I rated five stars. I absolutely recommend this book if you've always wanted more Jews in your fantasy books.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Skjam!

    One of the perils of reading a lot of anthologies is that you see a fair amount of overlap in stories, particularly in themed anthologies. (I include “Best of the Year” in that as there tend to be multiple Best Ofs each year.) This anthology tries to mitigate it a bit by limiting itself to newer works by Jewish writers, between 2000 and 2010, instead of relying on the classics. Thus we have twenty relatively fresh stories to savor. “Burning Beard: The Dreams and Visions of Joseph ben Jacob, Lord One of the perils of reading a lot of anthologies is that you see a fair amount of overlap in stories, particularly in themed anthologies. (I include “Best of the Year” in that as there tend to be multiple Best Ofs each year.) This anthology tries to mitigate it a bit by limiting itself to newer works by Jewish writers, between 2000 and 2010, instead of relying on the classics. Thus we have twenty relatively fresh stories to savor. “Burning Beard: The Dreams and Visions of Joseph ben Jacob, Lord Viceroy of Egypt” by Rachel Pollack opens the volume with a retelling of the tale from Genesis. Joseph has the gift of prophecy and interpreting dreams, but this is not always or even usually a boon to him. He sees visions of his successor Moses, and what it portends for the people of Joseph. “The History Within Us” by Matthew Kressel concerns one of the last humans in the galaxy, if not the last one, preparing to be sucked into a black hole. This is part of a project to seed the new universe to come with some of the information and history gained in the old one. (Which is collapsing early because humans weaponize everything.) Betsy carries the memories of her family all the way back to the Twentieth Century, but is she their caretaker, or their prisoner? This collection is heavier on fantasy than science fiction, and the latter tends to “alternate history.” Some stories I really liked: “The Tsar’s Dragons” by Jane Yolen, in which the seeds of the Russian Revolution are looked at with the metaphor of dragons for political power. “Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel” by Peter S. Beagle, about a painter and the angel who becomes his model, somewhat unwillingly (and is one of the most optimistic stories in the book despite the suffering included.) “The Problem with Susan” by Neil Gaiman features a dying literature professor whose life has parallels to Susan Pevensie from C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books. Or she may actually be Susan or the inspiration for the character; that’s left deliberately vague. It has an intensely dissatisfying ending, which I understand is deliberate. This is the only story in the volume with no direct mention of Jews or Judaism–I have to wonder if it was included just to have a Gaiman story? Ones I didn’t like so much: “Fidelity: A Primer” by Michael Blumlein is about a father’s decision not to have one of his twin sons circumcised. It might be magical realism, if you squint at it sideways, but seems mostly pointless. The Michael Chabon story about golems weaves his actual life story in with what are presumably fanciful inventions, and runs far too long for the subject for my tastes. Content notes: Unsurprisingly, some of the stories mention/are set in the Holocaust, with all that entails. One story has torture as a central plot point. Overall, a solid anthology with some top-notch talent and a couple of clunkers. Well worth picking up if you enjoy literature with Jewish themes.

  7. 4 out of 5

    laurenpie

    Interesting and diverse Frequently enjoyable, occasionally heart-wrenching, and almost always a thought-provoking and immediate cultural immersion. The very diverseness of the collection was interesting of itself. My VERY favorites for narrative strength: 1. Peter S Beagle, "UNCLE CHAIM AND AUNT RIFKE AND THE ANGEL" 2. Glen Hirshberg, "THE MULDOON" 3. Jonathon Sullivan's "NIELS BOHR AND THE SLEEPING DANE" 4. Tamar Yellin's "REUBEN" 5. Michael Blumlein's "FIDILETY: A PRIMER" My favorites for uniqueness o Interesting and diverse Frequently enjoyable, occasionally heart-wrenching, and almost always a thought-provoking and immediate cultural immersion. The very diverseness of the collection was interesting of itself. My VERY favorites for narrative strength: 1. Peter S Beagle, "UNCLE CHAIM AND AUNT RIFKE AND THE ANGEL" 2. Glen Hirshberg, "THE MULDOON" 3. Jonathon Sullivan's "NIELS BOHR AND THE SLEEPING DANE" 4. Tamar Yellin's "REUBEN" 5. Michael Blumlein's "FIDILETY: A PRIMER" My favorites for uniqueness of plot: 1. Neil Gaiman's "THE PROBLEM OF SUSAN" 2. Matthew Kressel's, "THE HISTORY WITHIN US" 3. Max Sparber's, "ELIYAHU HA-NAVI" 4. Elana Gomel's "GOING EAST" Wistfully beautiful: Rose Lemberg's "GEDDARIEN" Just plain fun, but with deeper layers: Michael Chabon's "GOLEMS I HAVE KNOWN" Disliked: Rachel Pollack's "BURNING BEARD" (felt sacrilegious) Don't give up after the first few stories, their quality gets better! The anthology could have been enhanced by including a few NON-fiction editorial essays on the subject matter.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tocotin

    One-sentence reviews incoming! I have no time, it's the last day of 2018 and I want to check all the books I read this year. I may or may not post ちゃんとした reviews. I'll do my best to review a book as soon as I finish. Honest New Year resolution! So – this collection is, as pretty much any short story collection (especially by various authors), uneven. I felt that the stories in the second part were stronger. My favorite was Going East; it's very short and heart-rendingly tragic, and it has creatur One-sentence reviews incoming! I have no time, it's the last day of 2018 and I want to check all the books I read this year. I may or may not post ちゃんとした reviews. I'll do my best to review a book as soon as I finish. Honest New Year resolution! So – this collection is, as pretty much any short story collection (especially by various authors), uneven. I felt that the stories in the second part were stronger. My favorite was Going East; it's very short and heart-rendingly tragic, and it has creatures from Jewish folklore which are neither golems nor dybbuks (I like both, but I think they've had their bones picked clean by the pop culture).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carlton

    3.5 stars. The last Jewish scifi book I read was "He, She and It" by Marge Piercy in 1992 (STILL haven't read "The Yiddish Policemen's Union"). As with all anthologies, "People of the Book" is a mixed bag. That is unavoidable. Some of the stories were great, some were just good, none disappoint. So next time somebody says to you as they said to me, "Jews can't do scifi/fantasy!" just point them in the direction of "People of the Book: A Decade of Jewish Science Fiction & Fantasy" They will be pl 3.5 stars. The last Jewish scifi book I read was "He, She and It" by Marge Piercy in 1992 (STILL haven't read "The Yiddish Policemen's Union"). As with all anthologies, "People of the Book" is a mixed bag. That is unavoidable. Some of the stories were great, some were just good, none disappoint. So next time somebody says to you as they said to me, "Jews can't do scifi/fantasy!" just point them in the direction of "People of the Book: A Decade of Jewish Science Fiction & Fantasy" They will be pleasantly surprised.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shira Glassman

    Most of these stories were too dark for me but there were some that I really loved, including a dark one: The Dybbuk in Love, a m/f paranormal romance which I reviewed on its own page, "Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel"--what is the difference between angels and mankind? Between the Jewish approach to supernatural beings and other philosophies'? Between the traditional rabbi and the modern Reform one (and does that difference matter?) "Semaphore", which is out-and-out Jewish inspie about de Most of these stories were too dark for me but there were some that I really loved, including a dark one: The Dybbuk in Love, a m/f paranormal romance which I reviewed on its own page, "Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel"--what is the difference between angels and mankind? Between the Jewish approach to supernatural beings and other philosophies'? Between the traditional rabbi and the modern Reform one (and does that difference matter?) "Semaphore", which is out-and-out Jewish inspie about dealing with grief and I loved it, and "The Muldoon" (the dark one), a horror story. I am glad to have read it just to discover these, even if the others weren't my preference.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Leiram

    As many people have said, this is not super even--the stories definitely vary in quality--but I really enjoyed the overall experience and felt intensely emotional about a couple of the stories, hence the five-star review. There is also the fact that there was no story that I legimately disliked, although the Gaiman continues to puzzle me. I do wish there was more sci-fi in it, but I do prefer fantasy and so it was really lovely. My favorites (in order they appear): "How the Little Rabbi Grew," " As many people have said, this is not super even--the stories definitely vary in quality--but I really enjoyed the overall experience and felt intensely emotional about a couple of the stories, hence the five-star review. There is also the fact that there was no story that I legimately disliked, although the Gaiman continues to puzzle me. I do wish there was more sci-fi in it, but I do prefer fantasy and so it was really lovely. My favorites (in order they appear): "How the Little Rabbi Grew," "Geddarien," "The Dybbuk in Love," "Niels Bohr and the Sleeping Dane," "Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel," and "Semaphore."

  12. 4 out of 5

    Darlene

    Back in the '70s, Jack Dann brought out the collection Wandering Stars, the first Jewish themed SF & Fantasy collection. WS became a classic, and a popular Bar & Bat Mitzvah gift. Swirsky continues that tradition with People of the Book, a decade's worth of Jewish theme speculative fiction. I found the stories were not consistently entertaining, but that may be a personal prejudice. There were enough that held my interest to keep me reading along, bit by bit, over many Friday nights. My favorite Back in the '70s, Jack Dann brought out the collection Wandering Stars, the first Jewish themed SF & Fantasy collection. WS became a classic, and a popular Bar & Bat Mitzvah gift. Swirsky continues that tradition with People of the Book, a decade's worth of Jewish theme speculative fiction. I found the stories were not consistently entertaining, but that may be a personal prejudice. There were enough that held my interest to keep me reading along, bit by bit, over many Friday nights. My favorite was Peter S. Beagle's "Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel".

  13. 5 out of 5

    Leaf Grabenstetter

    A very solid collection. A number of the stories I'd read before, but among those were some of my all-time favorites, like Benjamin Rosenbaum's 'Biographical notes to "A Discourse on the nature of Causality, with Air-Planes" by Benjamin Rosenbaum"'. A little maudlin in places, collectively, but well worth reading. A very solid collection. A number of the stories I'd read before, but among those were some of my all-time favorites, like Benjamin Rosenbaum's 'Biographical notes to "A Discourse on the nature of Causality, with Air-Planes" by Benjamin Rosenbaum"'. A little maudlin in places, collectively, but well worth reading.

  14. 5 out of 5

    C.Y. Falvey

    One of the better anthologies I've read, and I'm a sucker for anthologies generally. Not every story is a winner (I skipped Sonya Taafe's "The Dybbuk in Love"), but there are really excellent pieces by Peter S. Beagle and Glen Hirshberg in particular. One of the better anthologies I've read, and I'm a sucker for anthologies generally. Not every story is a winner (I skipped Sonya Taafe's "The Dybbuk in Love"), but there are really excellent pieces by Peter S. Beagle and Glen Hirshberg in particular.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jim Kratzok

    The history of a people is in these stories, fact and fiction, folklore, fantasy, and wishful thinking. While the bulk of the Yiddish and "inside jokes" may be more appreciated by those readers with a Jewish background, the humanity expressed in these stories should speak to all readers. The history of a people is in these stories, fact and fiction, folklore, fantasy, and wishful thinking. While the bulk of the Yiddish and "inside jokes" may be more appreciated by those readers with a Jewish background, the humanity expressed in these stories should speak to all readers.

  16. 4 out of 5

    David

    Read my review on New York Journal of Books Read my review on New York Journal of Books

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sandy Brehl

    I'm already of fan of fantasy, science/social fiction, and memoir, so this compilation was highly readable, representing some of the best of current authors. I'm already of fan of fantasy, science/social fiction, and memoir, so this compilation was highly readable, representing some of the best of current authors.

  18. 4 out of 5

    tlev 4242

    There were some really really good stories in here. Also a couple that I skipped past and would not have included if it were up to me. So a mixed bag, but strong jewish themes through most of them.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anna Hawes

    I loved some of these stories and disliked others. It was fun to learn about Jewish folklore like dybbuks and golems. The stories I liked: Burning Beard by Rachel Pollack (story from point of view of Joseph of Egypt) The Wings of Mister Wilheim by Theodora Goss (misfits dream of escape to floating city) Niels Bohr and the Sleeping Dane by Jonathon Sullivan (golem vs Nazis) The Tsar's Dragon by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple (Rasputin + Lenin + Trotsky + literal dragons) Dark Coffee, Bright Light and th I loved some of these stories and disliked others. It was fun to learn about Jewish folklore like dybbuks and golems. The stories I liked: Burning Beard by Rachel Pollack (story from point of view of Joseph of Egypt) The Wings of Mister Wilheim by Theodora Goss (misfits dream of escape to floating city) Niels Bohr and the Sleeping Dane by Jonathon Sullivan (golem vs Nazis) The Tsar's Dragon by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple (Rasputin + Lenin + Trotsky + literal dragons) Dark Coffee, Bright Light and the Paradoxes of Omnipotence by Ben Burgis (alt universe where Israel lost the Six Day War of 1967) Biographical Notes to 'A Discourse on the Nature of Causality, with Air-planes' by Benjamin Rosenbaum (adventure romp in alt universe) Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifle and the Angel by Peter S Beagle (most pleasant possession story ever) The Muldoon by Glen Hirshberg (excellent ghost story) Semaphore by Alex Irvine (young boy mourns brother by studying words) I'm mad that the Neil Gaiman story had an interesting premise but ended with a totally gross/weird bestiality scene.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    There were a handful of stories in here I liked, but many more that were so upsetting, dark, gruesome, that I had trouble sleeping, which I do not like at all. I loved the story by Peter S. Beagle, hated the direction the one by Gaiman took --and it had no relevance to the book's supposed Jewish theme. The science fiction theme promised in the book title was false advertising. Many of the stories were fantastical or fable-like, so the fantasy designation seems more accurate. I enjoyed Theodora G There were a handful of stories in here I liked, but many more that were so upsetting, dark, gruesome, that I had trouble sleeping, which I do not like at all. I loved the story by Peter S. Beagle, hated the direction the one by Gaiman took --and it had no relevance to the book's supposed Jewish theme. The science fiction theme promised in the book title was false advertising. Many of the stories were fantastical or fable-like, so the fantasy designation seems more accurate. I enjoyed Theodora Goss, Alex Irvine, and Rachel Pollack's stories. I found the many Holocaust stories historically inaccurate, upsetting, frustrating, disturbing (I am a child of survivors, others may have greater tolerance for this genre).

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brenda (aka Gramma)

    8 stories that were interesting to me (out of 20 stories): Ben Burgis - Dark Coffee, Bright Light and the Paradoxes of Omnipotence Elana Gomel - Going East Peter S Beagle - Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel Jonathon Sullivan - Niels Bohr and the Sleeping Dane Theodora Goss - The Wings of Meister Wilhelm Jane Yolen - The Tsar’s Dragons Neil Gaiman - The Problem of Susan Michael Chabon - Golems I Have Known, or, Why My Elder Son’s Middle Name Is Napoleon: A Trickster’s Memoir

  22. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    The stories in here were pretty "eh". Some were interesting, like "Uncle Chaim, Aunt Rivke, and the Angel" and "Benjamin Rosenbaum". Some like "The Problem of Susan" were the worst short stories I ever read. So 2/5. The stories in here were pretty "eh". Some were interesting, like "Uncle Chaim, Aunt Rivke, and the Angel" and "Benjamin Rosenbaum". Some like "The Problem of Susan" were the worst short stories I ever read. So 2/5.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    I guess I prefer novel-length science fiction and fantasy. And some of these stories were more weird than creative.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Edrei

    Not much to recommend here: Neil Gaiman's "The Problem of Susan" is always welcome (if, perhaps, preferably found in collections of his own work), and highlights include Elana Gomel's chilling tale "Going East" and Rose Lemberg's elegiac "Geddarien"; but too many stories in this collection either skirt the edges of the fantastic (in either its science-fiction or fantasy forms) or fail to meet base generic criteria at all. The collection does sport an impressive array of writers, and none of the Not much to recommend here: Neil Gaiman's "The Problem of Susan" is always welcome (if, perhaps, preferably found in collections of his own work), and highlights include Elana Gomel's chilling tale "Going East" and Rose Lemberg's elegiac "Geddarien"; but too many stories in this collection either skirt the edges of the fantastic (in either its science-fiction or fantasy forms) or fail to meet base generic criteria at all. The collection does sport an impressive array of writers, and none of the featured works can truly be said to be poorly-written... but this book promises a decade of Jewish SF and fantasy, and in that regard it most certainly does not deliver.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Lubell

    Anthology of Jewish stories, most not very Jewish.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Daphnar

    Short fantasy and science fiction stories with a Jewish theme (although I had trouble picking out the Jewish in one or two of them). Themes of possession, dreams, and tragedy abound.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    An eclectic and entertaining collection of science fiction and fantasy short stories.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jaime

    Super interesting to read SF/F stories based on such familiar heritage to me. I enjoyed very much.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Interesting collection of short stories. Some are a bit of a fantasy/sci-fi stretch, but many are really good.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Feinstein

    Surprisingly good (can't usually read sci-fi and fantasy)! Surprisingly good (can't usually read sci-fi and fantasy)!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.