My HebrewPunk collection was one of my earliest books. First published in 2007, it collects four long linked stories which explore different historical eras and different tropes of pulp fiction, with a specifically Jewish slant. As Paul di Filippo said, they are the sort of stories that should have appeared in “such pulps as Thrilling Hebrew Tales and Yiddish Excitement Quarterly” – had those, of course, ever existed…
Ellen Datlow called it a “Judaic mystical alternative history”, and Kage Baker called it “Hard-Boiled Kabbalah”… neither of which I mind at all!
I also adore the cover, by Melissa Gay, which perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the book.
We took the opportunity to revamp the e-book from scratch for a better experience, and added a brand-new introduction and brief story notes.
How well I recall, as a lad aged some ten years, circa 1937, reading Lavie Tidhar’s stirring adventures in such pulps as THRILLING HEBREW TALES and YIDDISH EXCITEMENT QUARTERLY. Even then, these tales possessed a fascinating air of archaic menace and occult power. Now, some seventy years after their original publication, they positively radiate the uncanny sensibilities of a bygone era. What a cast of characters—the Rabbi, the Rat and the Tzaddik, as memorable as Doc Savage and his crew! And what a set of venues—the London underworld, the African jungles, and more! Plus robust menaces galore! Lavie Tidhar surpassed those who went before him, such as H. Rider Haggard, and inspired those who came after, viz, Avram Davidson and Alan Moore. Having these rousing romps gathered at last into the volume HEBREWPUNK marks a milestone in the literature of the fantastic.
—Paul Di Filippo, author of The Emperor of Gondwanaland and Other Stories
Lavie Tidhar has staked out (no pun intended) his own territory by imagining a Judaic mystical alternative history into which he injects vampires, zombies, werewolves, Tzaddiks, golems, and Rabbis. These four stories are wondrous, adventurous, and thought-provoking.
—Ellen Datlow, co-editor of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror
Here we have stories of Tzaddik, The Rat, the Rabbi… Lavie is mining ancient traditions and recent history to write stories of modern despair and a weird sort of redemptive compassion, messing with our expectations and always, always, leading with our humanity, even when those heroes are, by some standards, monsters.
—Laura Anne Gilman, author of Burning Bridges
Lavie Tidhar has a unique and fascinating voice, as well as a good sense of history—both History Surreal and History Literary, as well as the more mundane kind. Imagine Hard-Boiled Kabbalah, a Godfather Rabbi whose gang includes vampires, werewolves and (naturally) golems. If you like your otherworld fun noir, have I got a book for you!
—Kage Baker, author of In the Garden of Iden