Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Synopses for Bride of the Golem Stories

Following are abstracts of stories accepted for publication in Bride of the Golem.

Barry Rosenberg “Gershom’s Golem”. World-weary kabbalist Gershom makes a golem to do his yardwork but ends up with a kvetcher.

Norman Rubin “Aunt Bessie and the ‘It’”. A fierce ghostly presence fails to scare a yiddishe bubbie.

Sharon Diane King’s “Feast of the Laughing Cow” is a deliciously anachronistic Rabelaisian romp set in the ancient land of Israel.

Jim Meirose “Deni-al”. Golem Noir. A kabbalist makes a golem. A mobster wants to buy him. A rabbi gets in the way.

Melissa Yuan-Innes “WWWJD”. A satirical story of Joseph Cartaphilus, Wandering Jew.

Liz Coley “Till Death Does His Part”. Death comes for Ms. Edelstein, but she won’t be carted away so easily.

Aaron Simon “My Dog the Dybbuk”. A young man finds his beloved dog taken over by a dybbuk, the spirit of a Yiddish-obscenity-spouting cranky old man

Adina Rosenthal “Succubus-in-law”. A woman’s Passover seder with her new mother-in-law becomes her last supper.

E. Mitchell “I Was a Teenage Yeshiva Boy Werewolf”. A delightful spoof of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s “Yentl the Yeshiva Boy” with werewolves.

Yehuda Yussel “Pig”. A reimagining of Kafka’s Metamorphosis, a young and unobservant Greg wakes up one Shabbat morning as a pig.

David Hendrickson “Floater”. Elderly Hiram Silverman is afflicted by a most unusual floater in one of his eyes.

Tonia Brown “Zombie Golem”. A man accidentally kills his girlfriend during a bout of consensual rough sex, then consults a kabbalist to reanimate her.

Mike DiChristina “Mr. Met”. Lenny, a man with a gambling habit and a mystical autocad scanner kills his wife for money, then in a fit of remorse, brings her back, to his misfortune.

Ken Liu “The MSG Golem”. During a space voyage, a Chinese girl descended from the Jews of Kaifeng receives a message from God to make a golem from MSG to save a planet.

David Naimon “Member”. A revised reprint (with permission of Zyzzyva Magazine) of a story of a young man’s dread facing his bar mitzvah.

Anna Taborska “Dirty Dybbuk”. A proper orthodox woman from Golder’s Green, London, is inhabited by the spirit of a deceased nymphomaniac.

A.B.S. Dudevant “The Gingerbread Golem”. A richly-written story of an Ethiopian Jewess who creates a Golem to get rid of her husband.

Gio Clairval & Daniel Pasetti “Toytfogl”. Humorous with an antiquated Lovecraft/Steampunk vibe, the story of two fin-de-siecle professors who unleash an unnaturally evil beast.

Gus Ginsburg “By Way of Explanation”. A newly vampiric Hassid decides to become a mohel to get his blood, while his wife is convinced he’s become homosexual.

G. Miki Hayden “The Cantor and the Ghost”. The ghost of newly deceased Rabbi Wild haunts and bedevils a congregant he dislikes. The Cantor tries to mediate.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Diane Williams' Romancer Erector

Oftentimes, my literary tastes overlap with those of my spouse. We both love Douglas Adams, as well as David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, Italo Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, and Gary Shteyngart's Supersad True Love Story, Miranda July's short stories, to name a few.

However, on the matter of Diane Williams' stories in Romancer Erector we are polar opposites. In my opinion the stories are brilliant. They break all the rules of the craft, fracture the protagonist's ego into a disparate and schizophrenic chorus. She uses multiple distancing effects to prevent the reader from situating the characters into a world. In a word, revolutionary. My wife, however, thinks the stories are creepy and repulsive.

Do you have an opinion on Dianne Williams? Let us know, is she creepy or brilliant?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Strangeness on a Train

A few days ago I was riding a Central Line train out to Ealing for a real estate appointment. Across from me sat a youngish Indian-Briton in jeans and a purple hoodie. I was reading Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy. Heartily amused by a passage in the book, I looked up smiling. The man opposite me apparently mistook my smile for an inviting gesture. He moved across to my side of the train, two seats down from me and proceded to look at me. He wrote something on a slip of paper and placed it between us. I didn't pick it up, rather I focused on the events of Shandy, Book V. After a minute, with big sweeping dramatic movements, he picked up the piece of paper and ripped it to shreds in front of me, throwing the fragments on the floor and moved down the train car. It's for the best, really. In addition to the insurmountable obstacle of our differing orientations (un-sir-mountable, one could jest), I very strongly dislike litterbugs.