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Aliens no longer
[Up Front Edition]
Jerusalem Post - Jerusalem
Author: Abbey, Alan D
Date: Feb 13, 2004
Start Page: 23
Section: Features
Abstract (Document Summary)

It wasn't even Card's speeches, workshops, and patient hours signing autographs on his translated works long into the night that indicate how far Israeli science fiction has come. What really matters is that the convention added the category of best domestic, original long fiction to its annual Geffen Awards ceremonies. The year before, the convention's organizers added a category for best short story. Prior to that, the only awards (since their inception in 1999) had been for the year's best translated science fiction and fantasy works. [Orson Scott Card], who has racked up every major US science fiction award, handed out the Israeli prizes.

"We're a conspiracy," joked Vered Tochterman, one of the key figures in the new movement. Tochterman is editor of Halomot b'Aspamia (Castles in the Air), a local science fiction magazine that publishes 15 original science fiction stories in Hebrew every two months. The magazine is one of the meeting places and showpieces of the new Israeli sci- fi. The other organizations that comprise the movement are the Israeli Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy, which has its own on-line magazine; Starbase 972, a Star Trek fan club; and the Israeli Society for Role-Playing.

Steven Silver, a science fiction critic and writer who has compiled an online dossier of Jewish science fiction (www.sfsite.com/~silverag/jewishsf.html), lists William Tenn (the pen name of Philip Klass), Avram Davidson, and Michael A. Burstein as Jewish science fiction authors exploring Jewish themes.

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