Boris Smus

interaction engineering

On Venus, Have We Got a Rabbi by William Tenn

An entertaining short story in the newly formed genre of Jewish Science Fiction. Very memorable characters: the conservative father, his liberal son.

The author (previously unknown to me) does a great job of capturing the essence of Jewishness. The dialog is great, and the content is meaty. The theme of constant repression regardless of circumstances comes up again and again.

The core issue is whether or not an alien race can be considered Jewish. Hopefully this is an issue we can grapple with one day.

Loved the punch line:

I don’t know. Let’s talk about something cheerful. How many people would you say were killed in that earthquake on Callisto?