oldcharliebrown (oldcharliebrown) wrote,

Review: People of the Book, ed. Rachel Swirsky and Sean Wallace

"I was hanging out a lot with Jack Dann when he put together the first anthology of Jewish-themed science fiction and fantasy, Wandering Stars, in 1974. Now, 36 years later, there’s another one, People of the Book: A Decade of Jewish Science Fiction and Fantasy, edited by Rachel Swirsky & Sean Wallace. Unlike Wandering Stars, which was a mix of original and reprint work, this is a reprint anthology, and a very strong one. Also unlike Wandering Stars, which leaned toward science fiction, it’s mostly fantasy, except for Matthew Kressel’s ‘‘The History Within Us’’ and the steampunk classic ‘‘Biograpical Notes to ‘A Discourse on the Nature of Causality, with Air-Planes’ by Benjamin Rosenbaum’’, by Benjamin Rosenbaum. The best story here is probably ‘‘Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel’’ by Peter S. Beagle, but there’s really little that’s weak, and other highlights include ‘‘The Wings of Meister Wilhelm’’ by Theodora Goss, ‘‘The Tsar’s Dragons’’ by Jane Yolen & Adam Stemple, ‘‘Semaphore’’ by Alex Irvine, ‘‘The Problem with Susan’’ by Neil Gaiman, and ‘‘Golems I Have Known, or, Why my Elder Son’s Middle Name is Napoleon: a Trickster’s Memoir’’, by Michael Chabon"
—Gardner Dozois, Locus.
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