cover image Jewish Futures

Jewish Futures

Edited by Michael A. Burstein. Fantastic, $15.99 trade paper (248p) ISBN 978-1-5154-5805-0

Inspired by Jack Dunn’s 1974 and 1981 Jewish sci-fi anthologies, Burstein (I Remember the Future) brings together 16 appealing stories extrapolating Jewish themes into near- and far-future settings. Opening with “Shema,” an agonizing apocalyptic view of a future worldwide pogrom written by high school student Samantha Katz, and closing with Jordan King-Lacroix’s bittersweet “The Last Chosen,” in which the thousands of years of persecution experienced by Jewish people become achingly personal through one suffering individual, there’s plenty of darkness on offer. But there are also welcome points of light: humor and culinary traditions season both Esther Friesner’s “Rachel Nussbaum Saves the World” and Randee Dawn’s “Matzah Ball Soup for the Vershluggin,” while Susan Schwartz’s optimistic “Into Thin Heirs” postulates a tentative Israeli-Palestinian peace. Shane Tourtellotte’s “The Kuiper Gemara” features an artificial intelligence who asks a rabbi to oversee his conversion to Judaism. These stories open diverse and challenging vistas for sci-fi fans—Jewish and gentile alike. (Aug.)