Sunday, December 13, 2015

Five fantasy books with Jewish themes

Jeff Somers is the author of Lifers, the Avery Cates series from Orbit Books, Chum from Tyrus Books, and We Are Not Good People from Pocket/Gallery. He has published over thirty short stories as well. One of Somers's top five fantasy books with Jewish themes, as shared at the B & N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog:
The Cure, by Sonia Levitin

This brilliant novel pivots on some of the same ideas found in Lois Lowry’s The Giver, but draws a completely different conclusion from them. In the 25th century, Gemm 16884 lives in a world where peace and order are maintained through the consumption of drugs and the elimination of disruptive forces—including art. When Gemm defies society by making music, he is given a choice: execution, or a sort of “virtual reality” experience that will make him a Jew in 14th century Strasbourg at the height of the Black Death, when Jews were widely blamed for the disease and pogroms were common. The idea is that Gemm will see how much better the future is and mend his ways—but what makes the story remarkable is how Levitin’s ending is both exactly as expected, and yet somehow a complete subversion.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue