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Jewish extraterrestrials?
Brisket-eating zombies?
Baby robot golems?


The first Jewish diaspora began nearly three thousand years ago. Those three millennia have informed a rich story-telling tradition that will only continue to expand in the coming centuries. This volume—the literary heir to the Wandering Stars anthologies of the 1970s and ’80s (and leading off with a very personal essay by Jack Dann, who edited those books)—extrapolates Jews and Judaism into a wide future. Sometimes moody, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, Publishers Weekly says these “16 appealing stories extrapolating Jewish themes into near- and far-future settings.… open diverse and challenging vistas for sci-fi fans—Jewish and gentile alike.”


Between these covers, you’ll find tales of the last Jew, Jewish space lasers, and the remarkable connection between brisket and zombies. You’ll experience the breath-taking experiences of climbing Mt. Everest while religious, and of competing in futuristic sporting combinations in the Olympics. You’ll explore the questions of just what will we do when the artificial intelligences controlling our homes become more religious than we? Or when aliens seek to convert to Judaism, and then try to return to an abandoned Jerusalem on a deserted Earth?


Featuring stories by: Esther Friesner, Harry Turtledove, Leah Cypess, Susan Shwartz, Valerie Estelle Frankel, Robert Greenberger, Randee Dawn, Barbara Krasnoff, Steven H Silver, S.I. Rosenbaum & Abraham Josephine Reisman, Shane Tourtellotte, SM Rosenberg, Riv Begun, E.M. Ben Shaul, Jordan King-Lacroix, and the debut story by New York City high school student Samantha Katz.


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Publicity and Reviews


Con-Tinual: The Con That Never Ends hosted two panel discussions with the authors of Jewish Futures. The first, available at this link (and later to be posted on YouTube), includes Riv Begun, Nomi Burstein, Robert Greenberger, Susan Shwartz, Steven Silver, along with editor Michael A. Burstein and publisher Ian Randal Strock. The second panel, available at this link, includes Leah Cypess, Randee Dawn, Valerie Frankel, Jordan King-Lacroix, Barbara Krasnoff, SM Rosenberg, and Harry Turtledove. And finally, two authors weren’t able to make it to the Con-Tinual panels, but we thought they had enough interesting things to say that editor Michael A. Burstein conducted one-on-one interviews with them: introduction author Jack Dann, and lead-off author Samantha Katz.


"Burstein brings together 16 appealing stories extrapolating Jewish themes into near- and far-future settings.… These stories open diverse and challenging vistas for sci-fi fans—Jewish and gentile alike." —Publishers Weekly


"Best work of fiction I’ve recently read: I’ve been working my way through a new anthology of science-fiction short stories called Jewish Futures. It comes out next month, but I backed the project on Kickstarter, so I got an advance copy. I can’t wait for other people to be able to read it..."

—Yair Rosenberg in The Atlantic Daily


“…great fiction is forever, and it’s here that Jewish Futures more than delivers.… Esther Friesner’s wicked sense of humor has made her a favorite among readers for decades, and her tale of the family brisket keeping the zombie apocalypse at bay in ‘Rachel Nussbaum Saves the World’ should be a fast favorite.… It’s immediately clear why ‘The Last Chosen’ by Jordan King-Lacroix was chosen as the anthology closer though, as it hits like a right hook, following a man who may well be the last Jew, awaiting the end of himself and his people. I say without shame it moved me to tears.… Burstein is to be commended for assembling a fine anthology that manages the no small feat of balancing old authors and new, and multiple genres and styles of while firmly sticking to the theme.… Whether those of you reading this are ringing in 2024, or happen to be a few months into 5784, Jewish Futures is an early contender for one of the best anthologies of the year, and a worthy successor to the classic Wandering Stars anthologies it was inspired by. Be an edel mensch and make sure to grab a copy for yourself.” —Sean CW Korsgaard, Analog Science Fiction & Fact, January/February 2024


“[M]any of these stories are good enough to be included in collections of the best SF of the year.… [Samantha] Katz is an enormously talented writer for a 16 year old high school student.… Leah Cypress’ ‘Frummer House’ is a laugh-out-loud funny story about smart homes that suddenly enforce a higher level of religiosity on their Jewish residents than they are comfortable with. It is so steeped in frumkeit that it has its own glossary so everyone else could understand it. For religious Jews who would get the references, the book is worth it for this story alone.… ‘Initial Engagement’ by Steven H. Silver uses a future world to help us understand our world [and] is the epitome of what SF should be.… The longest, and best, story in the collection is ‘Moon Melody’ by SM Rosenberg. It is outstanding in how it explores the moral issues of [the characters’ superpowers].… I would be surprised and disappointed if ‘Moon Melody’ is not included in the Best of the Year anthologies for 2023.… Altogether, it is a really good collection of stories, with a higher percentage of stories that I enjoy than most anthologies I have read. There have been other Jewish science fiction anthologies… but this is to my mind by far the best, the most professional, and the most Jewish of all of them.” —Elder of Ziyon blog


The book is the subject of the Nice Jewish Fangirls podcast episode #58, available at:


"Brookline Resident Named Editor Of New Anthology Jewish Futures" by Annie Sandoli in the Brookline Patch, October 5, 2022




Table of Contents:

Introduction by Jack Dann
Shema by Samantha Katz
Mission Divergence by E.M. Ben Shaul
Rachel Nussbaum Saves the World by Esther Friesner
One Must Imagine by Harry Turtledove
Into Thin Heirs by Susan Shwartz
Proof of Alina by Riv Begun
Baby Golem by Barbara Krasnoff
Frummer House by Leah Cypess
Moon Melody by SM Rosenberg
Initial Engagement by Steven H Silver
Matzah Ball Soup for the Vershluggin Soul by Randee Dawn
The Ascent by S.I. Rosenbaum and Abraham Josephine Reisman
The Aliens of Chelm by Valerie Estelle Frankel
The Kuiper Gemara by Shane Tourtellotte
Legend Born by Robert Greenberger
The Last Chosen by Jordan King-Lacroix
Kickstarter Backers List

JEWISH FUTURES edited by Michael A. Burstein

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