BORN IN RAMAT GAN, ISRAEL, on 7 October 1973 (a day after the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War), Yael Furman began publishing work of genre interest with “Hatzva’im haNechonim” (The Right Colors) in the online magazine Bli Panika in 2001. For the next few years she published several well-regarded short stories in Israeli genre publications, such as the Halomot beAspamia (Pipedreams) and the annual anthology series Hayo Yihye (Once Upon a Future), for which she was nominated for the Geffen Prize a remarkable eight times.
Her novel Yaldei Beit haZchuchit (Children of the Glasshouse, 2011) is notable as a genuine example of Israeli Young Adult science fiction. Set in a future Israel, the novel concerns humans genetically modified to live in water, who exist in conditions somewhat reminiscent of Cordwainer Smith’s Underpeople, or James Blish’s underwater inhabitants in “Surface Tension”. A human child befriends a water child against the background of a civil rights battle, partly carried out by members of the “Human League,” who want the captive water people released. Though the theme of the book is not unusual in SF, the Israeli setting is uncommon and, in a nice use of location, at the end of the novel the water people are transferred to the Sea of Galilee, where they are now free – or at least freer. The novel was illustrated by artist Yinon Zinger, and was based on Furman’s earlier short story, “Kirot Reikim” (Empty Walls), winner of a first prize in a 2009 Olamot Convention short story contest. Another novel, Kir’ei ‘Olam (English title The Portal Diamond) has just been published.