Did the Encyclopedia Judaica entry on Jewish and Israeli science fiction and fantasy featured on our homepage overwhelm you? If so, time to head for the hills, because Valerie Estelle Frankel is putting the finishing touches on the fourth of a four-volume study, Jewish Scifi Fantasy. Each volume is slated to run 100,000 words.
“What did I call Jewish sf?,” wrote Frankel to an assortment of readers favored with a sneak peak at v. 4? “Well, I clearly allowed in works with Jewish characters and tropes, including by nonJews (though some Biblical sf is distinctly unJewish). Being a Jewish writer or actor is not enough (in future volumes I struggled that Spielberg made Jewish and scifi films but no Jewish scifi I’ve noticed). I also allowed in some very literary sf. A little folklore, which I consider 1) not fantasy genre but 2) highly inspiring of fantasy tropes. Movies, TV, cartoons, and comics are all welcome, but many of these have to wait for the next volumes.
Frenkel is the author of over 60 scholarly tomes about SF/F TV, film and literature, ranging from Xena and the Heroine’s Journey: Symbols, Archetypes and Deeper (LitCrit Press, Dec 2016) to The English Teacher’s Guide to the Hamilton Musical: Symbols, Allegory, Metafiction, and Clever Language (LitCrit Press, Jul 4, 2017.) The recipient of a Dream Realm Award, an Indie Excellence Award, and a USA Book News National Best Book Award for her Henry Potty parodies, she now teaches at Mission College and San Jose City College, and speaks often at conferences.
Frenkel informs that she is seeking respondents for her calls for papers and entries:
Among other anthologies in the works:
ANTHOLOGY: BALANCING JEWISH PRACTICE AND FANDOM
What does Jewish fanfic look like? Or Orthodox cosplay? Is it tough attending Saturday conventions? Talk about the Judaism and Harry Potter classes, themed Bar Mitzvahs, crafting, ren fair characters, or anything else you’ve got. (Certainly these can be personal stories, though it’s a scholarly anthology and more distant studies of these are fine too). Essays may be in first or third person for this one.
ANTHOLOGY: JEWISH FANTASY: INTERNATIONAL and/or MINORITY CULTURES
ANTHOLOGY: JEWISH SF AND F IN THE HOTTEST POP CULTURE
Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Star Trek: What are our really big foundational SF and F stories or tropes? And how do Jews appear in them? Concepts I’d like to see: Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Babylon 5, Disney, Supernatural, Warehouse 13, Independence Day, Indiana Jones, The Matrix, Shadowhunters, Peculiar Children, Corpse Bride, Hebrew Hammer, Justice League, Batwoman Felicity and the Arrowverse, Neil Gaiman, Lilith as vampire mother.