Monday, May 30, 2011

Jews In Science Fiction

I just finished reading Dan Simmon's Hyperion - A great science fiction novel set in the far future. The book stands out in that one of its main characters is Jewish. Here is a small taste of some of the great lines generated around the Jewish character:

"Dad, why do Jews feel that things are...less important now than before the Hegira? (Hegira - the destruction of Earth. Probably a play on words on הגירה. - BT)
 Sol spread his hands - strong hands, more those of a stoneworker than an academic. "That's a good question, Rachel. Probably because so much of the dream is dead. Israel is gone. The New Temple lasted less time that the first and second. God broke His word by destroying the Earth a second time in the way He did. And this diaspora is...forever."
"But Jews maintain their ethnic and religious identity in some places," his daughter insisted.
"Oh, sure. On Hebron and isolated areas of the Concourse you can find entire communities...Hassidic, Orthadox, Hasmonean, you name it..but they tend to be..nonvital, picturesque...tourist-oriented." 

After finishing Hyperion, I did a quick search in Google for "Jews in Science Fiction", and came across this website, that lists every sci-fi book in which Jews make an appearance.  Clearly this list is a work of love. Skimming the list though, I couldn't see many books in which the Jew is the obvious main character. Are Jews of the far future (whether with an earth, or ruled by machines) doomed to be no more then anecdotes?
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