Australian Jewish speculative fiction writers using Jewish material

This list is not complete. This kind of list is never complete. It has its own particular complications.

To create it, I talked to most of the current Jewish Australian writers of SFF I know and a tweet went round the world three times asking for advice: I could only find three Jewish Australian authors who wrote Jewish-themed SFF. This seems an improbably small number, especially given the number of my Jewish friends who wanted to be writers when we were all madly reading science fiction together at university. There may only be three of us in the whole of Australia’s history, but I doubt it.

While I received advice from many people on possible names of authors, that advice kept repeating the same names. The data about the works themselves came from the authors themselves. Jack’s is not-quite-complete for some of his anthologies haven’t been broken down to the level of individual stories on certain themes yet (he has published a lot) but it’s most of what he has. Mine is also mostly complete.

It’s probable that the majority of the novels that ought to be on the list are there, but it’s equally likely that there are short stories that need to be added. My own first publications were a third in SFF magazines, a third in Jewish ones and a third in literary magazines, after all. This means I’m leaving the comments open on this entry, so that readers can add stories I’ve missed. I don’t believe there are only three of us, you see.

Many of the short stories have been reprinted and translated elsewhere – their original publication dates are given here. This is especially true of Jack’s work. He has a more complete listing on his webpage.

Absent works: First, there are quite a few Australian Jewish writers who write SFF but do not use specifically Jewish themes or motifs or characters. Second, there are many non-Jewish Australian writers who include Jewish material in their SFF. This is not a list of them.

I started to make a list of the non-Jewish Australian SFF writers, early on, but it was complicated. Some stories were insightful and perfect. Others were worrying. One writer felt that a subject was Jewish when it read to me as anti-Semitic and another felt that a subject wasn’t Jewish when it read to me as Kabbalistic. I may venture into the larger list at a later date, or I may avoid it for reasons of sanity.

Dann, Jack

Wandering Stars: An Anthology of Jewish Fantasy and Science Fiction, (ed.) New York, Hagerstown: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1974.
More Wandering Stars: Outstanding Stories of Jewish Fantasy and Science Fiction, (ed.) Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1981.
The Economy of Light. Hornsea, England: PS Publishing, June, 2008.
Concentration, by Jack Dann. Hornsea, England: PS Publishing, December, 2016.
“The Dybbuk Dolls,” in New Dimensions Science Fiction Number 5, edited by Robert Silverberg. New York, Evanston: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1975.
“Timetipping,” in Epoch, edited by Roger Elwood and Robert Silverberg. New York: Berkley Publishing Corp., 1975.
“Fairy Tale,” in The Berkley Showcase, Vol. 4: New Writings in Science Fiction and Fantasy, edited by Victoria Schochet and John Silbersack. New York: Berkley Books, 1981.
“Tattoos,” in Omni 9 (November, 1986): 68-70, 132-149.
“The Apotheosis of Isaac Rosen,” by Jack Dann and Jeanne Van Buren Dann, in Omni 9 (June, 1987): 113-116.
“Tea,” in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine 12 (April, 1988).
“Kaddish,” in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine 13 (April, 1989): 68-78.
“Jumping the Road,” in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine 11 (October, 1992): 16-49.
“Café Culture,” in Asimov’s Science Fiction 372 (January, 2007): 48-54.
“The Rapture,” with Barry N. Malzberg, in Memoryville Blues: Postscripts No. 30/33, edited by Peter Crowther and Nick Gevers. Hornsea, England: PS Publishing, August, 2013, p. 271-286.
“Mohammed’s Angel” Overland, 2009.

Polack, Gillian
The Wizardry of Jewish Women Satalyte 2016
The Time of the Ghosts Satalyte 2015
Langue[dot]doc 1305 Satalyte 2014
“Impractical Magic” Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine # 17, February 2005

Rafael, Rivqa
“Beyond the Factory Wall,” The Never Never Land, Ed. Mitchell Akhurst, Phillip Berrie and Ian McHugh, CSfG Publishing, 2016.

1 ping

  1. […] Polack has pieced together a brief list of Australian Jewish SFF authors who use Jewish themes in their work. Hopefully, it might grow a bit longer in the […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.