I’m delighted to say that HebrewPunk, my collection of four linked stories of pulp Jewish fantasy, are to be published in Hungarian, as a serial in Galaktika Magazine.
The first of these is “The Dope Fiend”, in the current issue of the magazine!
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.