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

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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  64 ratings  ·  11 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 318 pages
Published December 14th 2010 by Prime Books (first published December 1st 2010)
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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
...more
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
...more
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.
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 b ...more
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 f
...more
Lisa 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.
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.
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.
Jaycee
An eclectic and entertaining collection of science fiction and fantasy short stories.
Samuel Lubell
Anthology of Jewish stories, most not very Jewish.
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Rachel Swirsky holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop and is a graduate of Clarion West. Her work has been short-listed for the Nebula, the Hugo, and the Sturgeon Award, and placed second in 2010's Million Writers Award. In addition to numerous publications in magazines and anthologies, Swirsky is the author of three short stories published as e-books, "Eros, Philia, Agape," "The Memory of Wi ...more
More about Rachel Swirsky...
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