Fantastic Books, a Brooklyn-based small press of speculative fiction, has announced a new crowd-funded project of Jewish science fiction stories called Jewish Futures. In its first day of crowdfunding on Kickstarter, the project raised about two-thirds of its $6,000 goal, demonstrating the high interest in the idea.
“There hasn’t been an anthology of all-new science fiction stories with a Jewish theme for a long time,” said Ian Randal Strock, publisher of Fantastic Books. “We wanted to explore the possible futures our writers could imagine. What will Jews be up to fifty years from now? A hundred? A thousand? Will the Jewish people still be mostly living where they are now? Will Judaism still be recognizable in the many forms in which it exists today? Will there be Jewish aliens? Jewish robots? Our writers will imagine it all.”
Strock is no stranger to crowd-funded anthologies, having successfully run Kickstarter campaigns which resulted in the publication of the themed anthologies Release the Virgins and Three Time Travelers Walk Into… (both edited by Michael A. Ventrella), and Across the Universe (an alternate Beatles anthology edited by Ventrella and Randee Dawn).
The editor tapped to select the stories for “Jewish Futures” is Michael A. Burstein, a multiple Hugo and Nebula finalist and winner of the Campbell/Astounding Award for Best New Writer. Burstein, who lives in the Boston area, is the author of previous Jewish-themed science-fiction stories, including “Kaddish for the Last Survivor” and “The Great Miracle.” Burstein enlisted a group of high-level writers for the book, including award winners and finalists such as Leah Cypess, Esther Friesner, and Steven H Silver.
“I’ve always been interested in the intersection of Jewish fiction and science fiction,” Burstein said. “I remember the Wandering Stars anthology Jack Dann put together in the 1970s and 1980s. Those books were great but mostly contained reprinted stories. I wanted to see what today’s authors could create if given a chance to envision a Jewish future.”
Fantastic Books will be running the Jewish Futures Kickstarter over the next month, coinciding with the fall Jewish holidays. The book is planned for a July 2023 release.
[Based on a press release.]