I’m blogging for the Jewish Book Council this week, beginning with Thrilling Hebrew Tales! On Jewish Vampires, Golems, Tzaddiks, and HebrewPunk:
I’ve got a feeling that, in years from now, with many novels, novellas, and collections all out (I’ll have 3 novels out just next year, if it’s an indication), when oil becomes scarce and there’ll be a Chinese colony on the moon, I’ll still be that HebrewPunk guy.
I should probably explain…
A few years ago, I became irritated enough with fantasy fiction to do something about it. When I get asked about it, I normally say it was the vampires what did it. It used to drive me insane that the underlying assumption of – well, pretty much all – vampire novels and movies, was that Christianity worked.
After all, we all know what vampires are afraid of. Crosses and holy water, right?
Which is strange, and a little uncomfortable, if you happen to be Jewish.
Because, like the Aryan elves of fantasy literature, there is a whole planetary mass of underlying assumptions of cultural dominance behind those “silly stories about unreal things”. And Jews don’t belong, they seem to say, in fantasy. – read the rest of the article.
Yes, now that there’s a spiffy new American edition, The Bookman is once more available (and cheaper than ever!) at The Book Depository, currently at a ridiculously low $7.14, with free shipping worldwide!
And for an even more ridiculous $4.79, you can buy the e-book version from the Sony eBookstore!
So, you know. Giant lizards? Lord Byron? A timeless tale of star-crossed lovers? A giant cannon? Floating mushrooms? Jules Verne? Pirates? Poetry? It’s all in there, and all historically and politically dubious!
The truth is, I didn’t initially set out to write a steampunk novel. I set out to write an ambitious, secondary-world fantasy trilogy that was, like HebrewPunk, based on Jewish – rather then Western European, or Celtic, or Nordic – mythology. Like HebrewPunk, I thought it would have dybbuks in it – and golems – and kabbalists. It would also have chases, and adventures, and a quest of some sort. It would have been great…
Only, somewhat to my surprise, it sucked.
It wasn’t the Jewish element, of course. To a large extent, it was me. I was trying to take on too much – too soon – and to do it, moreover, without joy. I didn’t enjoy it. and if the writer doesn’t enjoy the book they are writing, why expect the readers to? – read the rest of the post.